The COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses to rapidly adapt to new realities, including remote work, changing customer demands, and disrupted supply chains. Digital transformation has become a defining moment for businesses, as companies are forced to embrace digital technologies to survive and thrive.

We’ll also look at how digital transformation has enabled improved communication and accessibility while highlighting the challenges and unexpected training requirements that come with the new process. It’s important to understand that digital transformation isn’t just about turning technology on and expecting it to work but also about digital security and the future of digital disruption.

We’ll explore the future of digital transformation and provide strategies for unlocking the power of this new reality, building a future-ready business that can thrive in the face of disruption.

A Defining Moment for Businesses

Companies that had previously hesitated to adopt digital technologies were suddenly forced to embrace them to survive. The pandemic highlighted the importance of having digital capabilities to remain competitive and agile in a rapidly changing business environment. The companies that have been able to adapt quickly and leverage digital technologies have thrived despite the pandemic.

In contrast, those slow to adopt digital transformation have needed help to keep up. Digital transformation is no longer a luxury but a business imperative that companies must embrace to stay relevant and competitive in the years to come.

A Journey of Innovation and Disruption

Digital transformation is simply businesses using technology to fundamentally change business operations. Digital transformation can drive innovation and disrupt the industry by enabling organizations to improve operations, streamline processes, and create new business models. By embracing digital transformation, companies can gain a competitive edge in today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape.

From Buzzword to Business Imperative

Digital transformation has become a buzzword, no different than synergy or innovation. However, we believe that digital transformation is more than a trend or fad. This is a business imperative, not a buzzword. Businesses who want to stay competitive must consider digital transformation.
One common myth is that digital transformation is simply about implementing new technologies, but, it’s much more than that. It’s about rethinking business models, processes, and operations to leverage technology to create new customer value and drive innovation. By embracing digital transformation, companies can create disruption in their industries and establish themselves as leaders in a rapidly evolving digital landscape.

Accessibility and Improved Communication

Digital transformation has brought about improved accessibility and communication in the workplace. Previously, in-person meetings and traditional communication channels were relied on to conduct business. However, digital tools and technologies have emerged to allow efficient communication and collaboration from anywhere worldwide.

By investing in digital transformation, you can improve collaboration through video calls, messaging and project management. Improved collaboration allows employees to work remotely and collaborate effectively, improving work-life balance, productivity, and employee satisfaction.
Accessibility also comes to mind when celebrating digital transformation. Through careful planning, organizations have a unique opportunity to revolutionize accessibility and communication in the workplace.

Process Challenges and Unexpected Training Requirements

Digital transformation can be tricky for businesses as they adopt new processes and technologies. They might encounter various difficulties such as reluctance to change, inadequate technical know-how, and difficulty in integrating with existing systems. To make the transition successful, employee training is essential, which can be a significant investment.

We won’t pretend there aren’t significant challenges related to digital transformation. Navigating these challenges can be difficult, but by prioritizing employee training, investing in the necessary resources, and communicating the benefits of digital transformation, you can successfully lead your organization through this transformational change.

Strategy and Planning

Digital transformation is not just about implementing new technology; it requires a strategic and planned approach to ensure success. The initiative leaders need to create a cohesive strategy that includes people, process and technology with a clear plan of how each integrates with the other. You might conduct a tool audit or evaluate your existing communications or guides. Developing your roadmap for how you will execute any digital transformation process is the key to your success.

Without proper planning, it is almost certain that your digital transformation goals will not be met. Digital transformation is a journey, not a one-time project. It requires ongoing evaluation and optimization to drive long-term success.

Security in the Wild

Digital transformation has enabled companies to operate with unprecedented speed and efficiency but has also created new security risks. With an increased reliance on technology and remote work, it has become more critical than ever for organizations to prioritize digital security. From implementing secure communication tools to establishing robust data encryption protocols, companies can use various strategies to protect their digital assets and sensitive data. Maintaining strong digital security practices cannot be overstated as businesses continue to navigate the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Embracing Disruption to Drive Growth and Success

Digital transformation is the future and will revolutionize the way businesses drive growth. Leaders who embrace new technologies and innovations will streamline their operations, deliver superior customer experiences and keep a competitive edge. Beyond improved internal operations, businesses that prioritize digital transformation can gain access to new markets and expand their reach. Those who fail to embrace change will be at risk of falling behind and missing growth targets. Digital transformation means staying ahead of the curve and thriving.

