You’ve probably heard about many digital solutions for your company and were puzzled by digital terminology that still confuses you. There are many reasons why your business needs digital training. In this article, you’ll find out what digital skills mean, how vital they are, and how far your business can benefit from them.
Why Your Business Needs Digital Training: The Digital Transformation
If you’re born before 2000, you probably understand how technology has dramatically transformed the world we live in because you’ve witnessed that digital transformation.
Everything has become digitised and machine interaction is taking over human interaction. From a sociological viewpoint, this definitely has pros and cons. But, how has this affected the world of business? Has it made things better or worse?
Statistics that Matter in the Digital Transformation
Let’s look at some numbers and facts to better understand the major role technology plays in business today, and the problems businesses are facing during the digital transformation:
- 81% of customers conduct online research before making a purchase.
- 70% of the buyer’s journey is complete before they reach out to a sales rep.
- 76% of marketers think that marketing has changed more in the past two years than in the past fifty.
- 52% of senior executives cite a lack of familiarity with technology to be a barrier to digital transformation.
- Meantime, 32% of senior marketing leaders in emerging markets think their company will become known as a digital business in five years.
Why Your Business Needs Digital Training: Digital Knowledge Gap in the Market
So, where does the problem come from? While most businesses agree that the digital transformation is the big thing going on right now across all sectors, most employees and senior executives lack the required skills to actually transform.
There is a genuine fear of a digital skills gap created by the boom in the digital economy versus the number of people who are trained to work in it. Specifically, the UK needs 750,000 more people with digital skills to capitalise on jobs that could boost the UK economy by 12 billion pounds.
Digital disruption is the worst nightmare for many CEOs. We’ve all seen how huge organisations and industries have completely faded out and/or were replaced by digital alternatives such as Netflix, Amazon, and Uber.
This shouldn’t be scary, on the contrary, it represents a huge opportunity of growth if companies and employees are willing to adapt to change.
Automation VS the Gap
Automation is the fear that, due to the digital skills gap, employers will utilise automated technology in order to fill this gap. In other words, replacing humans with machines. What makes this fear valid is that historically speaking, there were many cases where technology replaced human jobs.
So, if the digital transformation has huge potential, and there’s a lack of skilled employees with digital expertise, one can easily point out the answers to the question of why your business needs digital training.
What Exactly Is a Digital Training?
Many overlook this question when talking about that digital knowledge gap. What exactly are those digital skills? Does it refer to digital marketing, coding, or mastering Microsoft Office programs? Which level of skills are these businesses looking for?
The American Library Association Digital literacy is “the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills.”
Obviously, this definition is both broad and vague at the same time. Some experts even stay away from it, preferring to speak more specifically about the particular skills needed in a particular field.
In the modern workplace, it’s almost impossible to identify the set of digital skills needed to land any job. Therefore, when speaking about why your business needs digital training, you need to point out which set of skills your field needs. It could start with answering emails, accessing the company’s files on the cloud system, such as Google Drive or Dropbox, and it could end up with writing a website’s code. Some jobs require Excel proficiency while others don’t require Excel use at all.
Which Jobs Need Digital Training?
Of course, all IT related jobs need digital training as it’s a core function of their jobs. HTML5, MongoDB, iOS, Android, and Mobile App are among the fastest-growing keywords found in job postings.
Sales and Customer Service
Apart from that, those who work in marketing, customer service, sales, retail, writing, and management are all required to learn different digital skills in order to up their game in the market.
For instance, customer service and sales agent need to be familiar with CRM systems. Some companies even list previous experience with a particular advanced CRM as a plus in their job posting. Sales and customer service agents also need to be contacting new prospects and clients through a different digital medium, so they must be familiar with those basic digital skills.
Writers, on the other hand, now do most of their work, including proofreading and editing, on digital applications, either on the cloud or offline. In addition, if you’re writing for a website or an online blog, your writers need to be aware of SEO techniques and some graphic design basics.
That’s why your business needs digital training if you’re in that industry.
Meanwhile, in the marketing field, digital marketing is becoming increasingly important every year. Chief Marketing Officers predict that digital budgets will account for more than 75% of the marketing budget, and mobile will account for more than 50% of the marketing budget.
Therefore, marketing specialists who do not have any digital expertise will be completely outdated. If you own a marketing consultancy or agency, that explains why your business needs digital training.
Another skill that also benefits different jobs is data visualisation. In fact, some people take up data visualisation as their career. Data visualisation is a way to help people understand the significance of data by placing it in a visual context (turn spreadsheets or reports into charts and graphs that can be easily understood).
