Before you spend any more time on our website, this is probably something we should agree on. It’s a vast topic and I could easily write a five-page essay on the subject…but that wouldn’t be very ‘digital’. So instead I’ll go full Buzzfeed and offer you 5 things I think every digital strategy should include:
1 An appraisal - An honest review of where you are
How do you stack up in the eyes of your prospects and customers? How do you compare with your competitors? Is digital enhancing your image and driving your business, or holding you back and letting your brand down?
2 Goals - A vision of where you want to be
If the digital strategy fairy waved their magic wand and turned your business into a cutting edge, perfect digital version of itself, what would it look like? If the fairy was a bit short on time, which bits would you get them to wave their wand at first to make the most difference?
3 Targets - to let you know when you’ve got there
Every pound you spend on your website and every hour you spend on social media, is money not spent elsewhere in your business. If you’re going to justify all that effort, you need to measure your success or lack of it. If something is not hitting its target, why not? Any one who tells you they are 100% certain their strategy will work (whether digital or otherwise), they are deluded or trying to delude you. Whilst experience might tell me what is very likely to happen, nothing is guaranteed and only tracking and testing will give you the answers your business should have.
4 Audience – Who actually cares about what you’ve got to say?
You might be selling the world’s finest saucepans at prices a student could afford, but if you are talking to somebody who never cooks even the smartest sales patter and marketing materials are likely to be wasted. Likewise, if you’re shouting about your products on twitter, but your best customers are all on LinkedIn, you will struggle to connect.
5 Constraints – what will stand in your way
The carnival atmosphere of your digital strategy planning meetings will inevitably dampen when that unwelcome guest, reality, arrives. Lack of budget, scepticism from other senior stakeholders, legacy software that is painful to use, but expensive to replace could all put a spanner in the works. Its always best to quantify your likely disappointment early on in the process!
Next time – 5 things that shouldn’t be in your digital strategy (but every business should have)