posted by Brian Johnson
Digital transformation is a much discussed buzzword that is often misunderstood. Long gone are the days where a digital transformation meant having a way to purchase online or having social media presence build into your brand image.
These days, a digital transformation means a variety of things. Every business operation within your brand must be digitized. Customer service may be aided with the addition of an AI bot in your app or website, billing may be digitized and automated, your marketing and communications are personalized through data. The options are endless.
In this day in age, and in every industry, brands must consider ways to digitize every aspect of their business. Media companies need to put their content online, promote relevant content to their audiences most interested, and utilize data to find new customers while keeping their current ones happy. Retail must find a way to promote their products to those in the market and not waste ad spend on blanketed advertising. Financial companies must offer online options for banking and trading. The list goes on for virtually every industry.
In media, digitally native companies like Netflix and Hulu are the gold-star standard. These companies were born online, utilize data for customer personalization better than anyone, and have been beloved for it. They have set the premise that customers want a digital experience with a brand catered to their likes and interests.
Traditional brands must replicate their digitization in order to see continued growth and success in the new digital world. Offering personalized experiences in a digital landscape increases many KPIs across business function, whether that is increased customer engagement for marketing or increased revenue for sales.
Take a look at Disney+, Disney’s recent push into the streaming world and undergoing a digital transformation of their own. In recent history, their content was licensed to competitors such as Netflix. But now, Disney has retaken control of their own content in order to launch Disney+.
Disney+ has had instant success. It was recently reported that Disney+ revenue in its first month of release eclipsed $20 million. The app has already signed up 24 million subscribers. The power of Disney+ has been immediate and they’re already competitive with the likes of Netflix.
It goes to show that traditional brands still have significant power behind their brand. This shouldn’t be surprising. Disney may not have been borne online but they have about 100 years of history of content. Customers love Disney and that’s showcased through the passion that goes into each of their channels—Disney’s animated films, television, parks, Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar, you name it, Disney has a huge impact and customers feel passionate about their many brands.
Now all those brands in one streaming platform, a hundred years of content with many of the best performing films of all time—that gets noticed. Even if they weren’t originated online, they are able to enter a new market with full force and the attention of millions.
And that is the type of digital transformation that many traditional brands are capable of. Using their immense amount of brand power can bring a brand into the 21st century’s digital landscape and compete with the disruptors that have been changing industries.
Steps that Disney can take further would be to further their personalization as they continue with digital transformation. Now that they have ownership of the digital content and landscape, they have access to powerful data. What viewers are watching, genres and shows they love and give up on, tells a story. Using the data to tell a story and make personalized recommendations for each viewer would be an excellent way to heighten Disney’s power on the platform.
And it doesn’t just have to be a queue within the platform, but could be personalized messages through mobile and digital marketing, which ad content is delivered to each viewer, the list goes on.
Disney+ has instantly launched itself into the streaming wars, hitting the ground running instead of limping their way in. Traditional brands must see Disney as the leader in digital transformation, and following in their footsteps is one of the best ways to remain relevant and to continue growing.
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