Your digital footprint or ecosystem must align with your core business goals to deliver real and measurable benefits.
Digital strategy is business strategy.
The first step in creating an effective digital strategy is exploring the challenges that your business faces and deciding how it should grow, evolve and increase its digital relevance and profitability.
This journey starts by defining what ‘success’ means to your business and establish the tools and the metrics by which it will track it.
Creating your vision statement is the first step in creating a business, and its discovery relies on one crucial question:
What is your company trying to or aspire to achieve or deliver?
Set your aspirations first, then, develop all critical components like values, focus areas, strategic objectives and goals.
Here is how a strategic vision should be:
- based on reality to be meaningful for your organisation;
- credible for the people who work in your organisation; and
- inspirational and attractive for people, so they want to be part of it.
In other words, vision is a set of ideas about a company’s future that makes it unique.
Setting the tone for your business is very important for your brand value and the buy-in of your staff.
Market research will give you answers about the market situation and insights on users behaviour. In other words, finding out about what consumers want, need and believe.
Today, this process can be automated. Some tools can extract valuable insights from online public conversations that you can apply to reach your target audience at the right moment and place with the most insightful content to maximise conversions.
Including your stakeholder needs in your strategy will enable you to have no stone unturned and include and reach everyone that interact with your business. That way you will facilitate their contribution to your business goals and vision.
Business, marketing and social goals
No matter what type of goals you are setting, you need to be able to quantify them to be able to track your success efficiently.
S.M.A.R.T. Goals – It’s not the latest thing but the proven thing
- Specific – be clear about what you want to achieve
- Measurable – if it is, then you can know if you realised it
- Achievable – something you have the time, money and resources to meet
- Relevant – connect your goal to the vision and direction of your business
- Timely – set a realistic deadline for completion
Ultimately, all goals within a company are business goals, but we like to differentiate them into three types: business, marketing and social purposes. The difference lays in the specific environment they are performed. This helps to focus on the respective people is charged.
Business goals tend to be more macro and established for the overall benefit of the business. (e.g., Sales forecasting, employee count and morale, market position).
Marketing goals look at being more multimedia or medium campaign specific (e.g., Conversions, registrations, clicks, reach, brand awareness, user engagement, etc.).
Social goals are more about the brand perception and the customer feeling towards it (e.g., Be seeing as a good corporate citizen, expert in their field, active in the community).
This research helps you discover your market opportunities by defining your most threatening competitors. Explore their strengths and weaknesses.
Answer these key questions with a competitive analysis:
- Who are your online competitors (may not be who you think)?
- What product/services do they have that you don’t?
- What are their strategies?
- What is their market share?
- What are their threats?
Digital Transformation Planning
Your digital ecosystem (or footprint) is the unique collection of interconnected digital touchpoints, tools and platforms that your business uses to build and maintain its online presence and track customers and conversions online.
It requires planning and an internal driver within the business to take form effectively.
Each component should be carefully chosen to serve your strategic objectives. For example, will a Facebook page benefit a B2B engineering company? Probably not. And a social media page with several dusty posts and a handful of followers doesn’t say anything positive about your business.
Every relationship in your digital ecosystem should add value.
Sure, you could set direct integrations between every social media platform and marketing tool in your digital ecosystem – but that’s likely to result in a rigid, inefficient and overly complicated structure.
Each relationship you generate in your digital ecosystem is liable to create more data and require servicing, so it’s important to be critical about its benefits before going ahead.
Digital ecosystem planning should only take place once your business has freshly evaluated its strategy and set clear objectives and metrics for growth and success.
Once this process is complete, you’ll be in a great position to create a powerful and agile digital ecosystem that efficiently helps your team achieve critical strategic goals.