Failure to fully use digital tools threatens business success

The digital economy has a staggering projected value of $1.8trillion for 2015 alone with digital interaction predicted to grow 21 per cent year on year thereafter. Yet the results of a recent study show that many organisations are not using their digital tools to greatest effect

Specialist digital market consultancy UltiMARsystems have announced the results of their latest study into how businesses are using digital, with conclusive results highlighting the rate at which emerging threats are becoming a reality.

The Digital Diagnostic study focused primarily on the implementation of digital marketing in businesses, looking at the degree of impact ‘digital’ has on businesses. Not only did the results highlight the current level of implementation across the board, but more importantly exposed the level of understanding of how that implementation can affect the bottom line.

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The research was led by digital specialist at UltiMARsystems, Edward Nugent who says: “Due to the ubiquity of internet access, digital today represents the single greatest opportunity for most businesses. We are in the midst of a paradigm shift that can be compared to the impact of the introduction of computers in businesses not so many years ago. However based on the results of our study there is a large digital divide between those that know what to do to make the most of digital and those that do not, however most if not all understand its importance.” 

The study covered all aspect of implementing digital in a business and one of the biggest gaps identified is in how websites are implemented. The focus is still on cosmetics rather than supporting the business – a risky focus given that the web is increasingly the starting point for most customers. The report also highlighted that digital technology has a far wider reaching influence on physical sales than most business owners understand with as many 80 – 90 per cent of retail sales being influenced by digital factors.

Furthermore of those businesses that do understand the relative importance of digital technology in their marketplace, only a small fraction use that understanding by taking action within their business to harness the power of digital.

However, the report does in fact also highlight a number of positives to come out of the study, such as the growing number of companies recognising the need to future proof with digital technology. Additionally, the rate at which implementation is occurring is also steadily increasing but a lot of it in the wrong direction with resulting wasted resources and opportunities. 

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