So that you know why you are going digital. As we always say, there has to be a purpose / objective behind every action we do. Going digital is a big change to the way you do and manage your business. And change means adapting to a new condition. Make sure you have answers to the following questions:
a) Why do you need to go digital?
b) What are you expecting out of digital?
c) Where will you face challenge in future if you do not go digital?
Identify and clearly state the goals of going digital. Write down on a poster and put it on your wall. Review your actions with this in the course of going digital.
2. Target customer
OK now that you have complete clarity on the purpose, identify the target audience. You can go big bang. That is, you may want to address you entire customer base. Or you may wisely select your target audience step by step e.g. high-end buyers, teenagers etc. This is a very important step and your digital strategy will evolve around this. For small / medium business, take a step by step approach instead of going big bang. At every step you may have different target audience, but remember, your digital strategy will always depend on who your target audience is.
3. Competitor analysis
Learn from people’s wins and mistakes. Do a thorough market research on your competitors. Review their digital presence. It could throw valuable insights about what works and what does not.
Based on your expectation and scope, get a budget for your digital strategy. You can interchange step 4 and 5. If you think identifying digital channels could help you arrive at a budget, feel free to do it first. But important is to keep an eye on your budget at all times.
5. Channel Strategy
As we said you can do multiple passes through 4 and 5. At this step, based on your objectives, target audience, scope (or budget if you have it already) you will identify the various digital channels you will use; how you will use the channels; person responsible for monitoring and managing the channels etc.
6. Dependency / Outsourcing
You cannot do everything in-house. You need to identify what and how much you want to do in-house. Outsourcing can offset competency development but will incur cost for you and may introduce risk. Outsourcing means dependency. However, you have to draw a line and identify your partners in your digital journey. Try to balance manpower vs cost vs risk. Do a thorough background study of your digital partners. Try to make a realistic plan instead of an aggressive one. Include all your partners in your plan but keep the control with you.
7. Expected return and Metrics
Now that you have everything in place to shoot take a pause and identify how you will measure your returns. Be pragmatic in identifying the metrics that will show you clearly how your digital strategy is performing. Prepare a plan on how you will collect data on the parameters and how you will measure them. After all you need to be able to make sure that your investment in digital is bringing value to your business.