The impact of digital transformation on business communications
Business communications are in the crosshairs of digital transformation, because customers who are already functioning in a digital world expect to be able to communicate that way. This change is growing to include communications with suppliers and staff. So digital transformation directly affects both internal and external business communications.
We see a divide between traditional businesses and businesses that started after the digital age was heralded in. Actually, the latter have already developed digital communications to meet the expectations of their target audiences. The reason for this is that they have the necessary tools and don’t need to deal with legacy systems, as do traditional businesses.
Here’s an overview of the impact of digital transformation on communications for traditional businesses.
Paper communications and outbound mail: toward a greater level of automation
Paper communications in traditional businesses still rely on manual processes. The printing of outbound mail goes through a company’s internal services and is not centralized. Mail is inserted manually and is error-prone. So the process takes longer.
One way to modernize this process is to automate the various mail management tasks. The ideal solution is to outsource those tasks to print and mail service providers. By doing so, traditional businesses can take advantage of digital features without having to change all of their current systems.
Internal communications: digital and multichannel
For years, businesses have been sending internal communications to their employees. One of the first forms of internal communication was the printed magazine, which was later replaced by email newsletters, intranet, and online articles with photos.
But that is no longer enough today. Employees still want to stay abreast of what is going on in the workplace— yet that’s not all. They want to know the company’s vision and positioning, and they crave knowledge of its products and updates, as well as its policy decisions. Employees also want to be heard. Therefore, communication has to be a two-way street.
Employees also want access to information at any time of the day and from anywhere, even on their smartphone or tablet. To accommodate them, traditional businesses must establish a digital, multichannel internal communications strategy. According to SmartInsights, internal communications departments all use digital communications and spend more than half of their budget on it. This includes social media, blogs, webinars, videos and tutorials.
External communications are getting even more personalized
External communications are being digitized in the business world, but not just that. They are becoming multichannel in order to provide a better experience for users and to earn their loyalty. The same goes for suppliers: by interacting with them digitally, time can be saved on tasks such as processing orders.
Lastly, in terms of external communications, digital transformation has certainly upped the level of personalization. Customers and suppliers alike are no longer satisfied with automated generic emails. They expect interactivity with specific offers and personalized promotions. They also like the speed of communication. That’s why businesses are very active on social media. Basically, they want to actively manage the demands.
Digital transformation has really shaken up communication practices among traditional businesses. These businesses are not on an equal footing with those that were founded in the digital age, and they must adapt gradually while dealing with their legacy systems. There are many aspects other than communication that differentiate traditional and digital business practices. Download our infographic or visit our website to learn more!