How can your company modernize its digital strategy to be more competitive? That's an excellent question, and I think it's one that not enough CEOs are asking themselves, their boards, or their leadership teams.

Some interesting research came out a little while ago from Forrester, the market research company. They found that 89 percent of CEOs were very well aware that they were at risk of being digitally disrupted in the next 12 months, but only 27 percent of those CEOs had a plan on what to do. Those are pretty grim statistics.

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Modernize Digitally to Compete Effectively

So the question is, what does your company need to do to modernize what it's doing digitally to compete more effectively? First and foremost, it's important to recognize just how much things have changed. Most people, if they're not in some facet of digital, sales, or marketing automation, they don't talk about this enough. But the way people research and make purchase decisions has changed greatly in the last couple of years.

Ever since the iPhone came out in 2007, entire business models have been fueled by people's desire to get exactly what they want, when they want, 100 percent on their own terms. Think about Netflix, Hulu, and the DVR -- also SiriusXM. These are all about people saying, “Enough, stop interrupting me. I'm willing to pay a few bucks to get rid of the crap because it's just annoying.”

I don't know if you've noticed when you get calls from telemarketers on your smartphone, whether it's an iPhone or Android phone, it's now capable of telling you that this is a spam caller. It's warning you not to pick it up. People don't want to be interrupted anymore, and they're taking control of the research process.

Decision-Making Has Changed

Think about how different your behaviors are when you make a decision today on anything, whether it's where you're going on vacation, what kind of car to purchase or lease, getting a new camera, getting a new laptop, looking for a school for your children, what restaurant to go to for dinner.

The way we decide what to buy is so different now. Do you really believe that your buyer personas, your ideal clients, are living in the past and that they don't use smartphones, search engines, or social media? If you believe that's true, I challenge you to do some research and create your buyer personas. It's possible if the ideal buyers for your company are elderly (the eighties or nineties). Even boomers are very strong adopters of digital technology.

So the question is now that most people are not going to be ready to talk to you or your sales team until they're very far along (60 or 70 percent) through their buyer's journey, what is your company doing to be relevant in the first 60 or 70 percent of that buyer's journey? What are you doing actually to get found? Or are you letting your competitors be the ones that get found?

Are you waving the white flag saying your clients don't care about that? Are your clients different?  And they don't use these tools? You're really leaving yourself vulnerable to the competition.

Who does get found? Who does share helpful educational content? Who is seen as a trusted advisor? When that happens, your potential future clients end up in their sales funnel and are nurtured. They're getting educated, and your competitors are building trust with them.

Do you think they're ever coming back to you? If they do, they want you to do it cheaper. That's a really sucky place to be. So what can your company do to ensure that it's able to survive the digital transformation and that it's not disrupted so it can do what it needs to compete?

The Bottom Line

The first thing is to become self-aware of what's happening in the marketplace, where your company stacks up, and recognize that this is war. Search engines, like Google, will only show so many people in the organic search results.

Either you make it to page one, or you’re invisible. If you're using Google AdWords or something similar, there is only so much prime real estate to go around. If you make it to page one on a topic that's important to your business, you're in the consideration set. If not, you're completely invisible.


What are you doing to modernize your digital strategy to stay competitive? Let us know in the comments below.

To learn more about modernizing your digital strategy,  enroll now in our free 7-day eCourse: Go-to-Market Strategy 101 for B2B SaaS Startups and Scaleups.

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