How to create a great digital strategy

strategy-document-plus-grade-great-successful-plan-review-yellow-envelope-getting-as-achieving-success-good-43759524When I meet with clients I am often told “we want to create a great online experience”, however, saying it and actually executing it are two different things.  Over the course of ten years experience here is my list of how to create a winning digital strategy that delivers on brand/business objectives.

1ne: It’s crucial to understand your audience and customers.  What are the top initiatives that convert prospects into customers?

2wo: Ask “how much does digital really influence a purchase of our product?”.  Most items in the grocery isle do not warrant time online as opposed to choosing a new car or PC.

3hree: The level of investment in digital should be directly proportional to the importance of digital in the purchase decision.

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4our: Don’t invest in social media to market, rather, invest in social media to listen to your customers and respond to their questions or complaints.

5ive: If digital is a big part of your brand experience invest in the strategy and do it right.  This means conducting research with your audience to better understand what THEY want online as well as usability testing.

6ix: Content is important, but don’t get fooled that you definitely need new content.  Consumers are overwhelmed with content online and just don’t have the time to learn how to get grass stains out of tee shirts.

7even: The most important metrics you should be looking at are bounce rate, time on site and page views.

8ight: Online ads need to be tested before rollout.

9ine: Forget great graphics and other eye candy.  Remember, it’s about visitors not just you.

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10en: Digital marketing should be integrated into all phases of the marketing plan.  Don’t develop a plan and think “we can just build a website later”.

I’m still amazed at the amount of money clients will spend on the development of TV spots yet they limit their digital because the budget limits what they can and can’t do.