Digital strategies have become an expansive term. And it is increasingly becoming a priority in the minds of managers. It has also become an increasingly popular topic in the media. Mostly because it represents the world of tomorrow.
In general terms, the digital strategy is an action plan designed to achieve business objectives through the implementation of digital initiatives.
From the point of view of marketing. A digital strategy is a plan that helps your business achieve specific digital goals through carefully selected online marketing channels such as paid, earned, and owned media.
The digital strategy is not a new way of looking at business. Technology has changed, but the nature of business has remained the same. All the hard-won knowledge about the success of a business strategy has not become useless simply because the playing field has become digital. On the contrary, these fundamental truths about how a business succeeds form the basis of today’s cutting-edge digital strategy.
Use digital as a tool not a goal
One of the pitfalls that entrepreneurs fall into is being attracted to new technologies. Too often, a company’s “digital strategy” becomes a blind adherence to the latest and most exciting technology for itself. Businesses can become distracted by buzzwords. And attempts to create strategies that can include as many of them as possible can sometimes be overwhelming. This approach may provide some short-term publicity. But this advantage quickly fades away when it is not supported by a strong business strategy. Digital should be a tool, as it is impressive. But it is only part of an overall business strategy and how it relates to the digital transformation process in terms of processes and procedures.
The success of companies depends on human performance, and digital technology is only useful to the extent that it promotes this goal.
Ask the right questions
A good strategy starts by asking the right questions, not just any questions. What is the current state of e-commerce? Where does your company want to go? What do you need to sell more? What are the gaps your company is facing? Those gaps are your chance.
In order to understand a company’s position in the market, benchmarking against the core competition is an essential step. It allows understanding this part of the entry into a strategic process. Only through effective benchmarking can a company obtain an analytical view of its exact position. Not only in relation to its competitors, but also within the larger business ecosystem.
Once a business has a clear sense of their own digital position, they can then begin to develop a strategy of where they want to be.
Another key outcome of the benchmarking process is that it can help to provide a clear understanding of how a company’s current systems and positioning work. Before introducing digital innovations, it is imperative to identify which aspects of your business are weak. Often because they lack effective digital solutions. As well as those in which existing problems are the result of non-technological issues. For example, if customer service is weak, it may be useful to look at hiring and training practices before adding new digital solutions, such as automated chat. Apple is in the process of developing a “business chat” that can be very useful for companies wishing to offer new customer service opportunities.
In the end, strategy is only as effective as the underlying business functions of your company.
What your digital strategy research should include
Marketing and Sales Assessment: Conduct a thorough evaluation of your marketing and sales practices. Your processes, performance measures, and tools are used by your marketing teams. But also those of sales and, possibly, customer service. Identify gaps and areas for improvement
Market Demand Analysis: Identify the search request for the most relevant keywords used in search engines such as Google. To determine how many people search for your products and services each month. To do this, you can use Google Trend. You also need to establish the cost of paid advertising campaigns and the traffic resulting from these campaigns.
Market Influencer Analysis: Identify Key Influencers who are producing the most popular content related to your business on social media.
Digital Audit: Conduct an assessment of the active sites, pages, profiles, and accounts you have in existence and who manages them.
Buyer Persona Development: Develop detailed profiles of your most ideal buyers. These profiles should include
– Priority Initiatives. What are the trigger events that cause them to start looking for solutions to a problem? What are their priorities and why did they make a change?
– Success Factors. What are the results they expect from a product or service? What is a “successful” experience?
– Perceived Barriers. What are their perceived barriers to choosing you?
– Decision Criteria. What attributes will they use as decision criteria to evaluate or compare alternatives to your solution or to do nothing?
– Evaluation Journey. What is their decision-making process? What is this person’s role in that process?
Content Analysis: Identify the most sought-after information or content. Throughout the different stages of the Buyer’s Evaluation Journey. And the most popular content published on your products and services.
The results of your digital strategy research will be used to create an assessment document. Which will in turn be used to develop your strategies for your digital channels, content, media, and inbound marketing.
It may seem like a chapter out of a boring textbook, but defining your digital marketing goals will help to align your strategies and tactics towards achieving them. Goals also provide a way for staff to buy into the vision of your organization by motivating them towards a common objective.