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What Does Digital Mean?
Ask many people what ‘digital’ means and you’ll probably get a whole range of responses; some will focus on marketing aspects, whilst others see things from a more IT perspective and will happily tell you all about the latest updates to their PC. It takes a lot to have a pretty well rounded, holistic view of what the term ‘digital’ really means and this is where a digital strategist can save the day.
The term ‘digital’ in short, describes the fantastic ability to connect people, places, devices and objects from all over the world with each other, in an almost instant and quite often faultless way. From a marketing perspective, all of this excitement brings with it the ability to gain more information on people and their choices, which enhances analytics and leads the way to increased automation in decisions. With these impressive technological developments comes the need for a robust digital strategy to lead the way, without one it’s all too easy to get left behind.
What is a Digital Strategy?
One big challenge facing businesses today is how to use the rise of digitisation to their economic advantage, and well, it can be tricky. It seems that the rise of all things digital is in fact faring better for consumers than businesses; with seemingly limitless choice, it is now a lot easier for customers to identify and purchase only the things they need.
A digital strategy is about having all of the digital elements in place to make a product, service or project work properly. It’s a grand plan for optimising a business opportunity and requires an integrated team of marketing, IT and leadership professionals. What makes a digital strategy more complicated than any traditional form of business strategy is the speed at which the digital world is transforming. That old saying ‘snooze you lose’ really does apply when it comes to staying ahead of a game where the rules are being changed so often!
Why Is Having a Digital Strategy so Important?
The CEO’s and business owners of today are having to take a much broader approach when trying to work out who their competitors or even partners, are. Why? Because digital platforms are switching everything up, they’re blurring the old boundaries between industries we knew and loved and disrupting the market balance.
With a seemingly limitless customer base and technology available to mould and change with new trends, businesses are starting to catch up with each other in terms of their competitive offering. All of a sudden the marketplace is becoming more of a level playing field, with cross-functional offerings sprouting up all over the place. You could say that constructing a digital strategy in today’s climate is about recognising that your competitors could in fact, be potential partners; your enemy might just be your friend!
What does a digital strategy look like?
If you’re looking for a job description, a strategist will collect together all of the things required to fulfill your engagement end-goal, whether this be launching into a new digital marketing ad or building a new website. They will analyse all of the avenues and resources available and come up with a failsafe way of optimising the best ones to suit your business strategies and processes.
In general there are three steps to developing your digital strategy:
The first part is all about digging out all of the information needed to make the digital strategy a success. The highly skilled digital strategist of your choice will have a number of techniques for doing this including, interviews with stakeholders, competitor analysis, identifying and gathering detailed information on any requirements of the project and then further analysing all of this to come up with a business requirement matrix. This is essentially a way of ensuring that every requirement can be linked back to a business objective, there’s no space for freeloaders. From here your digital strategist can work out how much time and money will need to go into the plan in order for it to work.
This does what it says on the tin. The real art here is the way in which your strategist communicates the digital strategy they have come up with. There is no use having a fantastic plan if you can’t understand it. Amongst other things, in this documentation you should be able to see a justification for needing the strategy in the first place, an outline of the analyses and tactics in place,a sturdy timeline, and a sitemap (if a new website is on the cards).
As probably guessed, this is where the plan is handed over to the technical and design teams as necessary, and is probably where the business themselves will incorporate the digital strategy into a wider project plan. The Digital strategist is still likely to be involved in this part and will probably want to be part of the testing of any digital components.
Do I need a digital strategist?
If you are soon to undertake a new business venture and not entirely clued-up in all things digital, it’s highly likely you do. In this newly-formed climate where digital platforms and the economics that surround them are on the move, we are having to take fresh look at the very fundamentals of supply and demand. This is where a digital strategist steps in.
When devising your digital strategy you might need to incorporate a whole range of skills and expertise, from marketing and SEO, to design and development. You might not be sure how all of these tie in together, especially when you throw technology into the mix.
A digital strategist will most likely have a primary focus in all things digital marketing, with a keen eye for technology and an analytical brain like no other. Working behind the scenes, they perfect the art of aligning tactics with the underlying goals and strategies of a business to develop an informed vision. Your digital strategist will gather a full understanding of your business and its objectives and construct a pretty robust plan for incorporating it into the digital world and prioritising the online initiatives that are best suited to your business. In short, they are there to take the stress out of making ‘digital’ work for you.
If you are a digital strategist based in the UK and looking to attract the right customers, then why not add your business to Pixel Puppet. We personally review all registrations to ensure the quality of your business, so that our readers have the confidence to know that your listing is accurate.