Businesses are no longer creating ‘just’ products. At least, the ones prepared for digital transformation aren’t. According to MIT Sloan Management Review, digital transformation can be defined as “the use of technology to radically improve performance or reach of enterprises.” Compelled by advances such as analytics, big data, intelligent devices, and mobile devices, digital transformation is allowing companies to radically rethink the way they do business and interact with their audiences.
In MIT Sloan Management Review’s study on the topic, it was found that digital transformation is affecting three distinct areas of most organizations: customer experience, operational processes, and business models.
So, how does this apply to marketing? Enhancing customer experience via digital marketing allows marketers to understand audience intent at scale (more on this later).
There is one company that is excelling in all areas of digital transformation and, therefore, is excelling in marketing – Peloton, an exercise bike provider.
Digital Transformation Case Study: Peloton
Only 4 years old, Peloton has mixed its product offering and its marketing tactics in a revolutionary way, especially for its industry. The magic to its methods is rooted in data, engagement, and content.
Most exercise equipment companies have a simple model. They market to their audience, sell a product, and, if they’re lucky and the customer loved the first product, they make a second sale. Other than voluntary customer feedback, there is no way for these exercise equipment providers to know whether their products are being used and, thus, no way of continuing user relationships, which leaves money on the table.
What Peloton does is much different. It sells an exercise bike, sure. This bike comes with a tablet, though, that makes it an intelligent device. That means it allows the bike owner to join virtual classes and track their performance. Peloton sells community. It sells motivation. It sells a lifestyle.
Peloton uses performance data to grow relationships, rewarding users on milestones and tailoring content and products based on habits, preferences, and engagement. Accordingly, they’ve established varied revenue streams and feedback loops after the initial purchase of the bike.
Of course, not all of us are able to turn our products into intelligent devices that create a data feedback loop. Luckily, the rise of content marketing has given us another avenue for creating and leveraging audience relationships .
Prepare for Digital Transformation, Think Like a Publisher
Now, let’s talk about understanding intent at scale with content marketing. Rather than asking 100 salespeople to spend X hours calling 1,000 people and asking them their opinion on your brand and on your content, you can gain the same level of feedback from content creation.
Though the creation of content takes some time, once it has been created, it can be distributed to countless people. Plus, unlike salespeople, content does need to sleep or take sick days. In other words, it’s always available for your audience to find, read, and engage with. Accomplishing this requires dedication to content, the same type of dedication a publisher would show. Read our 7 steps below:
7 Steps to Thinking Like a Publisher:
- Set goals and document strategies
- Develop a Content Marketing Mission Statement
- Select an editorial theme and stick to it
- Develop content asset(s) and channel(s)
- Make an appointment with your audience (be consistent)
- Schedule, share, and repurpose
- Measure and optimize
You’re probably noticing that most of these steps are the same steps suggested for a successful content marketing plan. This isn’t a coincidence. In many ways, adapting to digital transformation in marketing is about laying that strong content foundation. The real key, though, is to measure and optimize. With the accessibility of data and analytics, measuring content and optimizing accordingly can be as simple as checking Twitter’s built-in analytics platform and spending more time Tweeting about subjects that your audience loves.
Create Consistent Content, Gain Consistent Feedback
Creating content is nothing new. It’s how you frame it that makes the difference. Many companies are already creating content, but are looking at it as somewhat transactional – i.e., you put out content for your audience, if they like it, they eventually do business with you.
You can also use content as a sounding board, though, to learn more about your audience and to tweak your own offerings, branding, etc., to be more appealing. Plus, if your audience likes your content enough, you create new revenue streams around it in much the same way Peloton has.
Just follow this simple model: Content -> Engagement -> Insights. Then rinse and repeat.
Of course, this requires the consistent creation of content and regular probing into analytics. By building a loyal audience and thinking of your team as a media company first and a marketing team second, though, you too can jump in on digital transformation.
Did you like this post? Let us know why (or why not) in the comments. In the meantime, check out our blog Engagement is the Key to Content Marketing Success and learn how content can accelerate your marketing progress while also providing vital feedback.