As technology becomes more advanced, so do customer’s expectations for how a business should perform digitally. Creation of a digital strategy is not a list of to-do’s it’s goals that can be measured and tracked. Different channels are constantly being created and if you are not staying up to date you essentially are losing time, money and positioning. A good example of a channel that exploded is the smartphone or mobile website platform. Americans spend several hours a day on their smartphones, and inevitably they are making purchases through them. This is only one digital channel that will leave you in the dust if you do not jump aboard. The demand for digital or mobile friendly websites are creating an opportunity for start-up businesses as well. Even though each one individually may not be affecting you, they will begin to as a whole.
So what does all of this mean? Well, if you are not staying active through digital marketing, there is a good chance that you either have or will fall off the digital map. This is where a Digital Strategy has the potential to put you back on the radar and allow your customers or potential customers to find you.
Building Your Strategy Through Research
A digital strategy is surprisingly not all about who you are within a market, it is about who is in the same market as you. This is why we start by examining threats and possible opportunities that can come from these outside businesses. Your direct competitors may be already taking steps that you are not and finding that they are successful. If these are working for them, then they will work for you also. Another threat to this includes products or services that are substitutes in the marketplace. Identifying and separating your business from these will be very important in attracting customers who think they can get an offer that is simply cheaper.
Next we move onto mapping your customer’s experience. This is about understanding your customer’s struggles and providing them with a solution. Once you know what their need is you can tend to it and show you have the qualities that they desire in a product or service. Your customers will not be linear so you must identify a variety of different strategies while keeping your message consistent. This step will help you reduce confusion and make the process clear.
Moving on, we navigate towards internal strengths and weaknesses. Identifying things such as inventory, order status and distribution processes are a big factor. Sections that need improvement can be adjusted, your strengths can be highlighted and take advantage of any opportunities as they come up. Current marketing strategies that are being implemented need to be evaluated to see their value or loss. All of these areas need to be functional and if not, you could have problems with data records or even move backwards in your efforts. And lastly, you want to focus on your long term relationship with customers. If they need to return a product is it easy for them to do so? It’s all about the efforts you are currently making to ensure your customers return and remember your brand when it comes time to making another purchase.
Creating a Digital Framework
Once you have established your company’s current state, we can move on to where you want to go. This stage is about establishing your digital strategy goals and objectives. Creating an overall process will allow you to execute projects and satisfy expectations. To make this easy as possible you should be able to put your entire framework into one idea that everybody is able to understand and trust. Once you complete this you want to come up with specific goals and objectives that are relatable to your business’s big idea. Your goals will be the backbone while your objective is how you will execute your plan. Each is equally important even though they may change throughout the duration of a campaign.
After creating your objectives, you will want to dig deeper into them. Content you’re placing within each section is more important than the technology being used. Whether you are reconstructing your website or using digital advertising, make sure you are consistent and support your big idea. Some common channels people include in their digital strategy are: websites, online content, SEO and digital advertising. Before technology became advanced having a website was making an effort, but those times have long passed. Today you need to take steps to position yourself ahead of competitors and work hard to reach your customers.
Prioritizing And Control
The digital strategy process must be carried out efficiently and the goals communicated to all team members. Organize your goals, identify tactics that can achieve outcomes that will support several goals. Once you reach your customers, your efforts need to keep them coming back for more. Even though you have seen results, there is always room for improvement and new goals to reach. Digital Marketing will never be labeled as simple and will always be evolving to meet ever growing demands of The Customer.