Creating an effective digital strategy requires a big picture view

As digital technologies reshape customer behaviour, brands are realizing that their approach to digital needs to change. Marketers want their digital communication channels to work harder and better. Divisions can no longer afford to work in silos and evolution in digital strategy can no longer be piecemeal. To paraphrase an old saying, brands can no longer afford to look at the trees, but forget about the forest.

It isn’t anyone’s fault really – budget constraints over the last few years only allowed for tactical Band-Aid solutions to be implemented. But now, more and more of our clients are coming to us for help with big picture issues.

One client approached us because their various digital initiatives were becoming too fragmented, and the messages that were being broadcast through their channels were becoming less and less cohesive.  So we proposed an approach where we took a step back and to conduct an audit of their various digital initiatives and gain an understanding of the customer journey.  The outcome: by looking at the entire picture we were able to identify strengths, gaps, areas of opportunity/integration, and devise a strategy and game plan to help them achieve their goals.

Another client wanted to improve their customers’ retail experience and digital played a key role here as well. They had recently introduced touch screen interactive stations in their retail environment, but found that they weren’t being used to their fullest capability by their customers and sales staff.  So we took on the challenge of looking at the entire customer experience at the store, both with the digital content, and human interactions and devised a strategy where these two component pieces are able to work in a complementary manner to provide a more positive customer experience.

A third client started a fairly robust future planning initiative for one of their programs, and needed to understand how digital could play a stronger role.  Once again we conducted a detailed examination of the current digital customer journey to gain insights into their customers’ feelings about the experience, their needs, and the barriers that prevent engagement with the brand, digitally.  Once that groundwork was completed, we were in a position to provide recommendations on how the client could use digital as a bedrock component of the customer journey of the future.

Each of the clients I’ve just mentioned had very different asks. But they were rooted in one common desire: the need to take a really good look at the bigger picture, to find opportunities to improve the customer experience, and to set a plan in action to help them get there.