By Sadique Kwatsima (Director Research and Data Analytics Operations, SG Big Data Research and Consulting).
Digital strategy is the process of integrating digital technologies into business models to create new differentiating capabilities. In the future, all business strategies will be digital strategies.
Digital strategy aims to leverage technology to enhance business performance. Technology can be leveraged through development of new products or reimagining of existing business processes. The digital strategy also outlines an organization’s strategy for leveraging technology to create competitive edge, as well as strategies to assist accomplish the goal.
Many business strategies fail because of lack of a structure.
The following is a roadmap for an effective digital strategy.
1. “Why” Statement
The rationale for a business strategy starts here. The “Why” statement provides a reason why your business exists. The statement also provides reason it will be much easier to craft an effective brand story, engaging content, and authentic messages to achieve your goal.
2. What – Your Company’s Story
This entails the key characteristics of a firm’s digital strategy and a brief explanation of each. The section highlights the key principles and pillars that provide the criteria by which to assess the merit and direction of digital channels and service delivery and of any digital initiatives and solutions. There should be an emphasis on the customer and on transformation of the business, not mere transition of the status quo to digital channels.
The objectives highlight specific deliverables of the digital strategy. For example, do you wish to increase the number of sales? The revenue? The customers?
4. Your Audience
The digital strategy should tell a story that resonates with the audience. Brainstorming is a critical process for informing understanding who the customers are. The aim should be to create three to four personas that reflect the demographics of the people you attract and wish to target. A complete persona entails information about a person’s career, history, values, goals, decision-making tendencies, and reservations.
5. Journey Map
The journey map helps in comprehending different ways in which people already interact with a business online, as well as the potential for additional forms of interaction. The more in-depth understanding of the habits of the audience is, the more detailed the journey map can be. The digital strategy will be more agile if the journey map is sufficiently detailed.
6. Digital Channels
At this stage, a firm must begin delving into the digital strategy details. There are infinite number of digital and social channels available, and new ones are being launched constantly. The focus when developing a digital strategy should only focus on where the customers are. Assigning the target audiences to the platforms that they prefer is an excellent way to start. The channels of engagement should then be mapped onto the journey map to guide the content to create for the digital strategy.
7. Content Strategy
Effective content entails determining the audience’s needs and wants and creatively meeting them. People share what is good, adhere to what is normal, and respond appropriately to what is appropriate. Therefore, consider consistency, quality, and customization when creating digital content.
8. Content Calendar
While the digital world advances at a breakneck pace, calendars never go out of style. The bottom line is that strategic objective necessitate strategic tools. A successful digital strategy will almost certainly have numerous branches, each with its own set of channels, content formats, deadlines, and deliverables. Keeping track of what that is half the battle, but it should not drag on the performance. A useful content calendar lists everything from industry benchmarks and major industry events to the staff members responsible for creating, reviewing, and publishing each piece of content.
9. Resource Allocation Plan
The plan comprises of the people, money, and time resources that will be invested in a digital strategy. Effective planning not only ensures successful fulfilment of the project but also happier, less overwhelmed employees.
10. Measuring Matrix
In digital marketing, there is no data shortage. All major platforms include analytics capabilities, and there is a plethora of third-party platforms that provide various data reporting. Utilize the strategy objectives to come up with the best measuring matrix for the digital strategy. Once you have numbers, you know what works and what works not.
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