Do you want to succeed digitally?
1. A written strategy gives you direction and focus
Companies that have not written down their approach can have a general sense of what they want to do online and what their tactics are, but probably have not properly defined any of the basic elements.
For example, they may know that they want to get more visits to their website, but they can say how many? You may want to get more customers, but can they determine which percentage, or through which channels?
Without specific goals, it’s harder to know exactly what you need to do online, and later to measure how successful you are.
Creating a written strategy forces business to cope with these important issues, as well as formulating a powerful online value proposition, narrowly defining the target audience, and carefully assessing all the other building blocks for an effective digital program.
2. It ensures everyone is on board – and on the same side
Ensuring that there is broad support for digital activity in your company can be difficult.
This is much easier to find if you have written documentation stating what you aim to achieve, how it fits in with the company’s other marketing priorities and gives you a way to measure whether it works or not. Suddenly you have a digital program that can be promoted and defended, instead of just “something some of us try on”.
Moreover, it ensures that it is a vision and method that everyone has to sign up for. Without a written strategy, any leader and director is free to project their own goals and priorities on online activity, and all too often, the result is that all jobs are crossing purposes without ever realizing it. Clarity is important!
3. You will be better equipped
If you work without a strategy, it will be harder to train in advance what the budget your digital program needs to succeed and what skills your employees need to run it.
Yes, you can apply for more funds and hire staff as and when the need arises, but you will always be on the back foot. It will certainly be more efficient – and easier to do the case – if you were able to present a long-term budget and employee plan?
4. It will limit duplication
Even if you have sufficient resources, these can be wasted without a strategy in place to use them effectively.
This is especially true in larger companies where you see different parts of the marketing organization that purchase different tools or using different agencies to perform similar online marketing tasks. A written strategy, in this case, is becoming better organized.
5. It will help you optimize and stay ahead
Each company with a website wants analytics, but many executives do not ensure their teams or have time to review and act on them.
A strategy will build testing into the program so that continuous improvement is possible.
It will also help you optimize. A good strategy will benchmark your activity and outline what goals you need to hit the web, so you measure what works and what’s not, and make the necessary changes. Again, regular reviews will be built into the system as long as you have a document to look back on.
Writing a strategy does not have to be complicated. Start with one or two pages describing your goals, tactics, and KPIs: It alone will make a huge difference to your online performance and you can build a more comprehensive document later down the line.