In recent weeks we have discussed and clarified on some of the different tools and systems available to anyone who is interested in improving their business’ online presence and digital footprint. We have also stressed how important these tools are when formulating or implementing strategies or planning your digital “roll out.”
Whether you are starting your planning from scratch or you are formulating new strategies for your online presence the questions you ask yourself should be the same.
The only difference is when you have formulated strategies in the past, the results of those should be considered when focusing on your new strategies.
Step 1: Due Diligence – or more simply, do you have the budget? This is not necessarily all about money. Yes, there is a certain amount of money that will be required but we believe more importantly, do you have the time available? This is very important because as we know time is money and the reason social media and digital platforms are so popular is because of the instant access to information. Consider the time it will require to roll out your strategy and keep it running and whether your budget allows for the time that will be needed in order to keep your plans running smoothly. Also keep in mind that expected response times in a digital era are now much less than in traditional marketing. You will have to keep a constant eye on your profiles and pages in order to be able to respond or update these timeously.
Step 2: Risk VS Reward – This relates directly to your due diligence. If you have the budget and you are willing to spend it, consider the returns or your objectives. You may be a new business looking to increase your viewership or simply get your name out there to a larger audience. You may be a part of a large corporate looking to better improve your customer experience, try to be absolutely critical in this phase and always consider the worst case scenario in order to mitigate some of the risk.
Step 3: Planning – Plan towards your objectives.
- What is it you’d like to achieve?
- How would you like to achieve this?
- When would you like to achieve it by?
In our experience planning is extremely important and setting solid goals goes hand in hand with this. Just as important though is flexibility. Your plan needs to be flexible because of the amount of change that occurs in the digital sphere. There are already so many platforms, technological advances and not to mention all the others that are on the way. The longer you give yourself to achieve your goals the more flexible your plan will need to be, remembering that a future advance could help you achieve your goals faster, for instance.
Avoid clutter. Keep your plans as simple as possible. The reasoning for this is as we’ve said, keep your strategy flexible. It is easier to change a simple plan than a complicated one, however it does depend largely on the team you have in place. If you have a great team that can handle and manage cross pollination coming from 5 different platforms, to a mobile site linking into an e-commerce facility, doubling up on metrics, your CRM and ORM systems then go for it. Your plan should always link to Step 1: Due Diligence.
Contingencies. Always consider the “what if’s.” This is not only designated for the potentially bad ones but also the potentially good ones. For instance a shoe manufacturer in Norway had one of their marketing videos go viral on YouTube, they hadn’t considered, the video going viral and the amount of sales that would generate. Unfortunately they lost a huge amount of sales because their e-commerce wasn’t as good as it should have been, but on the plus side their viewership sky rocketed.
As for the negatives, say, your campaign doesn’t generate as much revenue as you were hoping for, always have a “back up plan.” In case of these situations. Write this down and keep it safe and set yourself “cut offs.” The reason for this is it is easy to get “emotionally” attached to your plans and strategies and rightly so, you should have confidence in your strategies and plans and have the conviction that they will work superbly.
Unfortunately sometimes that is not the case, being able to admit it hasn’t perhaps had the impact you would have liked is sometimes hard to believe. By having your back up in your contingency planning you simply change to back up and carry on with the minimum amount of down time or aggravation. This falls into Step 2: Risk VS Reward but still something to consider when formulating your strategies.
Step 4: Execution – We believe this is the simplest step of all. As long as your planning has been precise and you have covered all your contingencies, mitigated your risks and have a solid back up plan you can rest assured that your strategy will achieve your goals and you will gather all that you have set out to achieve.
We would love to hear about some of your strategies or if you have any questions regarding formulating digital strategies please contact us here or on any of our social media platforms below: