Successful digital marketing transformation! What do we start with?

Lynda St-Arneault – 3 November 2020


Marketing is not just digital and is not made to live in a silo if we want it to perform. Marketing is integrated,which means it combines with other disciplines and functions. We need to understand these links, their interactions and synergy.

Learn to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else

– Leonardo Da Vinci

There is no magic. It’s not “technology” that will make your life easy in a digital transformation of B2B marketing and sales. A rigorous process that takes into account your business ecosystem, will allow you to achieve this feat.

Before you initiate this change, make sure that everyone within the organization understands that there is a sequence to be followed in the execution of the digital transformation of marketing. If we skip one, we put ourselves at risk.

In order:

A) The Culture

The human factor is widely recognized as an essential element in the success or failure of digital transformation. It is important to consider the well-being of employees within this project and to share our vision transparently.

However, people are often overlooked when planning and executing transformation projects according to several studies. Maybe you’re even part of it?

Change management is also one of the main reasons why digital transformation projects fail. Companies focus on implementing technology and key solutions.

However, they do not take into account the importance of staff membership. Their acceptance of the project is intrinsically linked to its overall success.


B) The People

To ensure that there is no break along the way, each department and each function must have a “project carrier” or a champion, whose role is also to be an ambassador for this transformation, in-house.

The people who lead the transformation must have the skills to lead the change but also, the vision (we go back to the culture) and leadership that instills commitment and buy-in.

A great challenge!

C) The Process

Much of the success of a transformation of this type depends on the unanimity (buy-in) of the processes to be followed and which parts of these you will have to “automate” or “transform”  by the change you will put in place.  

It’s a good time to make sure you’re getting the customer at the heart of your processes. The optimization of your processes must be based on purchasing processes in all channels. There are interviews you can do with your different groups of buyers, among others.

A customer-centric culture is to be implemented in step 1.

D) The Technology

Finally, your choice of one or more technology platforms, priming (onboarding), their implementation and their use will be much more assured. Your decisions will be based on a reading of your situation and not a “case study.”

The technological dimension of marketing transformation is so crucial (integration of processes, data, functions, services, etc.) and expensive that it is better to make the final choice with all the elements in hand.

Don’t overlook the quality of the data you have.

Are they:

  • Complete: Nothing is missing
  • Consistent: From one department to another
  • Compliant: They follow a defined standard
  • Accurate: They reflect reality
  • Valid: The relationships between the data are verifiable
  • Available: They are available when needed

Your data is content. They tell you buying stories and are helpers with decision-making. It’s capital! Take care of it!

If you follow this sequence, it will also allow you to make a wise choice through several thousand marketing technologies (martech).

Assess the maturity of the company and the feasibility of the transformation

The crisis we are going through highlights gaps in maturity in digital marketing. We must accelerate its development while respecting the starting positions of the organizations. You must evaluate where and how to take them to the next step, without jumping any steps!

Practices such as optimized web, mobile, e-commerce, personalized digital broadcasting and virtual sales are critical and must respect a rhythm of implementation.

Even if you don’t want to waste time but want to place yourself in a strong position online, you need to consider the capacity of your resources. The best way to avoid mistakes is to take stock of the marketing situation.

The importance of a complete marketing status report (audit)

Marketing and digital marketing is the same for us. They are integrated, as are sales.

A state of the marketing situation without a digital orientation will not be adapted to its objective…digital is unavoidable! A state of affairs too blinded by digital may lack key elements.

If you make a really effective statement of the situation, it will tell you things that you are not aware of and if you ask for something too specific in this step, you risk obstructing the conclusions by making incorrect recommendations..

The ability to leverage multiple relevant data sources (CRM, web, marketing automation tool, social media, mobile, campaigns, etc.) has a direct impact on the quality of information and decisions we make.

A marketing audit covers many elements.

There are thousands of data points to collect and analyze. We rely on the initial objectives and good practices and knowledge we have acquired.

A complete state of the situation (audit) of marketing is the centerpiece of this transformation. This is probably one of the most important activities a company can carry out.

This is to ensure a transformation with as few obstacles as possible and greater chances of success.

ExoB2B analyzes your marketing function and its interactions with sales, its use of technologies and data quality on eleven (11) categories. We make supported policy and tactical recommendations to close the gap between now and tomorrow:

  • Business
  • Service + brand offer
  • Marketing function
  • Customer service function
  • Distribution / intermediary
  • B2B and CX purchasing cycle
  • Production
  • Competition
  • Sales function
  • Industry
  • Digital ecosystem

You will not realize the benefits of an audit until you implement the recommendations that conclude this step.

How open are you to the recommendations and are you prepared to change your own beliefs about the current situation?

If you are interested in the topic, let us know or share my blog post.  Looking forward to reading or discussing it with you!

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