Strategies for Building a Future-Ready Business

As the business landscape evolves, digital transformation is becoming increasingly essential for companies that want to remain competitive and future-ready. However, implementing digital transformation is not always straightforward. To successfully navigate the complex digital transformation process, companies must have a clear strategy. This involves implementing new technologies, restructuring business processes, and changing company culture to embrace the digital mindset.


The COVID-19 pandemic has served as a catalyst for digital transformation in the business world. Companies that take the lessons learned and use them to their advance will accelerate their growth. With the right strategy and team in place to implement, companies can thrive in the face of disruption.

When Josh Fleming joined Bank Iowa as the Vice President of Marketing, he wanted to push the envelope and move away from a traditional approach to bank advertising. He reached out to LIFT, a company specializing in research-based customer and brand experience, for help.

“I would say bringing in an outside partner was the smartest thing we could have done because otherwise, it’s just a new marketing director saying we got to spend all this money here, here, and here.” Fleming explains. “I needed to know for myself where the best place to spend money was.”

LIFT’s brand awareness study of Bank Iowa surveyed customers in every county the company serves. The results were insightful. “The good news is the people that knew of Bank Iowa absolutely loved us, they thought we were trustworthy, loyal, skilled. The bad news was only 9% of the people in the counties we served knew who we were,” Fleming recalls.

This positioned the bank with a unique opportunity to build awareness through ongoing measuring and monitoring. Its media plans are specifically structured to promote the brand primarily through radio and television, with some traditional print advertising as well.

Fleming says when you’re trying to elevate the brand and measure it, “it has a domino effect because everybody at the bank knows that we’re trying to build brand awareness.” He adds the benefit of this approach is that it’s hard to argue with data. “If you have data to back up your assumptions in what you want to do, it makes it pretty easy to kind of give a head nod to move forward.”

The research LIFT provides has produced numbers that prove the marketing approach is effective. “It’s really hard to say that we ran this radio spot and 10 people opened accounts, we can’t really do that.” But that’s where the data comes in. Fleming can show brand awareness has increased somewhere between 15- 20% over the last five years. “We’ve been able to do that with a dedicated marketing plan, and data that shows this is actually working.”

Up to this point, Bank Iowa’s primary approach has been building brand awareness. Fleming says now that they have their message figured out, which was done through a lot of research and data collecting to get to a brand position, “it’s time to go a bit more granular”.

Fleming says they are looking at ways to move the needle more specifically. “To be able to say we’re going to run this digital campaign, we expect it to generate 110 accounts within the next three months. And here’s how we’re going to track it,” he explains.

Bank Iowa is based in Des Moines, Iowa, and serves some 40,000 customers.

Turnover reduces by 50% when employees have access to a remote work option.

It is hard for employers to ignore the costs associated with employee turnover. The average cost of replacing an hourly employee is reportedly $1,500, according to PeopleKeep. But for technical positions, it’s 100% to 150% of their salary. And for C-level positions, the cost is a whopping 213% of their salary!

That is a lot of money to spend on hires who may or may not stick around. A Pew Research Center survey found overall, about four million workers switched jobs each month on average from January to March 2022. This translates into an annual turnover of 30% of workers or nearly 50 million.

Add to this that one in five workers says they are likely to look for a new job in the next six months, and the potential cost to their employers is high considering up to 20% of the current workforce could exit at any time.

There is a solution. Can some or all the positions your company offers be done remotely or with a more flexible hybrid model? If the answer is yes, then it’s worth pursuing. Turnover goes down 50% when employees have a remote work option, according to a report by Zippia. One out of five workers asked were even willing to give up vacation time in exchange for virtual work opportunities.

As of last year, some 26% of employees in the United States are now working remotely. That is four times more than pre-pandemic levels. With employees looking for flexibility and employers looking to attract and retain top talent, there is no doubt remote work is here to stay.

By Tara Thomas-Gettman

After spending decades of my life in an office, at least during the work week and an occasional weekend, I can confirm the rumors are true: Working remotely makes you happier.

Two words define that for me—stress reduction. At least when you are working virtually you not only separate yourself from that co-worker or boss you’d rather avoid, but you can also literally never see them unless it’s over a computer where potentially turning off your camera means you’ll never have to look them in the eye.

But that sounds like a negative spin on avoiding the office. The glass half-full take is switching from in-person to remote or hybrid work means you’ll likely be a happier employee. Research backs this up. 1,000 remote and hybrid employees in the United States were polled by Ergotron. A whopping 75% said they have a better work-life balance not being there in-person—at least full-time.

