cakapdigital.com – Sometimes project potentials are left untouched or realized. This is also the case with digital projects. Constant and rapid changes are expected in digital marketing, and that means more tools, platforms, and theories to learn, adapt, and apply to our business.
But your effort can go to waste. So how do you keep its momentum and allowing your digital project blooms the best results?
1. Strategy & Vision
We need to know whether the business foundation is strong enough to hold a digital project by asking questions that relate to:
- The readily available organizational strategies
- The specific digital strategy/roadmap for growth purpose
- The list of digital priorities in the organization and how well-defined they are
Identification: The ‘No Strategy’ Action
The lack of a big picture causes a disturbance in achieving a clear-defined digital project. When teams skip to a solution without putting the foundation on the first play, the project will be at risk for failure.
In 2018, CIO.com reported that 50 percent of companies aren’t successfully executing their digital strategies, and 20 percent believe that those very projects are a waste of time.
These are the common issues associated with the lack of digital strategies in an organization:
- The weak beginning of a business case
- Fuzzy resolution for the expected outcomes
- Insufficient senior management buy-in
Solution: Converting business strategy to digital strategy
The documentation of the organizational strategy that all individuals of the company can refer to helps keeping the digital market on track with its objectives and goals.
Equality in agency-client relationships
There are cases where the agency’s scoop doesn’t expand beyond ‘a finished project’, and it takes equal exchanges between the agency and client to address business challenges that touch the core of the problems.
Transparency across business divisions
Aligning the digital project with leaders from different business divisions can clear the potential misunderstanding and maintain the project’s objectives. For example, involving stakeholders in the process that align them with the strategy can lead to better technology decisions for the varied inputs.
The questions here intend to reveal the level of knowledge the company has for its customers:
- The organization’s target audience
- Any documentation of their branding and past experiences
- The organization’s approach to analyzing, understanding, and reacting a customer’s needs and their best optimization approach for customer’s experiencesIdentification: Missing the centric in customer
Identification: Missing the customer-centric approach
Research showed a more profitable market for 60 percent of customer-centric companies compared to companies that put the customer on second thought.
Why this might happen:
- Stable situation in the company creates no sense of urgency to change things
- Unthreatening competitors on the same side of the business
- Recurring costs
When a company has the intention for a customer-centric approach but lacking the externalized strategy to realize this goal, the common causes are:
- Missing what customer really needs but not identifying them personally
- Failure on renewing and re-evaluating the audience profiles
- Getting confused between the audience demographics, personas and the journey maps.
Solution: Define the customers before their final verdict of you
Discover your customers’ profile in detail by finding out what they need and their feedback on the service.
Customers are consisting of individuals with diverse needs, so observe their characteristics and how it reflects their behavior. That way, you can be among the 52 percent marketers that based their approach on customer interactions and feedback.
Focusing on the available digital platform for A/B testing rather than switching to a new one is preferable as the latter does not solve the root of the problems, and will instead reliving the same issues. Chained with a customer-first approach, you’ll begin seeing fast improvement in the digital project.
The available organization data needs to be considered as to whether it’s working to serve the business and act as a foundation.
The points regarding the data management system are:
- The existing data management system
- Data collection effectiveness
- Data insights usage on adjusting strategies and whether it’s used for improving customers experience with profitable result
Identification: Data bloat
Why big data isn’t really working:
- Ironically, it doesn’t exist in a bigger picture
- Big data doesn’t equal useful data
- It doesn’t provide an immediate answer to the big question.
The digital project does utilize these data to back the projected digital investment profitability, but bad data can lead to wrong decision making and leading to project failure in the end.
Solution: Focus on metrics that matter
Create unified customer profiles with a solution like CDPs (Customer Data Platforms). Data should be connected to the customers’ segmentation and business goals.
And most importantly, focusing on key metrics aligned with the project’s goals will help you create a streamlined workflow and finished products.
4. Digital integration
The integration of technology of different channels creates a seamless experience for the customer. Have you considered omnichannel marketing to improve your customer’s experience? If you haven’t, you will need a strategized plan and a platform-neutral approach to execute this type of marketing.
Let’s figure it out with these three points:
- Integrated channel strategy that meets customers’ demands
- The significant role of the digital element in the organization’s marketing plan
- Teamwork or individual planning of digital campaigns
Identification: Lack of integrated digital marketing channels
The nature of integrating channels deal with the collectiveness in searching for a product from the customers’ perspective. With the right balance, brand engagement is elevated through the integration of different channels, from email, website, chat support, video, and more. The problem lies in not understanding completely about the potential customers and the missed coordination between the digital marketers and their strategies.
Solution: See the big picture
By connecting with customers through informative explanations, stories, and experiences, it will be a matching strategy for the integrated nature of different channels. It adds your presence to the customers, gaining their trust so they know you’re ready to give reliable solutions.
Having a big plan out for all channels instead of focusing on single-channel plans also helps you form the big picture.
5. Content Marketing
Content marketing is a form of targeted marketing that creates and distributes contents with high value, relevancy, and persistent quality to reach many consistent followers that drives profitable action for the company.
