How to Unlock Digital Transformation Success Through Promotion

You need your organization—and the people in it—to change in order for your digital transformation journey to succeed. Change is hard, so when it happens, you need to make sure that everyone in your organization knows it’s happening and why. But if marketing isn’t your professional background, how do you go about successfully promoting your successes?

Organizations need more than just technology to drive digital transformation – you need a solid practice!

Up until now, the Mendix Digital Execution Practice consisted of four pillars, also known as the 4Ps:

Over the years, we’ve learned that one of the key ingredients for the successful adoption of our Mendix platform at any organization is through communication of that low-code vision and the value it brings to digital transformation. Without that promotion, the successes go unnoticed, and the value of using low-code is open to question.

Why IT departments face problems with promotion

The struggle is real

So, let’s dive a little bit deeper into why the topic of promotion is a challenge for IT teams. Let’s start with the more obvious reason: you are an IT leader, and your team is filled with brilliant and analytical minds. However, chances are few of them are professional marketers. And trust me, I understand – I was the same (more on that later!).

Larger companies are more likely to have their own internal marketing department, but if your company does not, you’ve had to figure out:

  1. That you need to talk about your low-code visions and successes
  2. How to talk about it effectively, and
  3. How and where to connect with your community and stakeholders.

But let’s say you do have your own marketing team, or you’ve worked out how and where to communicate your success, but that big success that you are waiting to celebrate is gonna take some time because you are migrating a large legacy system (cheers to that by the way!)? To keep people engaged with your digital transformation in the meantime, it is crucial that you come up with a strategy and portfolio of smaller initiatives so you can have those intermittent smaller successes to continue the momentum.

Check out our Portfolio Management tool

Finally, a reason that IT departments at times struggle with effective promotion is due to turnover. So you, or someone on your team, may have inherited Mendix from the person who made the decision to start using it. Is it clear to you why that decision was made in the first place? And what the original goals were?

If not, it will be incredibly difficult to effectively incorporate promotion into what you are doing and, even more importantly, to come up with your own new goals for the next phase of your digital transformation.

Whatever the reason, if you are not promoting your low-code vision and successes the right way (or at all), this will hurt you and your transformation program in the long run, potentially including the ability to finance your initiative.

Exploring the components of the 5th P: Promotion

Enough with those gloomy thoughts, though! Now that you see the value in using promotion as part of your internal strategy, here are six ways to use promotion to further your digital transformation journey.

Shaping and communicating your low-code vision

Establish a clear and compelling vision for low-code implementation. Strategize how to effectively communicate the vision to your stakeholders.

Stakeholder management

Identify, engage, and align stakeholders with your digital transformation goals. For example, attach yourself to the biggest problem/align with company key initiatives, talk about ROI, understand the business, and involve them for the best outcomes in portfolio and requirements.

Communicating the value of your low-code implementation

You need to articulate the value proposition of low-code implementation and the resulting application landscape upfront. Measure and convey the obtained benefits to both internal and external audiences. My recent article is a good starting point for doing that!

Internal PR

Internal PR is more than just talking about your realized value, it’s about getting your entire organization excited about what you are doing. The promotion of Mendix takes various forms, including experience days, hackathons, newsletters, internal roadshows, and more.

Community building

Communities, both internal and external, will help and contribute to/with change management initiatives within an organization. They are also powerful means to surface new ideas, foster collaboration, and share stories.

Celebrating success

It is so important to acknowledge your achievements and milestones. Celebrating success will have a hugely positive effect on your team’s morale and the visibility and long-term success of your digital transformation journey. So, plan ahead for regular and varied celebrations!

My personal promotion journey

As I mentioned before, my background is not in marketing. In fact, when I was still a high coder, all I wanted to do was build my software and move on to the next puzzle!

When I joined Mendix, I gradually grew into the role of a promoter. At first, it was by getting new Mendix employees and customers excited about the journey they were about to embark on through my technical Mendix development training.

Then, when I joined the App Factory as an App Delivery Manager, I supported our Business Product Owners in every aspect of their role – including internal PR. I also made sure to highlight the achievements of our development teams by celebrating their successes loudly, even promoting the amazing content they published in the Mendix Marketplace. It made our App Factory one of the most sought-after teams to collaborate with!

During my time as Head of Global People & Culture Technology and Operations, I ideated and oversaw the development of our Mendix-built suite of Employee Experience applications: mPath. Through managing my executive stakeholders, which I did by delivering regular updates, value reports, and achievements, I was able to secure the support of our CEO, Tim Srock, and CPO, Lara Pyko. This, in turn, led to them promoting mPath with the Siemens core leadership team, where I got to demo it to some pretty important people, and we even got nominated for a prestigious Siemens award!

Driving digital success through promotion

So, yes. You and your IT team may not be trained promoters. Or maybe you are, but you just don’t know where to start. Either way, the 5th P, promotion, is going to be your guide to getting it right!

Over the coming months, we will release additional content around promotion to help you and your team overcome the promotion struggle once and for all. Subscribe to stay in the loop!