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How SMBs Can Embrace a Digital-First Approach


Small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) can cut costs, improve productivity, and improve customer experience by implementing a digital-first approach. According to a 2019 report from Deloitte, the use of digital tools helped 70% of surveyed SMBs report revenue growth in 2018.

A digital-first approach will elevate your organization from the ground up and create a path for a profitable business. Every process from marketing to finance should adopt digitalization. However, companies often don’t know where to begin. This is an important question before you start: How extensively are digital tools and technologies integrated into our everyday operations and decision-making processes? Here are a few ways to accelerate your organization’s digital transformation efforts.

Building blocks of a digital-first approach 

  1. A customer-centric mindset
    While transforming your processes, don’t forget to keep your customers at the forefront. Understand your customer’s behaviour and pain points to deliver the right service to them. Use in-house data such as surveys, feedback, and online behaviour to gauge your customer’s mindset.

  2. Seamless online presence
    Without a strong online presence, customers might forget your brand. According to Sprout Social, “55% of consumers learn about new brands on social media.” Establish your brand by hosting a website, optimizing your SEO, and creating relevant content on social media. It is important to provide value to your customers through these channels. Building an online presence takes time, but experiment with what’s working in the market and try to put out engaging content that will connect with your customers.

  1. Data-driven decisions
    According to McKinsey Global Institute, companies that rely on data-driven approaches have a significantly higher likelihood, around 23 times, of successfully gaining new customers and nine times more inclined to exceed them in terms of customer loyalty.

    Choosing the right data and metrics plays a huge role in making informed data-driven decisions. So, choose the right software tool to derive the insights. Many employees struggle to analyze and understand data. But, with ManageEngine Analytics Plus, you can access a comprehensive dashboard with all the information you need and add your domain knowledge to make informed decisions.

  1. Automated processes
    The world revolves around automation. According to Harvard Business Review, 90% of surveyed employees reported a boost in their productivity due to the implementation of automation solutions.

    Routine tasks shouldn’t be assigned to employees, instead, these tasks should be automated using powerful IT management tools. For example, it’s nearly impossible for you to check, manage, and oversee patches of all the assets within your SMB. Utilizing a tool like ManageEngine Endpoint Central can greatly simplify the process. This tool automates tasks like software deployment, patch management, app management, IT asset management, device enrollment, and more, streamlining the overall workflow.

Limitations to look out for
There are some challenges to implementing a digital-first approach, such as resistance from the existing workers to adapt to this new change or a lack of understanding of the digital tools. These issues should be solved by educating and training your employees.

Future of SMBs’ digital-first journey
As the whole world is moving towards an increasingly digital-driven world, your SMBs shouldn’t be the ones that are left out. It’s not just about incorporating new technologies; it is a mindset that should be cultivated across the organization. By embracing digitalization, you can boost productivity, reduce costs and improve customer engagement in the long run.

Prarthana Mary

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