The Year of Digital Transformation

For years, “digital transformation” has been on the priority list of every major company. And every year, little progress has been made. In fact, in 2019 Gartner found that only 23% of companies were even half way to their digital transformation goals.

That was then, this is now.

The challenges of the global pandemic, coupled with cries for social justice, transformed the way organizations look at the world. Organizations adapted, leveraging digital transformation as a potent tool to manage disruption. Almost overnight, digital transformation went from a bullet point in a presentation to a critical piece of organizational survival. “Digital first” was no longer a buzzword, it was a mandate. 

So, what is digital transformation? It’s more than technology. It’s about people. It’s about the process and the playbook for interacting with customers. It’s about using the channels they prefer, in the way they prefer, and at the speed they expect.

Over the past year, we’ve learned that the key driver of digital transformation is the customer. Fortunately, most organizations have a leader whose sole focus is thinking about the customer — the CMO.

Suddenly, CMOs have been thrust into the role of digital transformation leader. In addition to managing the ever-growing range of CMO responsibilities, they have become responsible for corralling the organizational resources necessary to rewire the very way the company interacts with customers.

And who better to take on this role? CMOs have always been the conduit between customers and corporations. They’ve had their finger on the customer pulse for years. It’s time to put that unique connection to use.

It’s a big job, with critical consequences, but CMOs are uniquely positioned to usher their organizations into the future.