We craft digital marketing strategies designed to build long term success, not short term hype.
We audit the digital capabilities of a brand and create an action plan that helps guide the growth and success of our clients.
We've worked with businesses just like yours to set a strategic direction for their digital marketing and outline the key channels and activities that help them reach their goals.
We combine decades' of experience with an analytical review of your data, exploration of market trends and insights, and take a deep look at what your competitors are doing to establish an effective strategy for you.
Our strategic service includes:
With our core role in transforming a business's digital presence - we are in the unique position to reinvent their brand for a more digitally focused world through design, content and interaction. The new signifiers of a modern digital brand - are user interface, integrated branded content and interaction.
Planning a digital strategy is a custom tailored process for every business. However, the genral steps can be summarized with the following process.
Step 1: Gather Inputs for your Digital Strategy
Information is everywhere, so we gather it. No matter how big or small, however shallow or deep, we find information and capture it somewhere. Ideally on a wall, so it can be quickly visualised, as we will then be able to see just how much information is available. At this stage, we are not concerned about what the information is telling us. this stage is just about identifying the 'data points'.
Step 2: Understand The Current Company Context
When we're creating a digital strategy, there's little point developing it within a vacuum. Understanding the target company we're creating it for is essential.
We've seen many excellent digital strategies stall because they were focused on the wrong stage for the company. For example, a company may need get the basics right before moving onto innovation. We've also seen strategies with very promising plans fail because they were not innovative enough to challenge and outpace the competition.
Thus it is important to understanding the company's context. Just like a coach is able to boost performance by pitching their coaching at the level of shape their athlete is in.
Step 3: Map Macro & Micro Trends
Micro trends are those that have a duration of 3 to 6 months, whereas macro trends are longer lasting.
These trends are like water currents flowing through industries. We all know when we're swimming in currents, it's far easier to go with them, than against them.
Google succeeded because it spotted issues with its advertising algorithm early on; it responded to a micro-trend in the form of better understanding of internet advertising, within a macro-trend of the rise of the internet and search engines.
Any digital strategy needs to be informed by both the micro and macro trends, that will pull and push an industry, creating prevailing conditions for years ahead.
Within the area of trends, when it comes to digital strategy in particular, We also recommend attention to these three forces:
- Identify existing customer needs, shifting needs and emerging behaviours
- Understand emerging and prevalent technologies that will shape the industry's future over the next 3 to 5 years
- Analyse the competition, not just for direct competitors but also new entrants that could foreseeably compete in your company's market
Digital technology is moving so quickly with such disruptive power, such that the above three forces have special importance relative to other trends.
Step 4: Interpret & Analyse The Data
Having built up the data points and understood the prevailing trends, now is the time to interpret and analyse this data. This requires deep thought.
During this stage, we ask questions like:
Questions About What 'Could Be'
- Where will action create further growth / revenue / profit?
- Is there anything we can do to magnify returns?
- Are there any areas where we are particularly weak / compromised / threatened? Without action, do these areas pose further risk?
- Most importantly, ask lots of 'If This, Then That' questions. For example:
- If trend A, B and C happened at once, more quickly than we thought, what might we do?
- If Competitor B entered this market faster than we anticipated, what would we do?
- If we leveraged this major technology trend, seriously investing in it and it succeeded, what might that mean for client's business?
What we're really doing at this step is building out our assumption base about the future. What we don't often realise is that we can develop this assumption base throug either real experiences or hypothesized scenarios.
- Questions About What 'Could Be'
Step 5: Clarify Your Major Themes For The Next 2 to 3 Years
With all this information, now is the time to clarify your major strategic themes for the next 18 months to 3 years. Anything longer is too far out. While longer timeframes will be useful for context, most digital plans have a shelf-life of 6 to 18 months in terms of practical planning.
Ideally, you would have five major themes for your strategic priorities, and at most seven.
Simple examples of digital strategies and priorities might be:
- Double online conversion within 12 months
- Increase self-service by 3x
- Grow registrations by 20%
- Create a pipeline of work based on 100% customer-validated ideas
- Consolidate all digital assets into one major platform
- Create a tiered pricing model for our subscription service
Whatever the priorities are, we take time to consider which are the most important and articulate them clearly.
Step 6: Define Your Objectives, Priorities and Actions
From our strategies, we can now plan the actions and tactics. These will be the ideas that will bring the major themes and priorities to fruition.
When defining actions it's important to know:
- what the action will provide to the company and its customers
- how the action will fulfil the strategy
- what uplift (conversion, signups, revenue, etc) the action will realise
- what the action will cost (a rough cost at this stage is okay)
- when (ideally) the tactic will be released to market
- In what sequence will the tactics best be fulfilled (some tactics may be better placed than others, to set the foundation for future tactics)
Once we have this, we can sequence these priorities into a roadmap.
'Levelling' of tactics will be important. The digital strategy would ideally clarify major themes and potential priorities, but also needs to leave space for teams to autonomously decide how they will fulfil these tactics. If the level of the tactic is too low, it may encroach on the planning domains of small teams. So the priority needs to be high enough to inform the work of teams, and not so low that it duplicates it.
If there's one thing that frustrates digital people, it's being told the solution, rather than the objective or problem to be solved. Digital teams are so often incredibly creative, hardworking and highly specialised; by sharing the digital strategy with these teams and asking for their help to bring it to a reality, it's incredible what can be accomplished.
Step 7: Review The Strategy Regularly
Remember, the strategy is a living and breathing tool. It requires attention if it is to grow.
Monitering the performace and quickly reacting to it is an essential task of our plans.
While many companies return to their strategy every year, We've found the best success is to make it part of regular meetings, so teams are reflecting on it at least every month. The digital strategy can also complement any planning methods already part of your organisation, such as Objectives & Key Results, which may be part of a quarterly planning framework.