As you might have noticed, our special GRAPH EXPO/ARMA 2015 issue represents the sometimes-contentious marriage of two worlds—print and digital. While they’re not necessarily the yin to each other’s yang, it seems, for now at least, they will have to live with each other. So, where does that leave you? Since 2008, organizations have settled into a cost-cutting approach, powering the push towards electronic adoption as never before. Evolving customer demands and disruptive technologies as well have left an impression on organizations that can’t keep up—business agility seems like a “do or die” proposition these days.

Yet, is the market changing right before our eyes again, or is it that it has never been a one-option strategy? IDC reports that in their early projections of two industry segments, there is “significant growth in the number of companies producing most, or all, of their customer communications in print.” When I originally read IDC Research Director Terry Frazier’s latest analysis, it made me raise my eyebrows. Now, make no mistake, your digital transformation strategies and your ability to change quickly in the face of disruptive technologies is a competitive differentiator. However, as Mr. Frazier points out, “Companies now appear more focused on giving the customer what he or she wants rather than simply cutting costs.” Therein lies the real takeaway. True and effective customer experiences and the relationships we maintain with our customers is not one size fits all—and neither should your strategy, no matter if it’s digital transformation, information governance or customer communications.

Point in case, Matt Swain, a director for InfoTrends, reports that paperless adoption has stalled, but organizations continue to have aggressive adoption goals. Why is there such a gap in the reality of where we are and where organizations want to be? The fact is that we cannot approach the problem with the same strategy as if it’s “business as usual.” According to Mr. Swain, “Achieving significant growth in adoption rates for delivery of transactional communications will require transformative approaches to the business problem.” Yes, yes it will.

However, as we all know, some of biggest hurdles to true transformation are culture and change management. Unless you are the chief executive officer reading this, pushing change upwards can be a losing battle. So, what can you do then? When you are thinking about your strategy or program, can you articulate exactly what the business impacts will be? One of the biggest questions I hear all the time is, “How can we get high-level sponsorship?” One of the most important things to think about is the company’s priorities. Think outside of your current strategy and really evaluate if you know whether your proposal meets a practical business objective.

There are a lot of competing strategies within an organization, but the one that really targets the end goal is the one that will prove its worth. These days, it’s about the customer experience—it’s a proven fact that it is tied directly to your profit margins. I have talked about organizational alignment in the past, but what this boils down to is how you communicate across the stakeholders in the various departments and how you tie these elements to meet your customer experiences will be the launching pad for success.

I always love to talk to my readers on how they are transforming, so reach out and let me know how you are approaching these strategies.

Until next time,

Allison

Allison Lloyd serves as the editor of DOCUMENT Strategy Media. She delivers thought leadership on strategic and plan-based solutions for managing the entire document, communication and information process. Contact her at allison.l@rbpub.com or follow her on Twitter @DOCUMENTmedia.

 

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