In this unforgiving economic climate, there has never been a more relevant time for Small to Medium-size Enterprises (SMEs) to develop well thought out, concise strategies that can have a positive influence on the ongoing success of their business. The great thing about strategy; and in particular digital strategy, is how quantifiable the results are.
The best thing is, if your strategy isn't yielding the sort of ROI that you had forecasted, you can very quickly switch to an alternative or modify the existing approach to suit your demands.
So what makes up a good digital strategy then? The key factors that spring to mind would be utilizing your core competencies, constant development/innovation and most importantly - an underlying vision that your entire organisation are committed to fulfilling. Even the most effective strategy in the world will struggle to reap the desired rewards if there isn't a top-down commitment to adopt the tactic. Remember, a credible strategy will encompass all aspects of your operations and have a major influence on almost all decisions that your business makes.
Take Google for example, which has always functioned on the mantra that they want to 'make the world's information universally accessible and useful'. Okay, this isn't exactly a fool-proof blueprint on how to run a globally successful corporation. It is, however, a direct and concise vision that was generated at the very top of Google's chain of staff, before being instilled into all of their staff and operational decisions since their inception a mere 14 years ago. It worked for them, so why not you?
There are so many aspects to consider with digital strategy. Do you limit your focus to SEO? Is it worth investing heavily in paid advertising? How do you capitalise on the veritable goldmine that is the social media landscape? I'm barely scratching the surface there. Suffice to say there is no shortage of ways in which to invest your time and money when it comes to digital strategy.
I would hate to think how many times the phrase; 'in this economic climate' has been used over the past couple of years. I dare say it's more than a couple. There is a reason for this though - in this economic climate (sorry), you don't get too many chances at getting things right. That's why increasing numbers of businesses seek outside advice from specialist companies who can draw on past experiences and successes to develop tangible, feasible digital strategies on a company-by-company basis. There is no doubting that the single most important stage in determining strategic success (digital or otherwise) is the initial stage - the concept and formation of your strategy.
We're all after the same thing at the end of the day, increased conversion rates and the highest possible return on investment. Utilising a specific and relevant digital strategy gives us all a much better chance of meeting these targets, and not all digital strategies will set you back huge amounts of money. So take a glance over your companies' original mission statement, and spend a while considering how you can build on and improve this strategy in the digital age. If you're struggling to answer that question then it might well be worth finding someone who can.