Digital Strategies. How to come up with a great plan: Part 1
Digital strategies OR How to start increasing business.
This is part one to a two part series. Part 2 can be found here.
TL:DR: Digital strategies, 5 things: 1. Set a goal. 2. Find out how you can achieve that goal internally, 3. Write down a strategy to get the goal 4. Keep your eye, every day, on the goal 5. Measure the failures as well as the successes. Rinse. Repeat every month. Grow.
So you’ve been told that “Digital” is the best thing ever for your business. I’m going to give you a few things to help you start the process.
Please take note: This is not a definitive list, this is not “the answer” this is simply trying to offer some advice. You need to sit with someone who knows the landscape, who understands the territory and can help you navigate it. This is more about what you need to do internally before you can see any hope of increasing sales and discovering new markets and insights.
What is your goal?
Goals are myriad. But essentially they fall into two categories:
Client engagement strategy creates customer loyalty.
Digitized solutions strategy that uses data items, enriched products and services that deliver new value for customers.
You are allowed to choose only one. You cannot try to engage clients to become loyal customers and at the same time create digitally enriched products that deliver to those same customers. If you do one, the other will follow. This depends highly on what your market wants and what your products can deliver. Focus on gaining a network of people willing to advocate for your product.
How will you be able to achieve the goal? What are you doing wrong and right?
Achieving the goal requires buy in from all the sectors of your business. If you are a small family business this is less an issue, in that case you have a small team focused on one thing. In the case of large distributors and brands, you need to involve all levels of the organisation, but change must come from the top. This is going to be the first hurdle to executing a digital strategy and achieving a goal. You are essentially designing the best customer experience and this is not the Social Media Manager’s job. This is the job for the CEO, CFO, CTO, everyone on the executive team.
How do I create simple digital strategies?
Well thought out digital strategies provide direction, enabling executives to lead effectively in a digital ecosystem, gauge their progress, and ultimately divert those endeavours as required. But how does one do this? It’s not hard, but its not something you throw together at the last minute. Identify your goals using market intelligence and put down on paper how to achieve said the goal. It could be as simple as a pie chart that says “I will devote x% on SEO and y% on digital advertising.” This way you create a plan you can work on in the coming weeks.
However, no digital strategy or digital strategies, are set in stone. You must be willing to adapt. Move some things from one to the other, just keep the goal in mind. Set down the “How, why and what” then write the goal in a prominent place. This is how you want to get to that goal.
There is an interesting scene in the film Apollo 13 where Ed Harris’ character simply outlines the goal to get the astronauts home. Its written in chalk on a blackboard. This is the beginning of your strategy. Short video intermission:
Failure is not an option (well yes, if you have guys stuck in space, but your problems aren’t as complex.)
If you’d like some help with creating a digital strategy there are a few templates available: one size does not fit all, unfortunately, but this one is the easiest and best way to get the ball rolling. The Government of South Australia has a great template for their municipalities. Have a look here. It’s a PDF so expect a download.
If you’d like to discuss more about how I can creatively help you with a digital strategy, just get in contact. As always personal experiences and comments on this post are welcome.