The happy part is not backed up here by any scientific evidence. It’s coming from my personal experience of dreading the Monday morning get ready rush and race out the door to drive to work. When you work from home, as I have for the past year-and-a-half, the time you gain back is invaluable; no longer wasted on long commutes to and from the office, lunch meetings or meetings at off-site locations or, let’s be honest, venting sessions in the break room or behind someone’s office door.

75% of employees believe they have a better work-life balance while working remotely

The key is to strike a healthy balance, so you don’t end up in a professional virtual meeting with a messy bun and sweatshirt or seated for eight hours straight in your basement to the point of muscle atrophy.

If you are a remote worker failing to, well, find your happy place outside the office or someone who wants to make the shift to virtual work, check out our How to Rock Remote Work course on Udemy for the best practices you can employ today to ensure the experience is fulfilling.

If you work in an office, stop and consider how much time each day you commit to getting ready, driving there, walking to your desk then spend throughout your day having side conversations with co-workers and leisurely strolls to the restroom or break room. Not to mention, the time it takes for a lunch break if you take one and then the return trip home.

The bottom line is collectively you waste a lot of time working in person that you can harness more productively if your commute is from your bedroom to your home office. Just the getting ready part is minimized because you only need to change out of your pajamas if you have an on-camera virtual meeting, and with the right lighting you really don’t need a lot of make-up to look presentable on your web cam. So, for the make-up wearers among us, you just saved yourself a lot of face prep time!

Research backs this up. In a study of 800 employees, Human Resources and workplace benefits consulting firm Mercer found that 94% of companies said their employees were just as or even more productive working remotely compared to working from the office.

But why? One word: flexibility. According to a report by Future Forum, employees with full schedule flexibility report nearly 30% higher productivity and a 53% greater ability to focus than workers with a fixed schedule. It makes sense. Some of us are night owls and can accomplish a lot more when the kids are asleep and we’re not getting pinged by co-workers. Others, the early risers, can hammer out a lot first thing when they are bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in contrast to the afternoon hours.

If time is money, then a lot more of it is potentially being wasted by an in-person workforce that is doing nothing wrong per se. They are simply following the social norms in a professional setting that call for a lot of chit-chat or exchange of pleasantries, unannounced or unexpected office drop-ins and travel to and from meetings—both on foot or by car—that can all be avoided for the most part when working remotely.

Customer Success is a fairly new field that’s grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years. Companies are seeing the benefits of Customer Success at other organizations, like reducing churn and increasing Net Recurring Revenue, and want that success for themselves. Customer Success, once thought of as a luxury or nice to have, is quickly becoming essential to a company’s ability to win over and maintain strong relationships with its customers.

But what constitutes effective onboarding? What are the best practices that will help your company achieve success?

  1. Set realistic goals for onboarding: Before beginning the onboarding process, it’s important to establish objectives and expectations so that everyone involved is on the same page. The customer should understand what success looks like, and you should have a plan of how to get there.
  2. Establish a timeline: Determine an appropriate time frame for onboarding, as this will help guide the customer and keep them on track. Having a timeline also makes it easier to diagnose any issues that may arise during onboarding and address them quickly.
  3. Dedicate resources: Make sure you have dedicated personnel with the appropriate skillsets to handle all aspects of onboarding, from technical implementation to customer service and marketing.
  4. Utilize automation: Automation can save time and effort when onboarding customers, so use it wherever possible to streamline processes and make them more efficient.
  5. Measure success: Establish metrics that will help you measure the success of your onboarding process and identify areas for improvement.

Check out our Customer Success Foundations: Onboarding Best Practices →

How much brand love do you inspire?

How to measure brand loyalty

Are you considering a risk within your marketing approach? Bold, attention-getting moves can reap big rewards. But, before you leap, there is one very important aspect of your brand health you have to consider – Loyalty.

Brand loyalty is a factor every marketer wants to understand better. That’s because high loyalty translates to firmly-implanted customers. Brand-loyal customers often describe themselves through the lens of their favorite brand (e.g., “I’m an Apple person.”) They also tend to stick with their preferred brands for the long term. It’s no wonder “brand love” has become something of a buzzphrase.

LIFT data scientists look at more than blind loyalty when measuring the Loyalty factor, one of four factors that ultimately roll into the Brand Experience Index. They also look at consideration or how likely someone is to give your brand a chance. Our research measures various levels of loyalty, from whether someone is likely to at least consider your offerings to the possibility they will choose your brand regardless of other moderating factors.
Industry considerations

Brand loyalty is strongly influenced by industry verticals. Financial services customers, for instance, tend to be more entrenched, partly because of perceptions that switching providers is burdensome and not worth the effort. They tend to remain loyal customers unless or until they feel a brand has wronged them in some way.

