COVID-19 is reshaping digital transformation agendas across the world. Coming on top of a growing global trend towards in-housing of marketing and advertising, South African companies can be expected to increasingly seek the expert support necessary to drive the transition to this “new normal”.
Reports are that more than 91% of European marketing decisionmakers moved some – if not all – of their marketing in-house in 2019. But concerns about sacrificing the quality or creativity of the final product, thanks to the challenges associated with building a top-notch in-house team, opens the way for the entry of a very special kind of service provider.
Far from being a bandwagon on which just anyone can jump, however, the task calls for a set of collective skills and capabilities that is tailor-made to help clients develop the core competencies and strategies that will see them not only function, but also flourish in the digital space.
The best digital transformation consultancies will have clocked the trend towards decentralised production and in-sourcing of digital and creative work early on. They will have armed themselves with the necessary capacity and expertise to assist companies to transform their creative teams into agile divisions that are able to meet the exacting demands of the digital world within the new reality that COVID-19 has wrought.
Each client is unique, so the consultant must be able to accurately identify where the problems and needs lie, before working hand-in-hand to develop the necessary core competencies and strategies. Factors that are critical to a successful outcome include first ensuring you have the highest level of understanding of their business requirements, and then that you can demonstrate the agility necessary to drive measurable cost benefits.
The deep data dive
Data intelligence is key when working with a brand to build their in-house capability. Persuading them to make an investment in digital capability can save them money, by helping make various functions faster, cheaper and, in many instances, better. Digital systems and processes, by their very nature, are geared for efficiency. Systems, processes and business models are also important, but the ultimate commitment must always be to the quality and efficacy of the work – and, of course, to identifying unique opportunities to engage customers.
Digital transformation is about solutions, and any sector that ignores the call to change does so at their peril because they will surely risk falling behind the curve. We don’t know what we don’t know, which is why it’s crucial for business and industry leaders alike to commit to staying relevant by prioritising digital transformation.
Importantly, digital transformation is not limited only to the tools and the technology, but references an approach to business leadership that values innovation, solutions and a future-forward ethos. And with the right choice of leadership training and executive breakaways where the focus is on empowering leaders with the digital tools they need, the experience can be both fun and relevant.
Working collaboratively is fundamental if consultants are to achieve the best possible results for clients, as is the importance of personalisation at all levels. What’s without doubt is that the shift to the in-house model is here to stay, and it’s going to be heavily disruptive for agencies. The industry is going to have to rethink what is increasingly becoming an outdated, resource-intensive business model, so it’s imperative to have the experts at hand to walk you through the process.
Shaune Jordaan is the co-founder and CEO of Hoorah Digital, an independent digital consultancy that believes in brand results through data. The consultancy focuses on helping internal marketing and digital teams with all things digital, from social media advertising to app design.
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