Stop using “digital transformation” to describe your business

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Stop using “digital transformation” to describe your business

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur Contributors are their own.

The widespread adoption of home Internet connections in the 1990s led to the widespread use of online banking. That was over 30 years ago. So why are lenders still talking about “digital transformation” and a “digital first” approach as if it means anything today?

A recent announcement from a student loan company may have renewed my distaste for these meaningless buzzwords, but it highlighted an important message that I want to pass on to all businesses that still use this terminology. provocative.

The digital revolution has already happened

There is no doubt that the world has gone through a period of digital transformation. What started as a widget has evolved into apps that now host countless services and organizations. Meanwhile, the powerful little computers we carry around in our pockets have become the engine of almost 72% of online sales.

These milestones define the term “digital transformation.” And that’s why a loan company calling its online process a “digital-first strategy” is, apparently, unworthy of sharing the label with the world’s most influential innovations.

Companies looking for buzzwords like “digital transformation” don’t need to fire their marketing teams or question their corporate values. That said, it’s time for them to focus on something that more accurately reflects the meaning these companies are looking for when choosing these terms.

Related: How Entrepreneurs Are Capitalizing on Digital Transformation in the Era of the ‘New Normal’

Digital buzzwords fail to convey what really matters

While we agree that digital transformation is something much bigger than any business project or strategy, some leaders still cling to slightly more specific terms like “digital procurement” to explain their process. While this may seem like a step in the right direction, it’s actually a perfect example of how many organizations still fail to recognize what to pay attention to.

“Digital” is already here and here to stay – it’s the data behind the digital interface that matters more than ever Businesses should abandon the focus on digital and instead go deeper, focusing on growing collection , management and use of data that helps the world’s largest companies compete on an unprecedented scale.

When Amazon, one of the biggest companies in the world known for its fast delivery, started selling fresh produce and pantry items, a lot of people seemed to have had enough of Walmart. Yet Walmart has invested heavily in transforming data, helping it meet consumer demand.

Today, Walmart has overtaken Amazon to capture nearly 20% of the online grocery market. This is the power of data transformation.

Related: Amazon vs. Walmart: A Blueprint for Competitive Advantage

Shifting focus to data impacts the entire business

When companies abandon terms like “digital first” and start exploring ways to truly transform data, it’s not just a change in terminology. By moving to a data-driven model, businesses open up a world of opportunities that can impact every element of the business.

Data transformation informs strategic decision-making for Walmart, ultimately enabling the mega-corporation to compete with a company many times its own size and win. But, in addition to using all this data behind the scenes, Walmart also used it to completely redesign the customer experience.

Airbnb is another great example of using data to shape customer perception of a business. The company competes with hotels and other 24-hour booking sites, but it can win because it uses data to simplify the customer journey and add value to the booking experience.

Airbnb does this by detecting in real time when a user hesitates to book a stay and offering them a discount or reminding them that an area is already almost fully booked for the month they wish to travel. While highly effective marketing strategies, these examples of big data at work make Airbnb one of the most responsive and user-friendly apps of its kind.

But how do you unlock the value of your company’s data to build your advantage internally and externally?

Related: How Businesses Can Save Time and Money With Smart Buying Strategies

Drive your point home

No matter how concise, witty, or charming you try, the message your business shares should always have clear meaning to anyone who encounters it. That’s why you should walk on the toes of digital transformation and why you should be specific about what you really mean.

By moving away from vague buzzwords starting with “digital” and getting more specific about what’s going on in your business when it comes to data, you’ll find that fewer people will roll their eyes when they read about your business. As a result, you can really resonate with your audience, foster understanding, and get people interested in what your business is trying to accomplish.

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