Digital Velocity 2017: Disruption and Digital Transformation

At Tealium's Digital Velocity show last week in New York, topics of innovation and the future of marketing technology rang throughout the popular Pier 60 at Chelsea Piers. On the second day of the show, I was honored to lead a ‘digital transformation’ roundtable that was packed to capacity with those looking to make sense of this new concept. Like many emerging business concepts, the concept of ‘digital transformation’ is a nebulous topic. You know you are on the bleeding edge if you can't find a single agreed-upon definition, but rather a set of perspectives and opinions.


Despite this lack of a clear definition, one overriding theme is that many people look at digital transformation as something that predominantly exists in the realm of digital marketing; a clear set of tasks to be ticked off one by one with the right mix of technology and elbow grease. As tempting as it is to believe that you are only a few projects away from achieving digital transformation, the reality is that the processes and people involved are in many ways more important than the technology in play.


Having the right mix of technology is a big part of digital transformation, but without organizational agility and the right mix of skill sets the true potential of those tools will never be realized. With this potent mixture, your organization will have the ability to react to disruption and capitalize on opportunities as rapidly as possible.


Disruption & Innovation


In my experience, any time we talk about digital transformation the topic of disruption quickly follows along with the fact that true disruption is through the application of technology, not simply the technology itself. In other words, new technology often gives you an entire sphere of what you could do to achieve success. The real trick is weighing the larger context of your business, existing skill sets, available time and budget, and our longstanding experience and dedicated internal practices, to help our clients focus in on what should be done, so we can all get to work achieving it.


This constantly-evolving nature of the collaboration we have with our clients is one of my favorite aspects of what we do at Stratigent. We were built on the promise of providing immediate access to rare and experienced skillsets to fill existing organizational gaps quickly and efficiently. Combining expertise and agility is no easy task and we take the development of our skills and resources seriously. Our teams are built so that we can adjust to help our clients when they need us, in the way they need us, on their timeframe. There is a logic to how we structure and size teams here. We understand that if a firm is too small or fractured, they don’t have the firepower to bring to bear on client’s needs. Too large and hierarchical, and they lack the teamwork and fluidity needed to stay agile and react to the evolution of client needs over time.

A great case study is our role in disrupting digital marketing through tag management. Along with our leading partners at the forefront of tag management, like Tealium, we have fundamentally altered the landscape of online marketing and continue to innovate the landscape to where we are today. The innovations of today make the early days of simple automated tag deployment look quaint by comparison. Innovations such as Audience Stream help brands connect all of their customer data, creating a single view of customers and the ability to automate actions across every channel, touchpoint and vendor in your entire digital ecosystem - solidifying Tealium’s position as a data fueled, multi-channel, decision engine. Our own innovations solve for the unique needs of modern brands today, helping them tackle some of the most complex integrations and strategic efforts required in this evolving industry. All of these offerings and their tool sets would have been viewed as something akin to digital marketing science fiction not five years ago, and here they stand as the current distillation of our hard won experience on the bleeding edge in the years since. A few of these new solutions were on display at the show; if you missed it, take a look at our Mobile Framework, Full Stack Optimization and Customer Journey offerings.


Making the Impossible Possible


It was a privilege to share some of Stratigent’s experiences of making the impossible possible with our clients and to hear how other customers are addressing the same issues. As I'm known to say, every client we work with faces many of the same internal issues and external pressures, but everyone feels like they are uniquely challenged and alone.


Events like Digital Velocity and the roundtables are refreshing as we are able to talk openly, share our experiences and show that we're all in this together, facing the future with the same mix of uncertainty and excitement. We cannot be sure of where the next disruption will come from. The only guarantee is that things will change, and that as they change, we will be there to help make sense of it all and provide clarity on what will truly transform your organization.


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By David 'DJ' Johnson
About the Author:

David 'DJ' Johnson is the Vice President, Account Development at Stratigent.

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