Tackling Digital Transformation – Inside and Out

Zeta Global at DX Summit 2018
Blog Contributors: Tia Matsumoto & Caroline Droessler

Last month, the fifth annual DX Digital Summit took place in Chicago and the theme was Digital Transformation. All of the fantastic content presented and Zeta’s belief in a holistic approach to experience-driven commerce convinces us that it is clear that Digital Transformation must happen across the entire eco-system of a brand if it is to be successful. We’d like to share some of the incredible insights revealed during the Summit and translate them into a dichotomy of considerations for both inside your organization and outside, or customer-facing.

Brian Solis, Principal Analyst at Altimeter @ Prophet, spoke about The Rise of the Assistance Economy. As a look back on some of the essential takeaways from this event, we’ve compiled a summary inclusive of powerful insights – these insights can serve as a reference point on how to lead a successful transformation moving into 2019.

Zeta Global + DX Summit 2018


The idea of transforming the ways in which marketers gain insight and empathy to craft a relationship that better meets the needs of their consumers is a concept worthy of closer evaluation. You’ve likely heard about this buzzing concept of Digital Transformation before. Your brand may even be in the midst of evolution and yet you may hold a unique perspective on what it means. Aligning an organization-wide plan for an internal shift in design to better serve your customers is critical to your brand’s digital transformation.

There are three significant tools to consider for this important transition: mapping components of success, change management, and digital governance.

Zeta Global + DX Summit 2018

True Digital Transformation will not likely be an easy path for most brands, but industry indicators suggest it will be necessary for all.


Building on your internal foundation, you can bring simplicity and value to customers by creating an experience that is tailored to their needs, creating true engagement.

Once the organization is aligned and prepared internally the serious business of presenting your brand and messaging from the customers’ perspective begins. Here, too, there is a dichotomy to consider.

This time, it’s one of determining the roles of AI and humans. In his workshop around the brain science behind online behavior, Tom Shapiro, Founder & CEO of Stratabeat, identified AI’s role as, “taking on the collecting and computing of data so that we can focus on the human aspects of experience and emotion.”

Although we will undoubtedly face future challenges as we learn how to collaborate human vs. Machine Learned information and recommendations, for now, humans are still responsible for evaluating the power of our messaging and should focus on three drivers: emotions, repetition and the recipients’ “cognitive load.” An effective method for developing impactful messaging that hits on all three of these vital drivers is one of storytelling.

Cinny Little, a Senior Analyst from Forrester, describes the need for storytelling as, “What’s missing is the bridge from the data to the emotional engagement that actually drives decisions, we drive that emotion through storytelling.” Now consider a recommendation engine that’s powered by AI, perhaps they identify the right products for a customer, but without a reason why the customer should buy them, it may not feel relevant – they may not convert  It’s on us as marketers to build color into these stories, to understand our customers’ needs and provide solutions that give ease and value back to them.  Gerald Zaltman, a professor from Harvard Business School highlighted another interesting insight: 95% of a purchase decision is based on the subconscious.  So how do we connect with a customer’s true wants? We can see, track, and predict their behavior, we know they’re engaged – and now we can provide a service to the consumer by creating a connected experience through their journey with your brand.

Here are “The 5-Steps of the Forrester Playbook for Storytelling:”

  • A reason for your audience to care
  • Characters to care about
  • A problem that needs solving
  • Acceleration and deceleration
  • A conclusion appropriate to the story

Marrying the internal infrastructure with the outer, expected customer-facing experiences is an enormous challenge. By putting people at the center of your brand’s work, you’re more likely to drive actions from data to insights. Take a step outside of today’s processes and give your brand the chance to explore what it will take to develop new customer relationships in Experience-Driven Commerce.

Zeta Global + DX Summit 2018

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