The Complete Guide to Digital Strategy and How It Can Benefit Your Business, Brand or Career
Introduction: What is Digital Strategy and Why is it So Important?
A digital strategy is a way of identifying and analyzing the ways in which a company can use technology to increase their success and reach.
A digital strategy starts with an assessment of the business and its current digital capabilities. It analyzes the organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats as they apply to the use of technology.
The next step is to determine how best to leverage those capabilities in order to create a successful online business model.
The final step is designing an implementation plan for putting together all the components of the strategy into a cohesive whole that will work for your company.
It’s not about a completely new way of looking at business when it comes to digital strategy. Although technology has evolved, the nature of business has remained largely unchanged.
The fact that the playing field has shifted to digital hasn’t rendered all of the hard-won insights into successful corporate strategy obsolete. Instead, the fundamental truths about how a firm succeeds serve as the foundation for today’s cutting-edge digital strategy.
Different types of marketing technologies include:
- Company websites
- Mobile apps
- Social media company pages
- Search Engines
- Email and automation
- Digital Partnerships with other digital companies
What is the Role of Social Media in Digital Marketing?
Social media marketing is a form of internet-based marketing that involves the promotion of products or services using social media websites or applications.
Many marketers from different industries have been using social media as a way to advertise their brands and connect with their audiences. However, it is important to note that due to the lack of regulations, there are many risks involved in this type of marketing. To mitigate these risks, one should always create a specific strategy for the content they put on social media.
Which One Should You Choose for Social Networking Sites – Facebook, Instagram or Twitter?
Facebook is a social networking site that was founded in 2004 and became the world’s largest social network in the world. Facebook has 1.52 billion monthly active users and 1.37 billion mobile users.
Instagram is a photo and video-sharing social networking service, launched in October 2010, owned by Facebook, Inc., based on its namesake software application which primarily operates on mobile devices. Instagram has 900 million monthly active users and 800 million daily active users as of December 2021.
Twitter is an international multi-shareholding social media platform that enables people to send and read short 140-character messages called “tweets”.
MAKE DIGITAL YOUR TOOL, NOT YOUR GOAL
Over the past decade, digital has become a tool for businesses, not a goal. We’ve gone from having to build a website as part of your digital strategy to merely having to have a website. For businesses, that have been doing digital strategy for business for so long, they operate like they’re still in this world: You need a website. You need social media accounts. You need to publish to these accounts regularly and consistently and if it doesn’t lead to direct sales, they can’t measure it as success.
they’re out of touch with the new reality: digital isn’t the end goal, it’s the enabler to make your goal happen. You want more customers, you open an e-commerce storefront and let them shop 24/7; you want people to read what you write? Make it easy for them to find and share; these are the goals, not merely having a website or social accounts.
This tactic may generate some short-term notoriety, but if it isn’t backed up by a solid commercial strategy, it swiftly fades. Digital should be viewed as a tool — and it is a powerful one — but it is only one aspect of a larger picture of what constitutes a comprehensive company strategy and how it connects to digital transformation processes and procedures.
Human performance is critical to business success, and digital technology is only effective to the extent that it helps to achieve that aim.
ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS
One of the main components to any strategy is asking your customers the right questions.
One of the challenges that most people will face when they are developing a new strategy or revising one that is currently in place is finding out what questions they need to be asking their customers.
There are types of questions that will help you find out the information that you need to be able to come up with an answer to your digital strategy.
These questions are split into two categories, core questions and enabling questions. Core questions are fundamental to answering the problem that you are trying to solve for your customer while enabling questions are questions that enable you to get to core questions.
Benchmarking against core competition is a key step in comprehending this entry level stage of the strategy process in order to grasp a business’s position in the marketplace. Only via successful benchmarking can a company acquire an analytical perspective on where they stand – not just in comparison to their competitors, but also in relation to the greater business environment.
Once a company has a good understanding of its current digital position, it can begin to design a strategy for where they want to go.
BENCHMARKING STARTS YOU OFF IN A STRONG POSITION
Another important outcome of the benchmarking process is that it can aid in determining how well a company’s current systems and positioning are doing. It’s critical to identify between elements of your firm that are weak due to a lack of effective digital solutions and those where current problems are the consequence of non-technological concerns before introducing digital advances. If customer service is lacking, for example, fixing hiring and training methods before implementing new digital solutions like automated chat could be a viable option.
Finally, strategy is only as good as your company’s underlying business operations.
COMPONENTS OF A DIGITAL STRATEGY
Your core company model is the foundational element of digital strategy. The usage of digital by a firm can’t be studied in isolation; it’s part of the organic totality of how the organization operates and what it aspires to be. As we progress from the basic business model, we consider:
People: The ability of the entire team to execute a digital strategy is critical. It doesn’t start in the cloud; rather, it is inextricably linked to the work of developers, designers, marketers, strategists, content writers, and others.
Process: The next step is to define exactly what a company’s human capital will do and how they’ll merge their efforts to produce a completely integrated strategy.
Platform: We examine the platforms they’ll need only after the goals, people, and processes are in place. Again, technology is merely a tool, not a driving force. Platforms can include cloud servers, content management systems, data analysis systems, mixed reality, artificial intelligence, geo-based apps, and more, depending on the aims of the firm.
