As Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) lead growth initiatives designed to take their organizations into the digital era, professional services providers rooted in marketing services and traditional business consulting are aggressively expanding their brands to prove that they can help the CMO get digital transformation initiatives off the ground.
Gartner analyst Richard Fouts takes a look at the current and future direction of the market for digital transformation consulting services.
The rise of digital marketing gives the marketing services sector permission to play in the business transformation space. The traditional players, strategic advisory organizations with industry, management, and analytical skills, that have dominated the business consulting space for years are also very well entrenched in the space. But the big players from marketing services are heating up the competition.
Demand for these services is quickly moving beyond media, retail and financial services; sectors facing obvious disruption. Growth from all sectors is accelerating as opportunities emerge from go-to-market innovation, the Internet of Everything and business models becoming software.
Today’s surge in demand is coming from pressures to automate the front office, opening the doors to the marketing services sector even wider, especially those with known track records in strategic marketing, creative services and user experience (UX) design. The demand for skilled UX professionals, those with deep cognitive, mobile and gamification skills, will continue to grow due to a plethora of front office transformation initiatives.
Another big shift in modern transformation is the influence of today’s youth. The current generation is more computer savvy, more wired and more socially networked than any demographic in history. As a result, this generation’s expectations of work and entertainment are completely different than those that came before them. Savvy executives realize that the experience demanded by tomorrow’s business leaders won’t be shared unless it’s subtly integrated into a brand story that creates a positive outcome worth talking about.
Gartner offers recommendations when shopping for transformational consultants:
Know Your Business Before You Transform It - In a world where transformation is happening fast, providers know they must bring industry knowledge to every engagement. But that doesn’t mean abdicating knowledge of the business to the consultants. CMOs should develop their own scenarios of how they see their customer experience changing before engaging the experts.
Test the Transformation Consultants Skills Before Signing – CMOs should not to sign an agreement until the skills of the firm’s best transformation consultants have been tested, as evidenced through references and interactive, pre-engagement working sessions. Take envisioned scenarios to the providers under a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) and ask for validation and critique. Experience their thinking and methodology first hand, before signing the contract.”
Prepare to Commit - , Money spent on digital transformation consulting services will get little return if some risks are not taken. CMOs should have vice presidents of marketing in place to focus on current revenue while they tackle the organizational upheavals that accompany transformational initiatives.
Additional information on digital transformation consultants can be found in the report “Leverage Digital Transformation Consultants to Adapt to the Digital Age.” The report can be found on Gartner’s website at http://www.gartner.com/resId=2580120.
Mr. Fouts will provide additional insight into telling your story in the digital age at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2013 taking place October 6-10 in Orlando, Florida.
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