Build A Digital Strategy in 5 Steps

The one thing nobody told you about digital strategy is that you should remove the word digital. It’s strategy, full stop. You need to have a strategy, otherwise you have no business. So it kind of…it’s…we’re not there yet where you can just kind of operate on a whim on a daily basis.

I think that kind of…even if we are talking about nimble and lean and agile, you need to be dead on the kind of mark of what you want to do. You need to believe in your kind of vision and that needs to be kind of expressed as your strategy, and then you can do business. So in short, if you don’t have a strategy, you have no business. You won’t be here next year.

For me, it’s very simple. It’s about kind of figuring out who your audience are and what, actually more importantly, what they interested of kind of talking to you about. That gives you what content that you should need to kind of create or produce. And when you have that, you then need to look at what are the digital channels, what platforms do I have to communicate that. And the last bit is about kind of how do you measure and be able to react to that in real time. If you have those four components, you sort of have a digital strategy and, but the unique detail is obviously for your brand to, kind of, to figure out.

The first thing you need to do is to understand your audience or rather actually what they’re interested of talking to you about. So this is about identifying who are your influencers, what topics do they like to talk to you about. The second part is then to figure out your content. So do you have engaging content that these people would like to kind of engage with? And the third bit is then all around your digital channels or your digital platform. So you tend to talk about your own and owned and kind of your bought kind of channels in that instance.

So you’re looking at your whole ecosystem. Can my consumers or customers interact with me in any device, in any channel, whenever they want? And the last bit is then how you measure and be able to react to that in real time. So everybody talks about big and small data, but do you have the tools and do you actually know what data that counts?

Well, to find out of your audience today is, it’s kind of easier than you think. It’s just that kind of not everybody using it, the techniques that is available to you. So for example, browse a cookie, so browse a history, it’s not a secret. For example, I can figure out where you’ve been on your internet journey before you got to me. So as an example that we normally tend to use is that, so if I can discover that you might like green. So if you come to an e-commerce site, the clothes is gonna be default to green. It’s these small kind of tricks about finding out what will engage you.

The other aspect is obviously to find out who is the influencer, who would like to talk to you. So that’s the first thing you really need to kind of figure out. What’s my influencers? Who talks about my brand? Who talks about the topics? Who would be interested of kind of spreading that message?

To find out what kind of content is most useful or kind of relevant to your audience, you start looking at the usage or kind of what you have out there today. Normally, you find that kind of 25%… Now, I’m a little bit harsh, but maybe 50% of what you have is actually relevant. The rest of it is just unused or something you might need to have for legal reasons, etc. etc. So to figure out what content your audience engage with.

I mean, it’s not about having a long-term strategy or having an editorial plan. It’s about kind of looking at data, using tools like almost, like… How can I put it? A control room, where you look at how your content is actually doing today. Are these messages kind of used? You then use that for real-time updates and you try things.

And I think that’s the difference of what you do kind of in the previous kind of [inaudible 00:04:07] where you put out, you did four messages, you kind of…you banged on about. And now you’re having kind of a half a message out there. You see how that goes, and then you tweak it in real time. That’s how you figure out what content is most relevant for your audience now.

To get kind of the right platform, to define what platform or digital platform you need to use, what channel you should kind of use, what message, you then need to look at how people consume in those channels. So this is not about kind of minimizing content in channels with smaller screens or adding content on biggest screens. This is about repurposing or making the content responsive by default. And that you do by, again, by analyzing and looking at, does that message work in this particular channel? You know, kind of how does people react to it?

You can always do a few kind of presumption that kind of people on a mobile device might be kind of wanting to have the information in chunks rather than kind of in a big blocks of things. And these are common patterns that you see people use. But fundamentally, if you’re looking at kind of channel, you look at what content work in that particular kind of channel. Again, you measure and analyze, and tweak it until you get it right.

Measurement and analytics, it’s kind of again goes back to simple basics. It’s about kind of you get what you measure. So if you cannot measure the wrong things, you get the wrong thing out of your data and tend to be…this is an observation of how it is that you tend to try and to apply old business models, KPIs and ROIs into a digital space.

So therefore, you completely measure the wrong thing. But how you go about to kind of come up with a measurement and analytics approach is that you look at the tools that kind of will give you real-time data. You look at the tools that can analyze that data for you, then look at tools you can automate some of that process for you. And there’s very broad strokes, but you’re absolutely right. It needs to be bespoke for the challenge you have.

But fundamentally, we say measure data real time. But before that, you then make up what is it that you want to measure. Why are you measuring stuff? And too many examples are still out there. I use needed data for information. I said, “But why do you need that data?” It needs to be that value kind of, like, change between consumers and the brand. That’s why they give you data. Otherwise they won’t give you anything.

I think it can be a scale-down tool for sure, and I think that there are loads of free tools out there. There are those tools that come out of the package. Again, it comes back to that, what are you using them for? You have to just get down to, what is the data that counts for me?

We often talk about convinces in my organizations, and convinces are small things that you might end up trouble when you try either push it to your top management or things you do when you’re trying to go live. And if you break down these small bits, hurdles into convinces and try and find an argument around that, then often you will see that you cannot. There is no other answer than actually, “Yes, we should do this.”

It’s about understanding what your organization will say no to, and then find arguments and do trials, do innovation program, fight to kind of change those small ripples, and then convince the rest of an organization to kind of follow you behind that. You won’t change an organization in one day. You need to start with kind of small, small kind of pockets, and then you can kind of move on in doing the bigger thing.