In the software industry, on the other hand, customers are less inclined to stick with one brand. Competition is high, and new entrants to the software marketplaces often work incredibly hard to make changing providers a simple experience. Software brands are always looking to gain an edge on the competition, capitalizing on better pricing, features and service offerings.

Regardless of the industry, no company is insulated from the threat of customers taking their business elsewhere. All brands are well-served by efforts that make their customers feel valued and appreciated.

Risk assessments

So, back to that bold, perhaps even risky, marketing strategy. Your success – or the impact of your failure – can be largely influenced by the loyalty of your target audience.

Consider Nike and an infamous campaign. The company’s leadership probably had a very good pulse on Nike’s target segment’s social attitudes and loyalty levels before launching promotional content that featured Colin Kaepernick’s controversial protests. While the strategy certainly alienated some consumers, polling after the ads were released showed nearly a third of its target demographic said they would buy more Nike products.

Pepsi came under intense criticism after an ad featuring Kendall Jenner was viewed as insensitive and tone-deaf. Pepsi ended up pulling the ad amidst the public relations fiasco. But, during an earnings call the following quarter, the company reported an increase in its revenue and profits. In this case, existing customers’ loyalty may have been strong enough to weather the storm. Despite possible disapproval of the ad, loyalists stuck with their preferences, and buying habits ultimately weren’t negatively impacted.

Employee experience is the combination of an employee’s perceptions and interactions with their organization, from when they first learn about the organization until they leave (or retire). A positive culture can lead to increased engagement and productivity, whereas a negative experience can result in disengagement and turnover. Therefore, it is important for organizations to create a positive and data-driven employee experience.

Clarity of expectations and consistent processes are essential for creating a positive work environment. Employees should know what is expected of them, and they should be able to rely on their leaders to provide clear guidance. Furthermore, the process by which employees are onboarded, developed, and promoted should be fair and transparent.

Data also plays an important role in shaping your business. Organizations can identify areas where the experience can be improved by studying employee engagement data. For example, if surveys reveal that employees are unhappy with their clarity of expectations, leadership can work to improve communication channels. In short, organizations can create a more engaged and productive workforce by taking a data-driven approach to their culture.

The different aspects of employee experience

Employee perception is a critical aspect of any business. It encompasses everything from the initial recruitment process to the day-to-day working environment and can significantly impact employee satisfaction and productivity. Ultimately, a positive employee experience leads to a more engaged and loyal workforce, which can help to drive business success. Many factors contribute to employee experience, but some of the most important include company culture, work/life balance, and career development opportunities. Creating a positive employee experience requires focusing on all of these elements, which all businesses should strive for.

How to improve

Employee experience is critical to the success of any organization. Engaged employees are more productive, have better attendance, and are more likely to stay with the company. So how can you improve the employee experience? First, start by creating a positive culture. This means promoting a healthy work-life balance, valuing employee input, and providing opportunities for professional development. You should also provide employees with the resources they need to succeed in their roles. This includes everything from adequate training to the latest technology. Finally, make sure to show your appreciation for a job well done. Recognizing employee achievements helps to create a motivated and engaged workforce. These simple tips can improve employee experience and create a more successful organization.

The benefits of improving

Improving corporate culture is a hot topic in the business world today. And for good reason – studies have shown that improving employee experience can lead to increased productivity, engagement, and retention. But what exactly is employee experience? It encompasses everything from the physical environment in which employees work, to the systems and processes they use, to the way they are treated by their managers. In short, it’s about creating a workplace that meets the needs of employees and makes them feel valued. When employees feel supported and engaged, they are more likely to be productive and innovative. They are also more likely to stick around, saving the company money in the long run. Creating a great work environment is not only good for employees, but it’s also good for business.

How to measure the success of your efforts

Setting measurable goals that align with your company’s overall mission is important. This will help you track progress and gauge the success of your efforts. You can use a few key metrics to measure the success of your employee experience improvement efforts.

First, look at engagement levels. This can be done through surveys or other feedback mechanisms. Are employees more engaged than they were before? Are they taking advantage of new opportunities and benefits?

Next, look at retention rates. Are employees sticking around longer? Finally, look at productivity levels. Have employees become more productive since you changed the workplace environment or introduced new perks and programs? You’ll get a clear picture of your efforts’ impact on employee experience by tracking these metrics.

Major players make the effort to improve

Many companies are realizing the importance of improving the employee experience. A great employee experience can lead to increased productivity, higher retention rates, and a better bottom line.