Think of this role as a bridge between technical and non-technical roles. You’re taking the data collected by analysts and transforming it into a form anyone can understand. This could be beneficial for employees from different backgrounds such as finance, marketing, sales, etc.
Why Your Business Needs Digital Training: Cost Efficiency
The first reason why your business needs digital training is that it reduces your company’s expenses. Perhaps you wonder, how is that? Well, cost reduction is seen from different perspectives here.
Digital Training to Reduce Additional Hires
The first perspective is that due to the scarcity of digitally skilled applicants, it usually costs a lot to hire one.
So, instead of hiring a new employee, why don’t you invest in one of your in-house employees? You’d be surprised at how many of your employees would be interested to learn new skills. Some of them would even welcome a career shift if they were offered the proper training.
In other words, you’ll be paying money for your employees’ digital training to save money, so it’s a two-birds-one-stone strategy.
Digital Tools to Save Money
The second perspective is that once the training is over, you can now invest in new digital tools that’ll also make your business process faster and more efficient by decreasing the error rate.
Organisations that offer comprehensive training have 218% higher income per employee than those with less comprehensive training. The previously mentioned examples such as cloud services, CRMs, and teleconferencing via the Internet save companies a lot of their resources.
Digital Marketing to Drive Revenue
The last perspective is that engaging with digital tools can actually drive revenue. Digitising your marketing and sales departments would empower your employees by opening up an extra channel where they can reach out to potential customers.
Why Your Business Needs Digital Training: Increased Productivity
Many businesses fail to see that employees often have their career and personal development as one of their highest priorities. Therefore, when a company invests in its employees’ personal development, it immediately increases the productivity of its employees.
Employees feel stimulated and their motivation to dedicate time to their learning helps them reduce wasted working time. So, their overall productivity increases.
In addition, when employees can apply what they have just learned immediately and see the results, they feel accomplished. Thus, increased productivity is a good reason why your business needs digital training.
Why Your Business Needs Digital Training: Increased Retention
According to the American Management Association, the cost of hiring and training a new employee is between 25 to 200% of annual compensation, so skills training can cut costs by improving employee turnover.
As employees feel motivated and appreciated, their loyalty to the company they work for becomes stronger. Employees appreciate that their company’s investment in them adds value and weight to their own professional resume. That makes employees want to pay forward that value by investing in the same company that invested in them. For that reason, you can use higher retention rate as a reason why your business needs digital training.
Why Your Business Needs Digital Training: Competitive Edge
Digital transformation is an enabler to success; it’s no longer a luxury but a fundamental competitive edge to remain relevant to customer needs. Even the biggest brands realise that their digital platforms are the future.
Adidas, for instance, is a trailblazer in digital and online marketing. The Adidas website is a key part of a platform through which the brand can offer premium, connected, and personalised experiences.
“We ensure that our work in digital is aligned with our core belief: Through sports, we have the power to change lives. We realised that digital is the best way to enable this through the relationship we can create with consumers,” says Joseph Godsey, SVP- Supply Chain Management of Adidas North America.
Despite that, only 25% of businesses in the UK and 40% in Ireland feel digitally engaged, and the general consensus among employees is that the pace of technological and digital change is too slow.
Therefore, your business can still tag along and embrace the digital age by becoming a part of it. To achieve that, you need to start by giving your employees the right tools and training to have that digital competitive edge.
Why Your Business Needs Digital Training: Barriers
So, perhaps you wonder, if digital transformation is so rewarding, why do many businesses hold back?
There are also barriers to digital transformation. You may not be surprised to know now that not having enough people with digital skills is on top of these barriers. Comes in second place, a lack of sufficient understanding of what digital transformation is and who can assist with the process.
Moreover, there are many companies that struggle with financial support for digital tools. Finally, there’s also a lack of risk-taking innovation within the organisation’s culture. So, if you look at those top four barriers, you’ll find that two of them are the consequences of a lack of digital knowledge. It’s either lack of digital skills or lack of understanding its potential.
That gives you one more reason why your business needs digital training. A powerfully-skilled and well-equipped team will distinguish your customer experience and therefore, distinguish your name in the market.
Strategies that Your Business Must Leverage During the Digital Training
Now, you understand that there are multiple reasons why your business needs digital training. However, there’s one thing that one should highlight. Some people get so impressed by those digital abilities, they start thinking that “digital” is a magic wand that would solve all their business problems. That’s not true. While adopting new digital tools, you must also adopt new perspectives.
