When implementing the digital strategy, it is now time to look at tools, processes and the impact that the digital strategy may have on the organisation.
When choosing which tools to use for implementing your strategy, ensure that the tools are measured for their ability to deliver on the business objectives – consider the strengths of each type of tool and how well they will support the strategy.
Make sure to define the business requirements before looking at tools, as there’s a risk of getting caught up comparing tools and potentially missing a key requirement.
While there are lots of tools that can do multiple things, such as email marketing tools that also manage social media marketing campaigns and include detailed analytics capabilities, these tools might be over-complicated or more expensive than what you really need.
Be clear on what you can afford to compromise on without losing any capability that is strategically important.
While not the most glamorous thing to focus on, processes are important to successfully making changes such as implementing the digital strategy. Often when introducing new capabilities, this implies changes and the introduction of new processes.
This is also an appropriate time to consider if there are any existing processes that can be improved. Look at whether there are process issues that currently impact on the ability to deliver to the business objectives. There are examples such as email campaigns taking weeks to implement due to complex legal sign off processes – while this might be a reality of certain types of business, this devalues the immediacy of email as a channel, so needs to be factored in when deciding whether this is an appropriate channel choice.
The first step to changing processes is to document how things currently work. Include the ownership and timeframes associated with existing processes and you may easily be able to identify bottlenecks or problems.
You may find that there is a need for competence development with the introduction of new digital capabilities. Developing structured training for staff supports them in learning new systems and tools, but there can often be a need to increase knowledge about digital marketing to the broader organisation, beyond those staff directly involved in online.
Consider creating some informative and informal learning programmes, such as ‘learning lunches’ where staff can attend to learn more about specific topics of interest, such as social media. This can also be a way to share information about the strategy and where the digital strategy is heading for your company.