by Rutendo Beryl Kanyowa
It appears that the impact of digital transformation on business is the focus of most coverage, although it is now evident that it has a profound impact on business operations and daily life. Marketing must adjust as digital transformation changes consumer behavior and technology. There have been a lot of noticeable changes locally and internationally, and there are many noticeable changes already happening.
Fintech is the strongest foundation for the expansion of the digital economy in Zimbabwe. Despite macroeconomic woes, the use of mobile money and forex has increased by more than 5 since 2017. There are several well-established payment systems in Zimbabwe, where 96% of all transactions are done through digital means and 4% of them are cash-based according to the Digital Economy for Zimbabwe Country Diagnostic Report by the World Bank’s Digital Economy for Africa Initiative. There are new players in the fintech space resulting in competitive charges for remittances.
The growing Zimbabwean market is seeing increased online commerce thanks to a wide variety of payment methods and local brands should think about “Social Shopping” functionality on Meta for business. This makes the gap between “browsing” to “purchasing” much smaller on social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and soon Twitter, because convenience is achieved through in-app purchasing and smarter advertising.
According to a Meltwater report in 2022, augmented reality (AR) is one of the fastest growing marketing trends of the future, alongside virtual reality (VR). It is a technology that is already available today. The nature of AR is to make people semi-virtual by immersing them in semi-virtual worlds. Using their mobile phones, customers can see what colors eyeshadow or sunglasses look like on them before they make a purchase.
Hybrid events have become more popular after almost two years of conducting events virtually because of Covid restrictions. Masterclasses, sales presentations, exhibitions, and virtual conferences are all examples of hybrid events. A hybrid event has the potential to boost attendance, engagement, and visibility because it allows virtual and in-person audiences to interact. Location and budget may prevent people from participating in a physical event, which is why the hybrid approach is so appealing.
Digital Transformation requires team work
On the side of internal marketing, the picture on teamwork and collaboration is also changing. Liquid Intelligent Technologies in partnership with Microsoft Teams launched a voice network that provide businesses of any scale with a complete cloud-based telephony solution that drives productive communication with calling, chat, team collaboration and meetings – all in a single app. Companies can now work more collaboratively and productively in the cloud from anywhere, anytime.
There is no digital transformation discussion that goes without data and analytics. Data analytics unlocks the full power of your marketing strategy whether the data is from a CRM, ERP, Google Analytics or a third-party software. Intelligence obtained from data such as social analytics can help paint a more intimate picture of who your customers are and expand your reach through listening tools and competitor insights.
“We are in the post-advertising age, and companies are becoming digital-first out of necessity. This requires an actual transformation, in which marketers are using technology, data, and analytics to reach their target audiences across all devices to deliver the relevant offer or call to action in the moment.”- Ed See, principal in the technology practice at Deloitte Digital.
International companies like Porsche place the customer at the heart of their transformation strategy, taking their time to understand the Porsche driver. Customer data is pulled into a central CRM data center and allocated to a unique ID (which knows customer’s expectations for each touchpoint). The data also allows for real-time segmentation and predictive intelligence, enabling them to maximize campaign success, leading to a significant increase in their overall sales conversion rate
Digital transformation is improving the business by empowering employees, engaging customers, transforming products and optimizing operations. Marketing is in the middle of the disruption that comes with digital transformation – not to be confused with digital marketing- by focusing on improving customer experience through digital means.
Marketers must contribute to the architecture and set the right elements for customer experience during and after the transformation. More than ever, marketers must be actively involved systematically and holistically to undertake the change journey so that the customer takes bite sizes of the transformation.