As we enter 2017, there’s no question that digital transformation has forever changed the way companies do business. Both opportunity and disruption in the form of digital innovation can come from anywhere at any time. A result of the ever changing digital business landscape is the massive shift in buyer expectations unfolding before us. Today’s buyer, whether a business or consumer, is more informed, more savvy and more particular about the brands they choose than ever before. Today’s consumer craves brands that share their values and demonstrate that they understand “me” at a personal level.

As a marketer, there are seemingly limitless digital channels to reach out to your customers, but the challenge is finding out how, when, and why they want to be engaged. Now more than ever, the only way to win the heart and mind of your customer is to consistently deliver authentic and personalized experiences.

The Engagement Economy

The idea behind the “Engagement Economy” is simple but profound—we are living in a new era—a digital future where everyone and everything is connected. The engagement economy embodies the fundamental shift in relationships between buyers and sellers, but extends across entire organizations to include customers, prospects, employees, and partners. The bottom line is that the marketer in this new era must engage with all the stakeholders in a business, not just customer, and deliver an experience with promise. The organizations that do this will win—and those that fail to embrace transformation in the Engagement Economy, aren’t long for this new world.

It feels like a tacit notion, companies that don’t transform risk being outpaced by new, digital “native” brands who can deliver the experiences customers crave. You don’t have to look any further than the textbook example of Blockbuster Video. They had a huge brand presence and thousands of physical locations in the U.S. alone, yet when Netflix was born out of frustration over late fees at a Blockbuster video store, Blockbuster simply couldn’t adapt to the new model of renting videotapes, DVDs, and music. It’s almost comical now to think that a digital company that was little more than a website with a warehouse of DVD’s that they shipped to people in the mail could put a behemoth like Blockbuster out of business, yet within 24 months, Blockbuster was rendered irrelevant. Why? It wasn’t actually because it was simply a better business model, it was because Netflix offered the customer an experience they actually wanted! Fast forward ten years from that scenario and we live in a new era where thousands of digital native companies crop up every year. Think of some of today’s most talked-about brands, who all happen to be digital natives: AirBnB, Uber, etc. We love them because of the experience they provide us, yet neither of them own any real estate or cars.

But not every company is a digital native. In fact, most aren’t. If you’re like the majority of companies out there, you are racing to implement a digital infrastructure that enables you to listen to, learn from, and engage with your customers. So how do you do it?

Drive Wantedness

Success in the Engagement Economy hinges on, well, engagement. Imagine that! Digital transformation, is not about processes, technology, or even sales and marketing—it’s about transforming your organization at its core to create experiences that feel real and human and are founded on trust and care.

In the Engagement Economy, it is all about building personalized, authentic relationships with your customers and driving the idea of wantedness. Wantedness is a really compelling concept based on research by Wunderman, and it’s the degree to which a brand proves their commitment to earning a customers’ business across every touchpoint—across the entire customer journey. In a me-centric world, where consumers expect us, the marketer, to understand and communicate to them when they want, how they want, on the right channel, and at exactly the right moment. Being wanted is essentially the result of driving an authentic buyer experience.

Digital Transformation with Impact

So where do you go when you’re faced with the need, or maybe paranoid fear, to digitally transform your organization to drive wantedness and participate fully in the Engagement Economy?

You find a partner to lead you through the intense, vast, and complex tangle of data and point systems. Not only are market pressures great—from customers and your competition, but so is the internal pressure from leadership, like your CEO. The partner to help you drive an impactful transformation in your organization is a platform that is built from the ground up—one that is, at its core, built to orchestrate end-to-end marketing engagement.

The Marketo Engagement Platform enables marketers to listen to, learn from, and engage with their customers at scale. And scale is critical when you look at how a strong infrastructure can support and surround your customer to drive wantedness. With the scale, reliability and openness of the Marketo Engagement Platform, marketers are able to partner with integrated solutions to deliver orchestrated experiences.

Looking for an example of how partners and customers are thinking about the Engagement Economy? Check out this video:

The Engagement Economy is here. Your partner is here. Now is the time to transform your organization and your marketing to drive success and win the hearts and minds of your customers.