In this episode of The Marketing Smarts Live Show, guest Jill Roberson, VP of digital marketing at digital agency Velir, and host George B. Thomas discuss the importance of adopting a digital evolution mindset.

What does that mean, exactly?

It refers to not just integrating new technologies but, rather, evolving with them to meet the changing demands of the market.

Jill emphasizes that digital evolution, as the term implies, is an ongoing process, requiring businesses to be continually agile, adaptable, and innovative.

The journey of digital evolution comes with its set of challenges, of course. George and Jill shed light on those hurdles, providing insights on how businesses can navigate through them.

They stress the need for a strategic approach, focusing on long-term goals while being flexible enough to adapt to new trends and technologies.

This episode is a treasure trove of information for marketers looking to thrive in a digitally driven world. The discussion revolves around practical approaches and actionable steps that businesses can take to stay relevant and competitive.

Watch the video for a host of useful insights:

Make sure you don't miss any future episodes: Subscribe to the Marketing Smarts Live Show on YouTube. And to catch up on all previous episodes, check out the full playlist on YouTube.

Episode Details, Guest Information, and Referenced Links

Episode No. 60

Guest's social media profiles:

MarketingProfs resources referenced in the show:

"In B2B News" article referenced in the show:

"From the #mpb2b Community" links referenced in the show:


Transcript: The Shift From Digital Transformation to Digital Evolution, With Jill Roberson

Hello to all my Marketing Smarts Live viewers today. I'm super excited to bring you EPISODE 60 of the Marketing Smarts Live show.

This week's topic is all about The Shift From Digital Transformation to Digital Evolution.

So, if you're ready to get your learn on, buckle up and let's get ready to rock and roll.

Hey, I'm your boy George B. Thomas, speaker, trainer, catalyst, and host of this here show, the Marketing Smarts Live show, as well as the Marketing Smarts podcast found on your favorite podcast app.

Our guest clips today are brought to you by none other than Jill Roberson.

Jill Roberson is an award-winning digital marketer with expertise in omnichannel marketing strategies, testing, personalization, and maximizing marketing technology investments.

As VP of digital marketing at Velir, Jill oversees its marketing program and practice, which are dedicated to crafting and implementing digital marketing strategies to drive engagement and loyalty with target audiences.

Previously, Jill served as the senior director of product marketing at Sitecore, where she was responsible for bringing products from concept to commercialization, as well as being a thought leader for the role digital experiences play in marketing programs to create connections and build relationships with target audiences.

Now, remember the clips of Jill Roberson today are pulled from the full Marketing Smarts podcast episode, and if you want to listen to the full interview with Jill Roberson and myself, make sure to tune into the Marketing Smarts podcast, link to the full show will be in the description below after the live show ends.

Now, in this episode, again, I'm talking with Jill Roberson about The Shift From Digital Transformation to Digital Evolution.

In this first clip, I wanted to get Jill's thoughts on any templates, hacks, tips or tricks, to help you as B2B marketers be able to lean into this digital shift into evolution.

Here's what she had to say when I asked her, Jill what are some templates, hacks, tip, tricks, or knowledge the Marketing Smarts audience needs to know about today's topic?


Jill: I wouldn't say there's a template out there. That would make it almost too easy. It's still a big initiative and a big undertaking even to evolve versus transform. I think when it comes to tips and tricks around it, the first is to leave your ego at the door. A lot of times when we're thinking about marketing efforts or looking at operational processes, things like that, people hold it so close to the chest and they take it personally.

I think we always have to be open to the idea that there could be a better way to do stuff. Yes, it might be uncomfortable at first, but at the end of the day, we have to ground ourselves and what our business is trying to achieve and the benefit that an organization or a business is delivering to their consumers. Focus on that. Focus on the end user beneficiaries of this evolution.

I think the first tip is to leave the ego at the door. Digital evolution is not personal. It's something that has to happen to respond to market trends and shifts in the way that everybody is interacting nowadays. I think that's the first tip.

The second tip is also kind of going back to a myth as well. Technology is not going to solve all of the problems. You can't just purchase something, get it implemented, and all of a sudden everything is magically fixed. I would say the tip here is technology helps to facilitate, but ultimately we still need to incorporate and take into consideration the people aspect of evolution. Thinking about how it's going to change our day to day, how we use technology and the digitization of processes to our benefit, how we best leverage them. I think that's the second tip.

The third is to involve multiple stakeholders. A lot of times things like digital evolution will stem from either IT or marketing, or a combination thereof. Ultimately, that evolution is something that should impact the entire business, so making sure to break down silos of conversation around evolution is going to make sure that you're taking into consideration all of the input as part of this process and not leaving anyone outside in the cold. I think that also helps to get buy-in for these changes that are going to be made, so making sure that you're bringing diverse opinions to the table when you start the process of evolution, but also as you go through it.


Did you hear that?

Evolving to transforming is a big initiative.

