When brands put into action a digital strategy it can be a very daunting task in choosing where to start. The temptation is always to get your digital agency to start with your website because this is the easiest place to identify deficiencies. This approach usually results in a costly website build usually followed by a call to Salesforce or Marketo to look into their marketing platforms as a next step beyond the new website. This can be a large time and cost outlay upfront that has the potential to derail a brand’s digital strategy because there is no underlying intelligence driving the roadmap.
This is what I call a “platform driven approach”. Platforms are important (don’t get me wrong they are vital) but looking straight to new platforms should never be your starting point. A digital strategy should always start with an understanding of the existing interactions your brand has with its customers online, then optimising any of these existing touch points before proceeding with investing in new tech.
Once you have your house in order (and fully understood) your brand is in a position where it is fully informed to be able to define and prioritise its digital strategy based on the gaps, customer needs, business needs and insights that have been uncovered.
In order to inform your digital strategy it is important to look to these sources for insights.
One of the most important principles of digital transformation is that it is not just limited to marketing departments. Digital Transformation is holistic and occurs across every unit within a business. Thus it is important to document the needs and requirements of all business divisions across marketing, sales, customer service, human resources, finance, fulfillment, IT, operations etc.
Interviews and workshops work best here to illicit everyone’s requirements and their importance so requirements can be prioritised.
Ignore this step at your own peril!
One of the most important outcome of any digital transformation initiative is that it improves the customer experience. So get out there and talk to your customers, learn what they need from your brand’s digital offering, what they currently like about interacting with your brand and any gripes they have.
Find your most loyal customers and interview them. Email out a survey to your database and gather intelligence – you get the drift.
In addition to the requirements you gather from your customers, it is also important to map the digital customer journey here – what roles did all of your digital channels play in driving your customers to make a purchase and drive loyalty to your brand? Map it out.
For competitor research I like to use a tool called the “strategy canvas” from the book “Blue Ocean Strategy” – you can check it out here. This tool is a crucial framework to in documenting all of your competitors and their digital offerings to then benchmark your own offering against theirs. Here you can identify any deficiencies in your own offering and areas to innovate.
Data and Analytics
The final piece of the puzzle and the quickest to take action from in this early phase as looking into existing customer data and analytics will uncover some quick wins for you to implement across your digital ecosystem.
I will preface this by saying that often when going to look for insights from existing data, it often identifies issues with the data itself (e.g. data in multiple silos, data not being captured etc) which in itself will then help to inform a company’s data strategy moving forward – but I digress.
Web analytics is a key source of insights here, particularly key indicators for engagement such as devices, return users, content performance, search tool data and user flows. Looking into this will identify trends of how users interact with your site and any gaps with your content. Also be sure to look into search engine query data to identify any potential customers that you are not driving to your site from organic search.
Social channels are also critical to examine in order to uncover how customers use these channels (is social used for feedback or marketing? Where in the path-to-purchase do they fit? How does it perform?).
Insights gathered from data combined with the insights gathered from your stakeholders, customers and competitors then can inform the tactics to include in your digital roadmap as well as set the benchmarks and KPIs for success.
This article only scratches the surface by outlining some key areas to examine and inform your digital transformation strategy, but there are many other discovery points and frameworks that go into a digital roadmap.
If you would like to know more or need help with your digital roadmap CLICK THE LINK BELOW or call 02 8004 3541.