Digital disruption is producing exciting opportunities for renewal and growth in even the most established organizations. But which opportunities are real, and which are mere mirages? How do you gear your business to anticipate and exploit trends – and to avoid emerging threats?
You do not need huge budgets to have a huge impact. Often it is smarter to use guerrilla development – of your digital platforms, and of your business models. Spend little, abandon easily, keep moving on, keep innovating, keep diversifying. Staying close to the edge is not about taking big expensive risks; it’s about committing to perpetual prototyping.
The internet is evolving rapidly as a medium, as are the consumers who access it. Your first online attempts may be perfectly in synch with the times, but they date rapidly. A clearly thought-through strategy can help you avoid these problems and their consequences. It can save you time and investment, and can accelerate your development of a relevant, powerful, effective and flexible digital presence. It will also help you to communicate within the organisation and with vendors, and it will simplify the process of budget negotiation.
If the difference between vision and hallucination is the number of people who can share it, a tragically large number of digital strategies have been built on misaligned hallucinations. It is absolutely imperative that you formulate a vision that is clear, unambiguous and communicable. The bigger the project, the more people will be involved in executing it, and the more scope there is for different people to work at cross purposes. Time spent on this step can save a huge amount of churn further down the path. If you are unable to articulate what your desired future looks like, then how can anyone else contribute to achieving it?
Call us. We will help you develop a vision and a strategy that are pragmatic and innovative, and which position you to thrive in increasingly competitive digital marketplaces.
The major cause of fatalities among online marketing operations is not technical failure, it is process failure flowing from a failure in vision. Short-sightedness, tunnel vision and a focus on brands or technology can leave a company very exposed.
Digital marketing involves more than simply building a website or app, hiring someone “to search-optimise” it, posting banner advertisements, and getting an agency to pump out content on social media. Among the major processes you will have to deal with are:
- Refining your customer personas
- Understanding how technology is changing behaviour
- Discovering how your own business can be significantly differentiated
- Developing strategies for penetration, loyalty, and growth
- Designing your ‘brand experiences’ across all channels, platforms and devices
- Coding and testing those experiences
- Deploying them so they are dynamic, trackable, and maintainable
- Hosting, servicing, and managing your digital marketing experiences
- Building resources, in terms of both people and technology
- Tracking, measuring and analysing customer engagement and commercial impact
- Nurturing profitable relationships with the right customers
- Upgrading technology, design, content and consumer experience over time
The list goes on, and it is an iterative cycle, not a linear process. It can be so daunting that you may not want to even go there, but avoiding being pro-active about change is rarely a good idea.
Britefire can help you simplify your approach to anticipating and dealing with change.
Before you even think about spending money on technology or platforms, get a good grasp of how your corporate business goals and processes may need to change in the light of rapidly changing customer behaviors. Define the updated vision, business and operational strategy for the brand or product group. Then, making use of whatever gap analyses, marketing needs analyses or competency tools you may have, define your marketing objectives by brand and by customer persona. Once you have established a clear picture of your available technology resources and your target customer platforms, decide on the optimal modes and media for each experience. Next, examine your existing business processes, and decide how they need to change to support your digital vision.
Britefire can help you re-imagine your business for the digital customer.
A glance at how major industries imploded in the ten years after broadband proliferated lets you know how rapidly the establishment can become history once consumers gain a collective voice. If you do not function as a well-integrated customer-centric business, you lose touch, and flounder. Above all, your information flows must be real-time, not batch-time. You are looking to create an intimate relationship with each customer, not treat customers like herds of sheep. You want to find ways that grow efficiencies and provide a quality of brand experience that customers perceive as uniquely wonderful.
Britefire can help you design and build brilliant customer experiences.
When formulating your strategy, you should revisit your competencies. If you are an ‘offline’ company, you probably define your competencies by your internal processes, that is, the things that you know you do well. But digital companies need to define their competencies by the unique value they add to their customers’ processes, because the process is the experience.
Britefire can help you define how to add sustainable, meaningful value.
A sound digital marketing strategy is built on sound business goals, not on tech aspirations. It brings efficiencies to internal and shared processes. And it exploits opportunities for market growth and competitive advantage. Your strategy should tell you how you will:
- build an online presence and a community of customers
- treat customers as networked individuals
- retain and grow those customers
- deliver brilliant customer experiences (not just user experiences)
- achieve commercial goals
- position your business
It is easy to get lost in the details, but digital strategy is no different from any business strategy in one important respect: wherever possible you must focus on growing your business in those areas where your competitors are weak and your customers’ need is strong. Going head-on against competitors in the areas where you all share similar capabilities is tough – it calls for sustained heavy investment in branding to create the impression of differentiation; or if this is not possible your only option is to compete on price. Too many products are commoditised and fight only on price, not because they are identical to their competitors in all other respects, but because their managers have not identified and protected the relevant differences. Of course, disruptive innovation frequently requires leaps of faith – customers are not always aware of their needs till they experience something awesomely cool, like an iPad, or iTunes, or a CD, or a Walkman before that. Nobody felt a desire for online banking till it became available – now we can’t live without it.