The term strategy is best understood as a framework or plan that is designed by the strategic management and executive team of an organisation. A business strategy outlines a holistic approach of the organisation’s purpose and goals. The digital marketing strategy then needs to be implemented and monitored throughout all levels of the organisation to ensure it meets the desired goals. A digital strategy is the plan for incorporating digital activities on multiple levels within the organisation to provide better services for the consumer.
How Can it Benefit an Organisation
There is a huge movement towards technological uses, as well as realising the benefits of implementing strategies that take advantage of technology in the business economy today. Just under 40% of businesses today plan to reallocate their budgets to invest more into digital channels of business. Technology is advancing each day and businesses are quickly noticing how using technology in different ways has the opportunity to be more beneficial for the goals of improved optimisation of operations, efficiency and ultimately growth in revenue.
Investing in the Future of Technology
It’s no question that business success is always relative to the rest of the marketplace (the efficiency of competitors business operations). Taking into consideration the direction technological advancements are moving in, particularly in relation to businesses – it’s an important investment for the future for any organisation. A digital strategy is always designed at the top level of management and executed through relative departments below that.
Today, 70% of organisations believe their upper-management and CEO’s have an average to above average understanding of technology and its effect on business operations. Having a team of technologically skilled employees can drastically improve operations with regard to utilising technology to improve performance. It is understandable that particularly older generations are resistant to learning new technology applications, however the consumers today are becoming more and more tech-savvy. To accommodate the increasing digital age of consumers, businesses need to invest in technology to maintain or improve their current market positioning.
Market and Revenue Growth
Along with the need for businesses to invest in technology, consumers are doing the same in their day to day life. Almost 60% of the world use the internet and roughly 89% of the world’s internet users are on social media platforms. The reason consumers spend more time with digital applications and online searches is the same for businesses, it is simpler and easier for communication, gaining access to information and satisfying goals. More and more individuals are utilising digital platforms to gain information about business as well as buying products or services.
Investing in digital marketing strategies will improve your audience reach and respectively your consumers. Although the initial investment in a digital strategy can seem daunting and not worth the cost or time spent, the process once implemented and monitored is likely to improve overall operations, productivity and profitability. A business survey stated that over 55% of CEO’s feel that investment in digital strategies and technological application have had a direct effect on overall revenue growth.
Designing and Implementing a Digital Strategy
When designing a digital strategy for a business it is first important to understand all the aspects that need to be considered when creating the strategy. The businesses position in the marketplace (in respect to competitors, associated businesses and the macro business environment) is a critical consideration to make when designing a digital strategy. Evaluating the existing strategy requires focusing on various aspects of the business operations. Considering the people (employees, suppliers, partners and consumers- their skills, understanding of the processes and ability to use the technology systems). Evaluating changes to the process requires effectively incorporating resources into the strategy. A platform needs to be established, enabling employees and business members to effectively use the digital system.
Ultimately, reaching the goals of the organisation needs to be effective and not compromised by the change in strategy towards a digital focus. An example of an organisation goal would be, improving communication channels with the customers and meeting their needs. Once the design of the digital strategy has been established in accordance with the goals of the organisation, it needs to be implemented within the organisation as a whole, including the consumers as users as well.
Implementation of the digital strategy takes place from a top down approach, communication and training systems need to be established to create a clear understanding of individual roles and how the digital strategy affects the existing business operations.
Monitoring and Adjusting the Digital Strategy
As the name suggests a digital strategy relies on different forms of technology. With technology being a rapidly growing and advancing subject with regard to business operations, it needs to be evaluated continuously. Many businesses fall into the trap of finding a digital strategy that works for their business and continuing blindly. If businesses are reluctant to adjust their strategy over time and as new technologies emerge- they are likely to fall behind in effective digital strategic execution and efficiency.
Technological advancements are designed to positively contribute to business operations, however, it requires adequate executives of any organisation to spend the time and money on creating a digital strategy that utilises new technologies effectively. That being said, it is possible to over-invest in technologies. It is the role of executive and organisational members designing the plan and monitoring its success to make informed decisions about technological changes, when they are needed. This requires identifying technological methods that add value to the organisation while still directing the organisation strategy towards the outlined goals set in each department of the business.
An article written by the Digital Marketing Institute estimated that by the year 2020 almost 50% of all organisational revenue would be influenced by digital investments. In the beginning of the technological age it was seen as a luxury for business to invest in a digital strategy. Today, technological investment and building a digital strategy for organisations is a necessity if they wish to competitively succeed or even survive in the current and future economy.