A guide to building a digital business strategy: Part one

A clearly defined approach to digital channels, from operational and organisational functions, as well as from a sales and marketing function, is essential for your business to thrive in the modern economy.

Business needs to avoid the gimmicks and the smoke and mirrors of buzz words. Instead, base a digital business strategy on business-focused objectives. Do this in the same way you would approach other parts of your organisational planning and on a scale to suit your business structure and the people within it.

For definition purposes, digital strategy encompasses all channels across web, mobile, social media, search and broadcast. Digital business strategy also impacts operational and organisational aspects of your business as more agile digitised operational process systems become the norm.

Part 1 of this series of my blog focuses on a “get started” strategic thinking plan that makes up an initial front-facing digital strategy.

A word of warning

One of the most common problems for businesses is that they do not set up the foundation for a digital business strategy. They get sidetracked with lots of ethereal blue sky ponderings and advice about the merits of this channel and the social media of this and that.

This becomes a distraction, as the “how to do” digital marketing chatter roars on and is not in any way structured to be a useful implementation tool for an organisation. Blue sky musings are great, a vision of digital perfection is wonderful and the numerous advice columns on how business should act with its customers in 2012 and beyond are great.

The reality is that it isn’t going to cut mustard and bring the dollars in, unless it is relevant to your business and your stakeholders and can be integrated and implemented seamlessly in context to your business.

This means compromise and some old-fashioned business rules applied to the great opportunities of the technology age. This is to enable business to embrace the digital economy within its existing frameworks instead of being disrupted by it.

In this series I hope to provide you with the framework of what needs to be done and how to implement a digital business strategy that delivers results.

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