In an era where it seems we can’t have a conversation without the word ‘digital,’ what does it really take to transform your brand – without sacrificing customer experience or leaving behind your team members in the process?

During a recent Virtual Roundtable, Michael Lacorazza, Head of Integrated Marketing at Wells Fargo, and Andrew Miller, VP of Global Corporate Marketing at Aon shared examples of how they led effective internal and external transformation within their brands, never losing site of the motivation behind it all: impacting people’s lives in valuable ways.

Remember that Digital is a Channel, Not a Strategy

“Digital is [thankfully] more than dot-com. We define it as web, mobile and social…We are creating microsites that highlight our team, appeal to different audiences and answer that question of ‘Who is Aon?’ It’s a frugal way to add depth to who we are and keep the conversations going,” said Miller.

A lot of marketers and brands get stuck before they even begin, wondering where to start – search, CRM, tech, etc. – the options are seemingly endless. But Miller and Lacorazza reminded their fellow marketers to simply start by going where your customers are – and make sure you have something relevant to say while you’re there.

Today’s consumers are comfortable with living online (and expect everything to be instantaneously accessible via phone or laptop). They want more virtual services and more self-service. However, to be effective, these things should complement – not replace – the services that built your base of loyal customers to begin with. Digital needs to be balanced with rich personalized services and physical spaces – especially in industries that are a slower to transform, such as finance, healthcare and B2B.

“Mobile is the great connector here – [it allows] our digital experience to co-exist in both of these spaces. Some of the new ATM technology can completely replace a bank teller, but we still have people there because customers want a human interaction,” said Lacorazza.

Even then, customers will be sitting in line checking their online balance while waiting to speak to a teller.

Lead Transformation by Starting Great Conversations

What makes digital such a powerful channel, is its ability to connect people and spark conversations. And it’s quality – not quantity – that drives engagement.

Miller recommended formalizing your brand’s marketing and shifting resources toward creating content. Start by engaging your team members, helping them build relationships and they will instinctively engage others – be it during customer service moments or by leveraging their own online network to continue the conversation. His content team creates stories around Aon’s six core capabilities, staying true to brand values. Then, they focus their time on packaging everything according to daily and weekly schedules so that it can be handed off to team members in a plug-and-play way.

“Spoon-feed people quality content and they will use the technology,” said Miller.

Don’t Be Passive About Implementation

All too often you’ll see or hear of a brand that has dedicated the resources to put a new initiative in place, just to see no one use it. Both Miller and Lacorazza highlighted that a successful digital transformation isn’t a one-and-done thing. It requires active listening, re-evaluating metrics based on antiquated ideal frequencies and understanding the synergies of each moving part.

Externally, this means keeping marketing aligned with general business strategies and following your customer’s behaviors. Internally, a colleague engagement survey can be done to check the pulse of the company, guiding you on what’s working, and what still needs to transform.

“We sometimes have to force the transformation by really showing our people the value of using these tools to share and connect,” said Miller. “We don’t use paper anything anymore. In meetings, they have to pull out the app on their phone or iPad. If they don’t have an iPad, we get them one. We have someone on site to teach them how to use it and proactively drive behaviors in an impactful way.”