Here are three companies that have successfully improved:

1. Google: Google has long been known as a great place to work. The company offers free food and on-site child care, providing employees ample opportunities to grow and develop their skills. In recent years, Google has also made a concerted effort to improve its employee experience by implementing policies that promote work-life balance.

2. Amazon: Amazon is another company that strongly emphasizes improvement. The online retailer offers several benefits to its workers, including competitive salaries, comprehensive health insurance, and stock options. In addition, Amazon has created many programs to help employees develop their skills and advance their careers.

3. Pixar: Pixar is a different kind of company than Google or Amazon, but it has also successfully improved its company culture. The animated film studio is known for its creative and collaborative culture. Employees are free to be creative and experiment with new ideas.

These companies have reaped rewards in increased productivity, engagement, and retention by investing in their employees.

Employee experience is a term you will hear more and more in the coming years.

It encompasses all aspects of an employee’s relationship with their employer, from recruitment to retirement. And it’s become increasingly important because companies are starting to realize that happy employees lead to better business outcomes. Start by working on your employee experience to improve your company’s performance.

If you’re ready to measure and pinpoint your opportunities to improve, check out our Employee Experience Index.

Is your brand top-of-mind with your target audiences?

Salesforce engaged our data scientists to research the brand experience of several solutions within the software company’s automated marketing product suite.

When it comes to customer relationship management (CRM) software, Salesforce is a highly recognizable name. Yet, there were still a few surprises for our team when they reviewed the results of a 900-person target audience survey regarding Salesforce’s marketing solutions.

Most notably, we received 900 different answers from the respondents.
It became clear that the crowded marketing automation software field was causing brand recognition issues for the company. Although had built a strong CRM brand, the target audience demonstrated little association between Salesforce products and marketing discipline.

Defining Recognition in Brand Experience

Recognition, one of the four key attributes factored into the LIFT Brand Experience Index, measures name recognition but also looks more deeply at the top-of-mind connections your target audience makes between your products and your industry.

This is critically important to brands, especially those operating in a crowded market. That’s because strong recognition helps your brand bypass the competition in the minds of your target audience. Instead of searching “marketing software” and sifting through thousands of results, Salesforce wants prospective customers to search Pardot, one of the product brands in its automated marketing product suite, so they can go directly to the website to gather information.

When our data scientists are analyzing a brand’s recognition attribute within a BXi study, they’re checking to see how likely it is for a member of the target audience to name the client brand through unaided recall.

Recently, we conducted a sample Brand Experience Index in retail using household giants Walmart, Target, and Amazon. (We conduct mass market tests like this frequently to train our machine learning algorithms on brand health analysis.) In this particular sample assessment, more than half the population of shoppers named Walmart unaided when asked to name a retailer. Obviously, these are results every company in a competitive field would find desirable.

The Brand Experience Index for Salesforce identified key issues for the company’s marketing team to address. This provided valuable guidance to develop a concerted marketing, branding, and communications strategy that strongly focused on search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.

Using the Brand Experience Index as a diagnostic tool proves extremely helpful even when a company recognizes a general problem. Pinpointing the root causes or market nuances can be difficult in those cases. The Brand Health Score reveals those details.

Working from home has become a popular option, but it’s challenging. In this post, we’ll explore the benefits and challenges of working from home so you can decide if it’s the right choice for you.

WFH Challenges

While there are many benefits to working from home, there are also some challenges that come with it, including:

  1. Loneliness – When you work from home, you can sometimes feel isolated and lonely because you’re not around other people during the day.
  2. Distractions at home – Many distractions at home, such as children, spouses, pets, etc., make it difficult to focus on work.
  3. Limited resources – When you’re working from home, you may not have access to the same resources that you would in an office setting.
  4. Lack of motivation – It can be hard to stay motivated when you’re working alone without anyone else holding you accountable.
  5. Unpredictable hours – If you’re working from home, your hours may be less predictable than when working in an office setting.
  6. No separation between work and personal life – It can be hard to draw a line between your personal life and your business when they happen in the same place.

The remote work revolution is upon us. More and more businesses are embracing the benefits of letting their employees work from home, and the trend shows no signs of slowing down. If you’re a business professional, entrepreneur, or organizational leader, it’s time to learn how to work from home successfully. This course will teach you everything you need to know about remote work, from setting up your home office to staying productive and connected. You’ll also learn about the future of work and how remote work can help you stay ahead of the curve.

Check out our How To Rock Remote Work Course →