Organizations serious about wanting to not only survive but also thrive in the rapidly evolving technology and geopolitical landscapes must methodically adapt, pivot, and transform. Pivoting the fundamental business models is becoming the marching order of today, and must involve integrated transformations across product, process, team, and messaging.

Below are a few pointers on how this transformation can occur in an orderly fashion. These insights stem from my experiences as a Digital Transformation consultant, both in the digital space and in the day-to-day challenges working with clients.

  • Product: Siloed and business unit-based product lines need to evolve towards an integrated account-based solution offering to the marketplace, where the power of pricing leverage and customer satisfaction can be optimized.
  • Process: Matrixed and complex sales approval processes should gravitate towards agile and nimble decisions. Hierarchical frictions can hinder go-to-market strategy and, ultimately, sales and profitability.
  • Team: Siloed functional management units need to be reorganized as cross-functional teams with trusted partnerships across product, technology, digital, sales, marketing, and business unit heads. This realignment will result in greater team cohesiveness across the entire organization, providing greater speed and leverage in execution across all functions.
  • Messaging: Organizations continued to be burdened with fragmented marketing messages across multiple channels, causing significant confusion in the marketplace, especially around core value propositions and brand equity. The focus needs to shift towards unified marketing with consistent messaging that essentially promotes the greatest customer benefits.

The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) can play an integral role in effecting the digital transformation for tomorrow’s successful organizations. The successful CMO will do an extensive listening tour across the organization to determine gaps in core platforms. Once completed, they can then outline three strategic choices to pursue a comprehensive transformation:

  • Focus on the core strategy of selling existing products. This decision will require alignment across other organizational functions for an optimal path forward.
  • Sell subscription-based solutions that leverage data over discrete product units without clear visibility or predictability. Subscription or SaaS solution sales can result in highly repeatable, recurring, and/or reoccurring revenue benefits for the organization.
  • Transform product-based structures into service-based platforms, also known as PaaS (Platform as a Sales). Again, this strategy could have magnificent benefits for the organization in terms of customer satisfaction and pricing power.

The board chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) should balance their time and effort on internal organizational needs with many complex developments in the broader global community. Following are some critical areas of focus for a successful organizational transformation:

  • Generative AI
  • Green technology
  • Empathy
  • Geopolitics
  • Macroeconomy
  • Compassionate Capitalism

Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts to navigating the complex challenges facing global organizations today. However, a methodical approach that aligns product, people, process, and technology can infuse a certain level of logic into the transformation journey. The role of C- suite leaders, especially the chairman, CEO, and CMO is critical for the success of any such transformation initiatives.

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