Most companies have lots of strategies on the shelves. What often lacks though is taking action. Perhaps this is caused by too many ideas rivalling for the limited resources, perhaps it is an issue in the decision making process. I think the cause has many heads and differs from company to company. One aspect is common though: strategies are often too big and too all encompassing to take on all at once. So make it is simple. Make it manageable. Better to take one step than non at all.
These eleven steps can guide you from deciding what to take on to actually carrying the first – next – step.
Week-1 till Week-4: Battle Field
- [ 1 ] Where Are We Now? What is our digital footprint in the online landscape. Draw up a map showing where the customers are: the bigger the white-circle, the more visited it is by your customers.
- [ 2 ] What Do We Do? What is the nature of our presence and the role in the business model. Do we see gaps in our coverage?
- [ 3 ]Where is the Competition?
- [ 4 ] How Effective Are We? Both in operational sense and the actual ROI. For campaigns the ROI is a direct figure. For branding and PR it is the actual reach of and “shares / likes” by the target audiences.
- [ 5 ] What are our main Assets & Strengths?
Make this visual and discuss it with your team.
Like Napoleon planning his strategy, you have a map in front of you. There are lots of things going on and lots of things are ongoing. If e.g. your campaigns are doing okay (good conversion, right IT capabilities and well trained staff) then you want to keep that engine going smoothly, unhindered and with room to grow. In this situation you may want to tackle a different battle.
Point is to choose one, pilot it, optimize it and take a next step from that point onwards.
Week-5: Choose One
- [ 6 ] Focus on the element you need to tackle now. Choose your focus one by one.
Week 6 till Week 12/18
- [ 7 ] Set Target & KPI. Determine what you need to achieve and how to measure the results.
- [ 8 ] Ideation: draw up the concept of how to generate the desired results. You can mine the wealth of strategies on the shelves or develop new ideas whish are focused on the chosen field.
- [ 9 ] Visualize & Realize. Design and develop the digital service in an iterative way: involving customers and business stakeholders in the development process.
- [ 10 ] Organization. Make the necessary adjustments to staff, tools, capabilities, charter and – if necessary – the line of reporting.
- [ 11 ] Measure & Optimize.
The actions taken in step-10 are preferably easy to take, as the organisational aspect is quite often the bottleneck to get ahead.
Repeat steps 6 till 11.
This as an alternative to try to tackle the entire online landscape, and all activity in it, at once. Having a full view of your strategy is important, but more important is to actively carry out your strategy.
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When given just one choice, what would you first pick up and improve?