Our lives and businesses have shifted online over the past two decades. Last year, that transition kicked into high gear. Everyone and everything has “gone digital.” With most companies revamping the way they do business, how can you emerge as a leader rather than lose market share?

Embrace the change. The majority of purchasing decisions now begin online. From social media exposure to your brand, to product research, consumers first encounter most products, ideas, and services in the digital space. It’s no longer the exception but the norm.

So, while chat bots, direct emails, or calls to action might feel “pushy,” they are what consumers have come to expect. Embrace the new way of marketing and selling and stay competitive.

Adopt automation. A number of digital tools exist that direct the customer experience and guide business processes. This train has left the station for good. Now that automation tools have gone mainstream, we can only move forward and adopt them.

Integrate digital data into your marketing approach. Marketers have long understood the power of data to influence every part of a marketing strategy. This spans initial demographic research all the way through closing. Today’s upgraded digital tools offer unprecedented troves of information about your target demographic. Use them.

Focus on strategy. All great marketing campaigns begin with strategy. The digital era offers email marketing, social media marketing, blogging, video streaming, and more. You can conduct these activities on multiple channels to suit various formats and styles. But the basis of marketing hasn’t changed much. Research, market insight, and a solid understanding of customer pain points still form the foundation of any solid marketing strategy.

Upgraded technology offers tools that speed up these processes. But you still have to focus on the basics, but with newer bells and whistles.

Hang onto your humanity. At its core, marketing and sales is about developing relationships, understanding needs, and sharing solutions. Digital tools may transform the hustle, but there’s still a living, breathing human being on the other side of that computer. When updated tools authentically display your brand’s humanity, consumer relationships will flourish. Adopt technology enthusiastically, but apply wisdom and judgment to each strategy.

Change can be scary, but also exciting. We all agree that the past year has taught us this lesson, perhaps like never before. The businesses that embrace these changes and implement them wisely will be the businesses that survive and thrive in the digital revolution.

 

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