Products: Following the identification of platforms, the specific goods that make up your digital strategy are identified. Apps, wearables, responsive webpages, IoT smart devices, augmented reality experiences, and more are examples of these.
Channels: After you’ve created your digital items, the next step is to figure out how to link them to people. In your approach, which channels function best as delivery channels? In-person shopping, email, social media, workplace networking, intranets, websites, IoT distant connections, and so on are examples of these.
Experience: It’s critical to develop and maintain a comprehensive understanding of your user experience. Are the visual cues for your brand consistent and compelling? Is the tone of your firm genuine? When consumers interact with your company, do they feel at ease and delighted?
Customers: It’s all about people at the top of the digital strategy framework, and not just the ones that buy your products or services – though they’re crucial, too. A successful digital transformation improves the experience of your employees, vendors and suppliers, partners, and stakeholders.
KNOWING WHAT YOU WANT YOUR DIGITAL STRATEGY TO ACCOMPLISH
You might be wondering why digital strategy is significant if your business plan is the same as it has always been.
This is where the power of technology as a tool comes into play. The pace with which people conduct business has increased by leaps and bounds. It wasn’t long ago that a store needed to have summer trends in the works while there was still snow on the ground. Publishers used to need material six months ahead of time before they could consider releasing it to the public. Just-in-time manufacturing, quick A/B testing, individual RFID tagging, and a slew of other technologies for direct real-time feedback are all made possible by digital.
However, just because a company has the ability to do something does not imply it should. Businesses may only profit from technology that is particularly designed to help them get closer to their ultimate plan, and technology must act as a stepping stone to get to where the firm wants to go. It’s not a goal in and of itself.
It begins with a typical business strategy-based framing of the company’s objectives, and then employs digital approaches to attain its desired outcomes.
Steps for Digital Strategy
1. Research and information gathering
Examine and contrast your digital assets with those of your competitors.
Review your keywords, as well as trends and prospective disruptors, when researching your target demographic.
2. Analyse the research
Examine your findings and look for any gaps or niches that have been discovered.
Outline your internet presence’s positive, terrible, and neutral performance.
Also, conduct a Porter’s Five Forces analysis of your industry, as well as a SWOT analysis of your assets and competitors.
3. Set your vision
Determine the direction in which you want your digital strategy to go and make sure it aligns with your business objectives. Establish your external (“Why do we need to do it?”) and internal (“Why are we doing it?”) perspectives for the company once it has been agreed upon.
4. Create a website strategy
Because your company’s website is such an important part of your digital strategy, you must integrate UX (user experience), interface designs, and visual guidelines, as well as web analytics and optimization in your website strategy. Your website approach should be in line with the vision, goals, and objectives of your digital strategy.
5. Other tools and assets
Once you’ve nailed down your website approach, plan out your keyword and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategies, as well as your content strategy [note: this will require more research as time goes on]. You should also think about and select tools and assets that will aid in the execution of your digital strategy. But keep in mind that you shouldn’t just pick a tool and forget about it. You must always be on the lookout for new tools on the market. Because of the changing nature of the sector, better tools will become accessible.
*It’s also worth noting that each of the aforementioned strategies must have its own set of KPIs and targets, which must be adjusted as needed.
Data is crucial to any business, and it’s an area that’s sometimes overlooked in digital strategies. It serves as a foundation for all of the other elements, allowing you to reach your aims and ambitions. You must also determine what data items you will require in order to capture and evaluate how you will use it. Your data should be analyzed and optimized on a regular basis to assist qualify your audience.
TWO OPPOSING FORCES TO BALANCE
The reason for the need for agility in digital strategy is that it is continuously balancing two opposing forces as it attempts to connect your basic business concepts with the rapidly changing technical universe. These goals don’t change: you always want to provide an exceptional experience for your consumers, you want to encourage your employees to perform at their best, and you need to keep solid, dependable promises with partners and suppliers. However, the methods for achieving these goals, as well as the technologies that support those methods, evolve at such a rapid pace that keeping up with them has become a full-time job.
So, how can you bring those opposing forces together? First, keep an eye on your customers’ expectations, and second, get an expert to help you with your digital strategy.
MEET YOUR CUSTOMERS WHERE THEY ARE
While the rapidly changing digital ecosystem may or may not have an impact on the structure of your present products, it is certain to have an impact on your customers. Customers respond to technical advancements by taking the next step for granted. Your brand identity may remain stable, but the reality in which it exists is continuously changing.
Customers are increasingly expecting to be surrounded by a web of responsive portals and gadgets, thanks to the Internet of Things and the proliferation of smart items. Even for in-person shoppers, payment gateways are no longer tethered to physical cash registers, and geo-location and Bluetooth beacons provide continual omnichannel communication.
When your customers have an idea or an impulse, they expect to be able to carry it out smoothly. They’re discovering that more technologies are talking to them and recognizing their voices, and that artificial intelligence is increasingly anticipating their requirements. With each passing season, their patience for browsing through several windows wanes, thus apps that give personalized experiences must also make it simple to perform transactions from the same screen.
The playbook from Centric Digital provides you with the benchmarking and insights you need to move forward in a complex environment. You understand your industry and will collaborate with you to create the technology framework you’ll need to succeed.