The mentioned development of new competencies revolves around the capacities to be more agile, people-oriented, innovative, customer-centric, streamlined, efficient and able to induce opportunities to change the status quo and tap into new information- and service-driven revenues. Without aligning these values, your same old business problems will become friends with your new digital tools.
In other words, your team’s fresh perspective and their innovative, go-get-it attitude are what create solutions for your business problems through digital technology.
Tools that Help Your Business Become Agile
You’ve probably heard about chatbots. Customer service is one of the most important touchpoints for every brand.
However, customer service could be a very frustrating touchpoint for many brands due to lack of consistency across multiple customer service representatives. That’s because representatives are humans after all. Most customers have generic questions that can be solved by using natural language processing or AI, or even by putting a smart algorithm in place. That doesn’t eliminate human interaction, though. Chatbots only help the process become more efficient. It saves time and money.
Chatbots direct your customers to the answers they need without wasting your representative’s time answering basic question. In cases where further human assistance is required, your representatives are called to save the day. Acquire is a tool that is simple, yet very efficient when it comes to customer service management.
Besides chatbots, they offer features such as video and voice calls, co-browsing, and live-chat. The tool also offers time tracking for your agents to monitor the quality of their work, as well as the conversations they handle.
Their annual billing is 40$ per agent, per month.
Accounting is a headache for many businesses, isn’t it? Surely, hiring an accounting specialist costs a lot, especially for small companies. For that reason, it continues to be something that small business owners need to worry about. For that reason, many software tools were built to make this a little easier. However, these software tools are either out of the league for small companies or merely inefficient.
That’s where Zipbooks comes to the rescue. Zipbooks provides one solution for invoicing, accounting, billing, and expenses. It makes tracking payments a breeze and, most importantly, it’s affordable.
Its base package, which provides unlimited invoicing, is free! Zipbooks has four distinct offerings: Starter; Smarter; Sophisticated; and Services, which offers a wide range of services that depend on the requirements of each individual business.
Managing a team with a long list of tasks while keeping everyone aligned is an overwhelming task on its own. Therefore, Trello is a great tool that works as a to-do list for the whole team including managers and team leaders.
Trello gives you the flexibility to customise your own list and make the most out of the tracking process in a user-friendly way.
While Trello is free for individuals, it offers two premium packages for businesses. One of them is for 9.99$ per user per month paid annually. The other is for 20.83$ per user per month for 200 users. For bigger enterprises, those with more than 200 users, prices are lower.
See Also: Project Management Tools
At any point, if you’re thinking about email marketing, MailChimp is a great tool for creating emails, newsletters, or any sort of email communication.
In fact, if you haven’t considered email marketing before, you definitely should. 81% of SMBs still rely on email as their primary customer acquisition channel, and 80% for retention. It proved itself to be an effective marketing channel. If you run a business relevant to e-commerce, or if you use a blog or create content, email marketing would be a great tool for increasing traffic and building long term relationships with your clients.
MailChimp also provides analytics that’ll help you better understand your audience and measure your results through click-through rates, open rates, etc. They offer their services for free for basic features. You can upgrade for additional features through three different packages: Essentials, Standard, Premium, starting from ten dollars up to 300$ per month; depending on your needs.
Slack is one of the most popular tools for business communication across different teams. Huge enterprises such as BBC, IBM, Lyft, and The Sunday Times are using the application.
Slack is really friendly and makes work communication way more fun for your team. One can admit that communicating through emails the whole time could get mundane and they make conversations sound too official. Sometimes, teams need to organise work and plan projects in a more casual manner.
Slack also tailors specific solutions for every department from engineering and IT to human resources and project management. With Slack, your entire staff is always on the same page, and nobody’s ever left out of the conversation.
Slack offers its amazing services for free for small teams, and for an unlimited time. If your team grows, you can still upgrade for Standard or Plus. Their prices are also quite affordable, they range from 6.6$ to 12.5$ per user per month.
They say there is no such thing as a free lunch. Google Drive proves that saying wrong.
Cloud services are one of the basic business requirements nowadays. If you’re not sure what a cloud is, it’s like an online, private storage for all your data. Through that private storage, each member of your team can access data, modify it, share it, and it’ll be saved automatically so, it’s continuously updated.
The cloud replaces the old way of sharing files through emails, a flash drive, or an old-school CD. There are many companies which offer cloud services for money, however, Google Drive offers it for free.
