Friday, July 24, 2015

Ask Why before you decide What on Digital

At a recent gathering, a business person I was introduced to, remarked - "Oh! You are a Digital Strategy Consultant? You know? I have tried everything, but this Digital thing doesn't really work" . When asked what he expected, he replied  " I don't know. At least something should have happened after spending so much money on all this, but it hasn't."

Turns out that wanting to 'Be Digital' they had got a fancy website made, had a LinkedIn Company page, a Facebook page, a Twitter account, a Pinterest account, A Google+ account, a Blog, they were on Instagram, and every place else. The problem was - That was it.

They had made it all and now didn't know what to do with it. They expected that just being in all these places, making announcements (social posts & blogs, emails etc) should have, in some way, helped their business. And when nothing changed, they blamed it on the medium.

My suggestion to them all - First ask "Why"?

The problem is, if you don't know why you want a website, or an e-commerce site, or a Facebook page, or an app, or any other digital presence, then - 
  • You will be doing it all, or nothing at all, or doing something that you really didn't need.
  • Doing it all wrong, because there is no particular result you are looking for.
  • Losing time and money, as you would have done it and will then ask "Now what?"

And hence you will finally get nothing out it.

So first ask yourself a few basic questions to define why you need a Digital Presence. Then get down to where, how and what of it. Start with simple questions with specific answers. 
  • What Business are you in? 
  • What  business problem are you trying to solve? 
  • Who is your target audience?
  • What problem are you trying to solve for your Target Audience?
  • Where is this Target audience present?  What channels, devices, technologies do they use most, and are likely to use in the future?

These will help you decide digital medium to use, to solve what problem.

Next ask
  • What do we do there? 
  • How do we do it? Do we have the required expertise in house, or do we need to hire externalresources?
  • What is the right way to do it so that we get the desired result? How do we make people come there?
  • How do we know it is really working or not? Is there a way to measure the effectiveness of the channel?
There are just too many businesses out there with a website that has no traffic, those who are posting daily on social media but ignoring customer queries or remarks, those that have build apps that no one downloads, those with company blogs that no one reads, and those with e-commerce websites that make no sales. Being there and doing that is not the solution unless you know why.

So start with a strategy, know why you are doing what you are doing, and work towards achieving what you set out to achieve. You can do brand building, connect with your existing or potential customers, increase sales of your products or services, service your customers better, acquire new customers, sell more to your existing customers, improve business efficiency, reduce customer acquisition costs, increase customer retention, and a lot more depending on what You set out to do.

All digital channels are just the medium. Digital will not do it for you. You have to do it using Digital. And No, it's not a fad to be on Digital. So please don't just do it.

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