So naturally, this should be the considered question:
- The availability of content strategy documentation
- Parameters for measuring content marketing and its effectiveness on achieving designated goals and objectives
- The acquired content consumption data of target audiences and the insights gained from the data
Identification: Seeing content as a mere article blogging activity
Content writing is one thing, but content marketing is a different beast. You don’t just write a blog post, you’d want to write something that would increase people’s urge to get what you offer. To do that, a strong brand voice and a series of blog posts worth distributing in different channels are much needed.
The 15-seconds viewing rule also applies to potential visitors, as this is the turning point of whether your website is worth checking out- or leaving it out of the equation for good.
Then again, it all starts from the failure to earn senior buy-in that determines the quality of the content production.
This usually happens when the following haven’t been considered:
- SEO content optimization for both human and search engines
- The timing of ROI measurement
- Brand voice and its alignment with people’s need and expectation
- The right content promotion strategy that targets the right audience
- Content impact measurement through a list of KPIs goals
Solution: One content for all
Creating content that you can publish in different formats and channels is the norm. You can do this by securing your audience profile, letting them know what you know about their problems and what you’re able to do with your offered service, and materialized it in a lifetime valuable content.
The next step is to decide on the specific budget for the process, and by allowing someone reliable and trusted to hold the strategy used in the content marketing process.
Measuring and optimizing your content is a must.
Indicating the required resources and their allocation on managing digital projects are necessary, which include your business readiness to address the total staff, budget, time constraint, support from outside, skills and expertise.
This is what we would like to know:
- The organization’s structure and how it fits their digital objectives
- List of third-party resources that support the organization
- How the investment decision-making process looks like for digital scope
Identification: No sign of good resources allocation
Resources allocation is a crucial step in driving the supposed integrated workflow system for digital projects. Organizations have often troubled themselves with the lack of properly skilled teams that fails a realized digital strategy in a report by PWC.
Another thing to consider is the nature of the company itself. If it’s not a digital native, digital teams are not always available or considered right from the start, and rather run by fragmented teams that don’t match the organization-wide approach.
This work culture causes stunted growth and progress due to the fragmented approach. Hence, the right resources and capabilities of the individuals are equally important to support and assist the implementation of the desired digital products and their solutions, through the underlying strategies.
Solution: Cross-functional team over functional silos
A team consisting of people with different backgrounds with the right skills and expertise is the ideal option as it allows the best project deliverance due to the sufficient resource provided by each individual.
Each individual will give the best input of their knowledge and improving the project to its maximum capacity. Therefore, deploying cross-functional teams rather than functional silos reap more advantage for the digital strategy execution.
Let’s not forget the on-going debate of outsource vs insource hiring. It’s also not uncommon for a company to combine the two methods, and it’s nothing like one method is superior to the other, since it depends on the circumstances and which option weights more risks and cons. The best practice would be to pay attention to the digital strategy need and decide on which hiring method fits.
7. Martech stack
Now are the techies’ turn to assess the way technology stack is executed under the organization’s objectives.
By asking these questions, we will figure out how the system is laid out in the organizational practice:
- The list of the specific system supporting the digital and the potential gaps that follow
- The way systems are maintained and supported and the available legacy marketing, with their effect on the digital progress
- The technology application, integration, and impact on the organization and their business
Identification: Half-brewed plans
The road that leads to planning failure can be ascribed to many possible scenarios and factors, such as:
- Zero engagement with decision-makers. Disregarding the role of stakeholders by not involving them might fail in gaining proper buy-in from the organization. This is due to the fear that the project isn’t good enough and will trigger concerns or objections from the stakeholders.
- Weak technology input and base support.The outdated approach to the technological application that puts back-end processes on second priority, like how it’s supposed to enhance and support the digital strategy instead of doubling the work needed for seamless customer experience is why failure is imminent.
- Over-focusing on new technology trends. Staying updated on the waves of new trends is perfectly fine, but it’s when not trying to see if it fits with the customers’ needs is when a failure might occur.
Solution: Prepping for investment decision making
The required automation tools for the marketing of your business might need more budget than you think. The annual budget alone is estimated at an annual $25.1b in 2023. With that numbers, we’re ought to be truly meticulous and clear on how, where, and why we’re spending it.
Therefore, it’s important to know the best practice for the decision-making of investment-related activity. Here are a few rules you can apply:
- Testing. Experiment with a demo version of the technology. Case studies or reviews from existing users of the tools can also be your reference before purchasing the tools.
- Validating. Verify the technology through independent routes, such as Gartner.
- Processing. Extract much information as possible before choosing vendors and the tools.
Aside from these rules, it’s also important noting that the understanding of existing business processes and the alignment of digital and business goals can help you choose the most suited technology tools that either complement or improve your business process.
From the breakdown of the 7 tips above, we see how human resources, technology, and the structural aspect of organization roles are intertwined, and it’s a matter of how each part is executed that brings the intended result or the contrary.
In the age of automation in the digital industry, it’s easy to get confused with the fast movement of incoming trends while juggling between the existing trends with the latest one, but hopefully, with the tips we share, you can gain more insights into the business plan in your mind or the ones already in your hand.