Over the years, businesses re-brand and reposition for relevance and to fit the current zeitgeist.  In the marketing, marketing technology and consulting businesses, the phrase everyone is talking about now is “digital transformation.”  Our clients are consistently discussing it.  Our partners want more of it.  And our competitors are defining – ten different ways.  What everyone knows is, it’s necessary, they want a piece of it and, if they don’t act, they’ll lose competitive advantage.  So, they’re scrambling for it – whatever it is.

So how do we answer the call when clients come asking for digital transformation?  For some companies, it’s as simple as aligning the technology structure and ensuring maximum performance.  Others I’ve spoken with tell me it’s about ensuring that content is fully “digitized” – that is, designed and appearing on every digital platform.  For Boston Digital, the recipe is somewhere in-between.  Our core belief is that while technology is critical, training and creation of mindshare among users across the organization is essential.  In a world where companies have spent huge sums of cash on the technology, there are still failures due, in large part, to poor training and effective expression of the personal upside for the user.  Thus, the biggest obstacle to success in digitizing an organization is the application of the human element.

But there’s another critical factor – the content piping through the machinery.  We’re stuck in an era of ordinary creative, where calls to action and metrics trump the need for plain speaking, emotive creative.  Faced with a sea of information litter, consumers are simply tuning out the barrage of messages and subpar expression.  Which means, regardless of how well you’ve oiled the machinery, you won’t get the preferred results.

For Boston Digital, digital transformation means assessing the performance, training the organization on proper digital behavior, providing proper incentive to drive performance and, along with this change management, building a campaign flow of creative and content that not only resides on digital devices, but speaks to the recipient in ways that will ensure maximum results.  For us, the requirement is to be in and among an organization changing its culture, defining its excellence and leveraging our heritage and knowledge in digital expression to drive transformative results.

Over the past several months, I’ve been in countless meetings where clients are looking exclusively at attribution modeling and comparing results that may actually be subpar not because of the venue, but because of the message.  The result is a comparative analysis of mediocrity, masquerading as accountability.  Our goal for true digital transformation is a holistic model that embraces change and raises the bar on what and how things are measured to ensure real business results. 

Over the coming months and years, we expect the term “digital transformation” to continue being used to describe a myriad of things.  Our goal is to remain at the forefront, challenging conventional wisdom and providing clients competitive advantage through this kind of leading thinking.


Chuck Murphy is the Founder & CEO of Boston Digital, a digital transformation agency based in (you guessed it) Boston.

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