Leave your ego at the door!

Don't take it personally.

Have a mindset of collaboration!

Focus on the end user!

Realize technology is not going to be your silver bullet.

At least, that's what I heard!

What was your big takeaway from this first clip from Jill Roberson?

Put the answer to that question in the chat pane or let me know on Twitter using the hashtag #mpb2b and, of course, tag me using @georgebthomas.

We'll get back to Jill Roberson and her thoughts on The Shift From Digital Transformation to Digital Evolution, But first, I have to ask...

Are you part of the MarketingProfs community? If not, become part of the MarketingProfs community by heading over to - That's

Now, it's time for one of my favorite sections...

In The B2B News - Where we talk about breaking B2B news or really important tips we find on the Google news tab related to you and your B2B business. This week, the title is...

How B2B Marketers Can Tap Into Out-of-Home Transit Advertising by Nikita Sherbina

Transit advertising refers to an out-of-home (OOH) marketing strategy via a channel that consists of various modes of public transportation.

Because millions of people commute to work daily, transit advertising provides a unique opportunity to capture the attention of a captive audience consisting of a diverse range of people and showcase your brand and products or services.

In fact, transit advertising increases brand awareness up to 89% among commuters.

Want to learn the Five Benefits of Transit Advertising? Well, to read this article, check out the link below when the live show is over.

So, let's get back to Jill Roberson and her Marketing Smarts podcast episode.

Next, I wanted to as Jill what would get in the way of the Marketing Smarts listeners and the viewers of the Marketing Smarts live show.

So, I asked her, what hurdles have you seen historically get in the way of B2B marketers when it comes to evolving vs. transforming their digital strategies?

Here's what she wanted you to know.


Jill: We talked about the fact that a lot of digital transformation projects fail. That being said, it's still a thing. So, I think one of the biggest hurdles is actually just convincing people of the fact that it's evolution versus transformation.

People get so jazzed about transformation, "Oh my god, we're going to transform. Let's throw a bunch of resources and a bunch of money at this project. In two years, we're going to celebrate, we're going to pop the champagne." It's getting people out of that mindset.

I wouldn't say digital evolution is super new, but it definitely hasn't been engrained in our brains the way transformation has, so I think the biggest hurdle is just getting buy-in on the fact that we're not just going to do this once. This is constant work. It's like diet and exercise. You want to have a good regimen of that so that you can stay active and stay healthy. It's the same thing. Convincing people that they need to think about the business and the evolution and how it's going to change consistently I think is a big hurdle, a mental hurdle for people to get through to even get these projects off the ground.

Then I think once you take that first step and you're able to show results of a change, of an evolution, much more quickly than you could with transformation, then I think everyone starts coming over those hurdles with you, and now you're really running the race, for lack of a better analogy.


Did you hear that?

A big hurdle is just convincing people of the fact that it's evolution vs. transformation.

Make sure you get buy-in that from this day forward, it will be constant work and consistent interaction and iterations over time.

Get through that mental hurdle first!

We will get back to Jill Roberson in a few minutes, but first, it's time for some...

Dope B2B Learnings From The Vault of MarketingProfs Articles

That's right, it's time to dig into the treasure trove of valuable information and pull out two pieces of gold to help you be a better B2B marketer.

Article one this week is: Digital Transformation: How to Keep Your Progress on Track by Sitecore

As the Web takes an even more central role in social interactions, commerce, and professional collaboration, more organizations are hastening the progress of their digital transformation to meet the needs of remote workers and homebound customers.

In the short term, brands are looking to immediately and competently support their employees and customers with the experiences, content, and services they require. In the long term, they're eager to ensure their digital infrastructure is never again underprepared for change.

Article two this week is: Approaching Digital Transformation With a Marketing Mindset by Leena Iyar

Digital transformation efforts are often siloed in IT departments, but marketers should play a critical role in their companies' moves toward digital maturity.

Face-to-face relationships are at a halt and in-person events are canceled for the near future, so B2B marketers must find new ways to relate to and engage with their customers. Hyper-personalized B2C engagement tactics are seeping into the B2B realm, as social media and email marketing are no longer enough to deliver compelling user experiences.

Buyers now expect highly interactive, human exchanges—whether in-person or digital—across every touchpoint.

Want to keep learning more? If so, check the links in the description below after the live show to get access to both amazing MarketingProfs articles.

OK, back to Jill Roberson... Let's dive back into this conversation of The Shift From Digital Transformation to Digital Evolution

In this clip, I wanted to give you the Marketing Smarts listeners and viewers, a peek into what success looks like pertaining to shifting from digital transformation to digital evolution.

So I asked Jill the simple but powerful question: how do we know we have hit the bullseye? What does digital evolution look like?

Here are her thoughts.


Jill: Very similar to the fact that digital evolution looks different for every organization, I think success is going to look different, too. In my mind, success of getting to that digital evolution nirvana is getting your team into a constant state of evaluating what is being done, not just sitting back with our feet up on our desks saying, "We're good for a year or two, we don't have to worry about anything, what we have in place is perfect."

