21
May

Don’t Forget the Digital Strategy

Posted by: Calvin Chopp

Tags: ,

You’ve just been put in a room with 4 other people and it’s dark. Can’t-see-your-hand-in-front-of-your-face kind of dark.

Each of you have been told that there’s an item directly in front of you, and that you need to describe it.

You reach out and place your hand on what feels like a hard, leathery, textured wall. The person nearest to you describes a long, protruding spike that’s smooth and solid. Another feels a vine-like hairy rope.

Who’s right, and how can you decide what it is?

Without seeing the whole picture or knowing in advance, each person can’t communicate with the other that what they’re actually describing is a rhino.

With all its textures and types of surfaces, a rhino could be described many different ways by someone who couldn’t see the big picture. The same is true with your digital strategy. Without planning, it can feel like there’s as many ways to approach that strategy as there are dots that I had to make to create this piece!

 

On-boarding and communicating your digital strategy within your company’s team structure can often feel like trying to describe something in the dark that has many facets and attributes:

If you’re in marketing, a digital strategy likely involves your website, social media, online campaigns, and design approach.

If you’re a stakeholder, you’re likely more focused on analytics and ROI.

If you’re in IT or data networking, you’re likely focused on things like information and data processing, storage and backups, etc.

If you’re in sales you’re likely concerned with the integrity of your CRM database, making sure it’s reliable, and with conversions.

With so many ways your company’s digital strategy can be approached, it can feel overwhelming. This shows in companies even today where everything seems to be online.

The 2016 Report on the State of Digital Business found that

  • 62% of survey respondents felt their companies were in denial about the need to transform their business approach digitally,
  • 55% were worried that they would have only a year or less to make the proper steps before they would suffer both financially and competitively, and
  • 59% were worried that it was already too late to start the process of creating a digital strategy.

(Hopefully since the report’s release the companies that were surveyed have taken necessary steps.)

There’s no denying that an effective digital strategy in your business or organization is important. But how do you personally implement a digital strategy well? What’s the difference between having a digital strategy, and just creating digital products?

We’re here to help answer those questions.

For over 20 years, we’ve specialized in working alongside companies to design, establish, and successfully execute digital strategies, both internally and externally company-facing. The way that we see this played out most commonly for our clients is through a combination of website content, social media, mobile and application development, email/CRM/CMS integration, and project data analytics, among others.

Each of these are often seamlessly woven together into the client’s existing business ecosystem. This means that our clients don’t have to start from the ground up when implementing their digital strategy. We’re working alongside them to help keep their ongoing business momentum while merging a digital strategy into those processes.

It starts with a conversation.

Your needs aren’t your competitor’s needs. Your business is uniquely your own, and your digital strategy shouldn’t be a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all approach.

The backbone between us and our clients is always our relationship, and part of establishing that relationship is working with the client to determine their unique needs, and how our team of experts can come alongside their existing internal teams to aid in the implementation of their digital strategy, or work with them to open up this channel of content where they might not be capable to do so on their own. We explore what our clients are doing digitally currently that they feel is effective, what their goals are, and areas that they’re feeling pressure to evolve their approach. Based on this information, we’re able to communicate a solution that works for our clients, as well as offer recommendations to approaches they might also look to consider.

It’s more than just a product.

As I mentioned, your digital strategy is more than just a product. Your website isn’t your digital strategy. Your CRM database and promotional email schedule isn’t your digital strategy. Your social media channels and content aren’t your digital strategy. These are all pieces of a greater mechanism that we like to look at with you and create a way that all these tools (and more) can work  seamlessly together—making you more noticeable, your online business more effective and measurable, and your future digital initiatives more scalable.

Analyzing your effectiveness.

Although the concept isn’t new, a major buzzword over the last half-decade has been ‘UX’ or ‘user experience’. Its implementation on the digital landscape in your company ultimately comes down to your ‘digital equation’ — adopting data analytics and metrics to build up your analytical thinking which will help drive your digital business decisions.

We see this play out a number of ways. We can help you implement tools and show you how you can analyze data and insights for your current online systems, or for new products, which help you deliver better, more responsive services to your customers. Through user research, A/B testing, persona research, and user feedback, we can fine-tune your website, software, and applications to better suit the user, quicker and more effectively than ever before. We set up our digital products in a way that allows us to build, execute, analyze, and optimize as we go.

Digital Strategy at Work.

For your consideration, a recent example of digital strategy at work in a project completed for one of our clients.

Two years ago we were tasked to work alongside the Amway Global team to develop a digital experience for their media guide that, to that point, lived solely in a print publication. The desire was to have a single, long-scroll page that would keep the user’s attention, divide the content up into digestible, navigable chunks of content, and that was high-design and interactive. The client also desired to have data they could analyze to see what information was being consumed and where users were gravitating to on the page.

We worked with Amway to not only meet these expectations, but to throw in some additional features along the way.

 

 

The digital solution we crafted was a long-scroll page that was managed by a content management system where the team could easily edit the content of the page, move content around the page, and manage multiple levels of in-page navigation to access that content in an experience that was immersive and effective. The client had the ability to track what sections of the page were being clicked on and which products were most popular. This all wrapped into a single, 30,000+ pixel long, mobile-optimized page.

The foundational strategy of the page also was that we wanted the solution to be scalable and manageable. Because of the pre-planning and work that went into this strategy, the next year we were able to update the content and look and feel of the page at a fraction of the cost that it would of taken to start over, or go a different direction. What originally took months to design and develop in 2017 took a matter of days to update with a fresh look and content for 2018.

Regardless of your company or organization’s size, you can’t afford to be unfocused in your digital strategy. Tackling it on your own can be a daunting task, and this can cause you to fall behind your competition and to put you into a cycle of feeling the need to always be catching up. We’re ready to partner alongside you to build your digital strategy. Whether you need a team of professionals to hit the ground running on something new, or need someone to work alongside your internal team to help see your initiatives through effective completion, we’ve got your back.

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