In case you didn’t know, a digital revolution had already started several years ago. Sadly, many companies still ignore the value of a well-executed digital transformation. You might have a corporate website, but this isn’t enough to qualify for a legit digital strategy. The truth is, large businesses are pushing a digital strategy. The question is—do they understand what digital strategy is?
Digital is an ever-evolving landscape, and it evolves at an exponential rate. Thus, the impetus to devise the common understanding about digital and thereby digital strategy is clear.
Digital strategy defined
Digital strategy refers to a plan that aims at maximizing the business benefits of data asset (e.g. website) or assets. While it’s a technology-focused initiative, digital strategy forms part of the overall business strategy. Hence this approach is holistic; it’s integrated.
From a management standpoint, digital strategy should change the form of interaction. It’s no surprise then the rationale behind investing on applying new technologies to improve the products, processes and practices. It often results in changes in expectations, information and option.
It is more than just the technologies your business buys and uses. A digital strategy also pertains to the abilities and capabilities that these technological innovations endow your business and your people. The orientation is long-term since the foundation of such strategy is to provide value to the people. With this in mind, a digital strategy must be viewed as an enabler that bridges the gap between the company and its target audience.
Do you think you need a digital strategy right now? Or, if you are already implementing one, is it sufficient or lacks in some aspects such as the irrelevant choice of platform? Read on.
When do you need a digital strategy?
And we are not talking just any digital strategy, but a strategy that sets direction, sequence resources and provides value. A digital strategy is thus a continuing commitment.
1) Your digital approach is directionless
Many companies still operate without a digital strategy because they don’t know how to start. On the other end, the majority of those who implement such a strategy do not have clear strategic goals. They have no idea what should this strategy do for their business. They just want to have a website or a Facebook page because that’s what others are doing now.
In other instances, some firms have a digital strategy. The problem is they don’t know if they want to gain traffic to their website or new customers or build deeper relationships with their target markets. They want to pursue all possible solutions through a single platform like their corporate website.
Another good example an aimless digital strategy is, given all the analytics, they don’t know how to measure the RODI or return on digital investment. Some companies don’t even consider determining the KPIs of having a Facebook page.
A digital strategy is a roadmap, which means it has a starting point that you need to work on.
2) Your strategy is disintegrated
A digital strategy is completed in silos. For instance, the entire strategy is outsourced to a digital marketing company in the Philippines or elsewhere or freelancer, or that some parts of it stay in-house. In-house, the digital team is also divided into units, mostly depending on the channel used such as website or social. For bigger companies, digital marketing is treated separately with traditional marketing. This should not be the case.
The problem that may arise with this setup is that the plans and actions are not adequately coordinated. It’s convenient this way, yes, but it’s also compromising. Although silos may still exist, the key here is synergy.
3) You lack an online value proposition
There are consequences to an unsystematic digital strategy, and that’s the failure to provide real value the users. An online value proposition must be created even before the digital strategy is implemented. It must also be clear and understood by all the stakeholders.
A compelling value proposition differentiates your brand from the competition. This will also encourage new customers to do business with you and existing customers to stay loyal. This is what stays with the people’s consciousness, so better make it recallable.
4) Your digital budget is insufficient
How can you expect your digital strategy to take off and your expected RODI to materialize when you cannot even devote a sizable budget? If a digital strategy is not supported regarding funds and workforce, it would be difficult for the team to achieve the goals (if goals are set in the first place).
Even if you have enough budget, it may be wasted due to duplication. The reason could be the ineffective processes. For instance, corporations compartmentalized digital strategies tend to purchase various tools for different parts of the team to perform the same tasks over and over.
With this, don’t expect fast results. Digital strategy is foundational wherein, unless you are utilizing paid activities, the results may be realized in one to two months. There are changes to the processes along the way that the marketing budget must be able to accommodate more so in light of competitive threats.
5) You are not optimizing
Provided that your firm has a well-planned and well-executed digital strategy, but it may still fail if you are not tracking or measuring the results. Analytics, again, are easy to generate and convert into reports. A problem that may arise in this area is the way the digital team makes sense and acts on the available data or the lack of actions.
Remember that digital strategies are data-driven. And the figures act as enablers to gear your strategy towards the necessary next steps. If your team of digital specialists cannot extract actionable insights from your data, then it could be a sign that you are doing digital wrong. Or, it could be that your people lack the right skills.
With that said, the business and the digital team should be agile enough to catch up or stay ahead of the competition. The proper mindset is necessary; otherwise, your strategy won’t keep up with the changes. It’s the power curve that must be sustained as you and your team gain valuable digital experience.