Evidence shows that:
- Companies that are more digitally mature are actually more profitable
- Most businesses realise that they cannot be left behind in getting real benefits from their Digital assets if they want to remain competitive
So what stops them from becoming more digitally mature?
Common factors that stop them are:
- They fail to plan
- The plan they have is unrealistic
- They don’t adjust the plan over time based upon the results they achieve
To become more effective (digitally mature!) they must actively address these issues.
Failing to plan is planning to fail
A realistic plan is essential to moving forward – but before getting into specific tactics you must:
1) Confirm your business goals: Align your digital marketing activity to directly support your overall business goals! Clarifying your business goals and making sure that you are clear on what these are enables you to understand what your digital plan should achieve.
2) Establish your measurement criteria: What are your KPIs? (Key Performance Indicators). Measurement is an essential part of the process of change. “If you can’t measure it you can’t manage it“, and without measuring the impact of activity how will you know if any change you make has been beneficial?
3) Measure where you are currently: If you know how you are performing against the KPIs you have agreed upon, you have a base against which to set targets for improvement and something to compare the outcomes of your new plan against.
There are a range of metrics and measurement tools available but don’t get swamped or data blinded. Free tools, you may already have such as Google Analytics can help you determine KPI’s, your current performance and the ability to monitor your progress. For example, by measuring things such as the sales, contacts or number of visits to your site off the back of an email marketing campaign, will allow you to see whether your new plan is effective or not.
Implementing a realistic plan
To have any chance of succeeding your plan needs to be realistic. All businesses have limitations on time and resources so your plan should consist of small, achievable targets that are time bound.
For example, setting a target to increase your mailing list by 20% in three months is achievable if you have a starting base of 500 email addresses. Less so if you need to grow from 200,000 email addresses.
There are many different areas of digital which you could focus on, e.g. display adverts, affiliates, email marketing, social media, SEO and pay-per-click. Trying to do a few things well is often a better tactic than trying to do everything and doing nothing well as a consequence.
Adjusting your plan over time
We do a lot of financial modelling and digital planning and the first thing you know about any plan and predictions are that you are going to be wrong - the only question is how wrong.
Driving results from your digital activity is an ongoing process which requires you to regularly review and refine what you are doing based upon what works and what doesn't work.
You should review you digital performance in the same way you would review your sales team performance and focus upon enhancing strengths and addressing weaknesses. For example, if your website is attracting visitors but not driving enquiries you should look at improving user experience.
If you don’t structure and schedule a formal review monthly or quarterly you won’t adjust your plan or optimise the tactics you use to meet your goals. Do not become too attached to your digital plan! It should never be set in stone as the aim is to keep improving your plan based on what is working well for you at the time.
Many companies find it challenging to:
- Confirm how digital should align with their specific business requirements
- Decipher and understand all the digital options – they don’t know what they don’t know!
- Plan and coordinate people to focus upon the actions needed
If you are one of the many businesses grappling to realise the commercial benefits through your digital activity or struggling to become more digitally mature contact us to let us demonstrate how we can help you in a practical and cost-effective way.