I think success really looks like a constant evaluation of what is being built, both internally for operations, but also what is being delivered in terms of how the business is being presented. I think that really is a point of success. Again, no one is comfortable exactly where they are. Things can still feel good and we're still hitting metrics, but there's almost always this desire to understand what's next. The constant asking of the question, "What's next? What more can we do?" I think when people get to that point, then you've really hit this great stride of digital evolution.

I think another way to measure success is we talk about for evolution you want to take a long-term road map and break it up into smaller milestones, so having realistic metrics assigned to those milestones, and as you're checking those off, I think that indicates success as well.

I would caveat that with any learning is a success. If an organization is going through evolution and is making change, if they're learning something about a better way to do something internally or a better way to engage their audience, then the evolution is succeeding that way, too, because we're continuously learning and evolving based on those learnings. To me, anytime you're learning, it's successful.


Did you hear that?

It's going to look different for every organization.

Getting your team into a constant state of what's being done!

Realizing nothing is perfect and what can "we make" better.

We feel good and are hitting metrics, but we're asking ourselves, what's next?

Evolution is a long-term road map!

And I love this!! Any learning is a success.

We're going to get some words of wisdom from Jill Roberson here in a few minutes but right now, it's time to turn the spotlight on you, the MarketingProfs community. Yep, time for...

From The #MPB2B Community

We searched far and wide in the #MPB2B universe to find amazing information and conversation to bring to the masses.

So, first, make sure you are using the hashtag, and second, make sure you have fun and add value to the community.

Then, we'll spotlight you or your crew on the show. This week, it's...

MarketingProfs on LinkedIn!

The message goes a little something like this...

Happy Birthday to our Webinar Producer

?? Robin Carr ??

You've seen Robin's work in action when you've attended our free marketing training webinars. (And if you haven't attended any? Get on our email list ASAP!)

Robyn just returned from her 35th cruise—that's a great way to celebrate!

Thank you Robin for the awesome work you do for our marketing audience.


?? Happy Birthday! ??


#mpb2b #marketing #b2b #b2bmarketing #birthday

But you need to check out the description and click that link to go wish Robin a happy belated birthday!

Marketing Smarts viewer, I have to ask... are you going to be next to get the spotlight?

Remember, community, use the hashtag #mpb2b on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter and get the light shined on your awesomeness in the next episode or a future episode of the Marketing Smarts Live show!

Pro-tip: it won't hurt if you tag me in your post as well; I'm @georgebthomas on LinkedIn and Twitter.

OK, let's kick it back to Jill Roberson and some words of wisdom around this topic of The Shift From Digital Transformation to Digital Evolution.

Here is what Jill Roberson wanted to leave us with...


Jill: Sure. I would say there are two pieces to it.

One, in terms of digital evolution, really think of yourself as a trailblazer. Getting organizations to refocus or shift their focus, I should say, from big bad transformation to smaller incremental rounds of evolution is not going to be easy. Going through any sort of change is hard. Playing a role in terms of helping an organization or your business shift their mindset to constant evolution, constant learning, relying on data more than they have in the past, that's a big thing. You're really trailblazing. We've focused on transformation for so long, this shift is not an easy one to make. Take pride in the fact that if you're starting this process or spearheading it that you're really helping the business not just today, but in the long term.

I think the second piece of it is get comfortable being uncomfortable. The way that we learn and become either the best versions of ourselves, the best employees we can be for our business or our organization, the best leaders we can be within those organizations is to constantly think, "What more can I do? Where am I too comfortable in what I've been doing in the past? Can I move the needle? Can I try something different in order to make change?"

With that comes also the comfortability of failing, being able to take the hit, take the L, and say, "Maybe that wasn't the right approach, but I'll continue to evolve." I think that's such a big piece of it is the learning aspect, being uncomfortable, and also just being okay with the fact that you're not going to get it right 100% of the time. That learning piece of it is going to continue to move the dial on digital evolution.


Think of yourself as a trailblazer

Get into rounds of evolution! VS this big bad transformation mindset.

Take pride that you are really helping the business today and in the long term.

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. (This might be a life lesson as well.)

Have you enjoyed today's journey? Let us know.

Use that hashtag #mpb2b on whatever platform you are joining us on.

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image of George B. Thomas

George B. Thomas is a marketer, video Jedi, and HubSpot certified trainer with 25+ years of sales and marketing experience. George is owner and HubSpot Helper at He has a record-breaking 38 HubSpot sales, marketing, service, CRM, and CMS certifications. George harnesses his expertise in graphic design, Web development, video editing, social media marketing, and inbound marketing to partner with, teach, and develop solutions for companies looking to develop their businesses and increase their revenue.

LinkedIn: George B. Thomas

Twitter: @GeorgeBThomas