Why Your Business Needs Digital Training: Where to Find It
Of course, there are tons of digital skills that your staff can acquire. For every skill, you will find many courses that you can apply to; either online or in class.
Sources for online courses are platforms such as Coursera, Lynda, LinkedIn for business, Udemy, and many other universities that offer online education. Here are recommended posts for some of the digital skills mentioned earlier:
Data Visualisation for All on edX is a free course offered by Trinity College Faculty. It covers learning how to design interactive charts and customised maps for a website using Google Sheets, Tableau, Highcharts, Carto, and Leaflet.
The course would enable your team to really create lively data representations using charts, pies, and infographs that’ll keep your audience engaged while presenting boring numbers and stats.
Search engine optimisation and search engine marketing usually go hand in hand. Digital marketers, writers, editors, and journalists all need to understand SEO and SEM. It helps them understand what they need to do in order to drive more traffic and readers through SEO techniques.
Companies even look for SEO specialists so your team members can even consider it as a career.
SEO Training Course on by Moz on Udemy covers SEO strategy development, keyword research basics, on-page SEO fundamentals, link building. It’s a free course and it’s a comprehensive introduction to everything you need to know about SEO.
Graphic design is a really interesting field that every brand needs to create its visual presence, whether offline and online. That makes it a highly demanded skill in the market.
In addition, graphic design is a fun job that has room for creativity, art, and exploration. Therefore, those of your employees who are inclined towards art will find it compelling.
There are many courses which offer graphic design training on Coursera; different institutes such as the University of Colorado Boulder and CALARTS. There are also more courses on Udemy that you can check here.
WordPress is a popular content management system, one that many businesses use to build their websites and/or blogs. Its popularity is due to its ease of use and its efficiency.
So, if you’re thinking of a reason why your business needs digital training, building your own website is a good reason. Udemy offers a Complete WordPress Training for Beginners for 20 dollars. It also offers a Complete WordPress Website Business Course for 150 dollars.
Learners don’t need to have previous coding experience with HTML or CSS to begin, but it certainly helps if they do. Your current employees can quickly take on this new skill and you can have your website up and running.
See Also: Digital Marketing Course
Case Studies of Digital Training Done Right
So, these inspirational, successful digital transformations act as additional reasons why your business needs digital training:
Start-Up: Ignition Law
Ignition Law is a fast-growing UK startup that dared to disrupt the traditional legal scene. The legal sector has a reputation for its shiny offices and long appointments that also cost an arm and a leg. For that reason, Ignition Law thought digital.
They offer high-quality legal services at a fraction of the cost by setting up as a cloud-based business. It uses web-based collaboration tools to enable remote and flexible working for all its lawyers.
That has attracted a particular segment of lawyers who had a busy schedule and couldn’t commit to a full time job, for example working mothers. It also attracted clients who are looking for ways to cut down legal costs, mostly startups themselves.
With prices 50-60% lower than traditional legal services, Ignition Law was able to grow 200 clients in less than a year.
Large Business: Domino’s Pizza
In 2009, Domino’s pizza hit rock bottom. Their pizza was terrible and in a US survey, they ranked last for taste preference. That motivated them to overhaul their brand.
They recognised the digital transformation importance early on start with a customer-focused strategy. After reconsidering their ingredients and improving the quality of their pizzas, Domino’s differentiated themselves with “quick response” through online platforms.
Domino’s was one of the first large chains to introduce online ordering, it made sure that whether customer orders through the website or through their app, the customer wouldn’t spend more than 10 seconds to place the order. Moreover, Domino’s was one of the first to invent an order tracker to mitigate customer’s impatience resulting from hunger.
Additionally, relying on accurate location data analysis, Domino’s found out that all grab and go kiosks and other fast-food providers have lots of traffic and there’s no strong provider for Pizza, so they decided to deliver to 150,000 hotspots to a customer without having an actual physical address.
Today, just over 60 percent of Domino’s orders are now digital and around 10 percent are walk-ins.
Why Your Business Needs Digital Training: Word to the Wise
Perhaps a decade ago, people would say that digital is the future. By now, you probably know that the answer to why your business needs digital training is: digital is already happening. It will only continue to grow.
Digital training would empower your employees by increasing their productivity and adding to their value. It gives your business a competitive edge and allows you to save time and money by reducing your error rate.
There are many sources for finding digital training for your employees, whether you choose to go for offline or online classes.
Lastly, you must always remember that your digital transformation should align with the entirety of your business strategy and values. If you allow digital training to be a tool that pushes your brand forward, your transformation will be successful and your return on investment would be remarkable.