10 reasons why Digital Channel Strategy

1. You're directionless

I find that companies without a digital strategy (and many that do) don't have clear strategic goals for what they want to achieve online in terms of gaining new customers or building deeper relationships with existing ones. And if you don't have goals you likely don't put enough resources to reach the goals and you don't evaluate through analytics whether you're achieving those goals.

2. You won't know your online market share

Customer demand for online services may be underestimated if you haven"t researched this. Perhaps more importantly you won't understand your online marketplace: the dynamics will be different to traditional channels with different types of customer profile and behaviour, competitors, propositions and options for marketing communications. See online marketplace methodology post.

3. Existing and start-up competitors will gain market share

If you're not devoting enough resources to digital marketing or you're using an ad-hoc approach with no clearly defined strategies, then your competitors will eat your digital lunch!

4. You don't have a powerful online value proposition

A clearly defined ONLINE CUSTOMER VALUE PROPOSITION will help you differentiate your online service encouraging existing and new customers to engage initially and stay loyal.

5. You don't know your online customers well enough

It's often said that digital is the "most measurable medium ever". But Google Analytics and similar will only tell you volumes not sentiment. You need to use other forms of website user feedback tools to identify your weak points and then address them.

6. You're not integrated ("disintegrated")

It's all too common for digital to be completed in silos whether that's a specialist digital marketer, sitting in IT or a separate digital agency. It's easier that way to package digital marketing into a convenient chunk. But of course it's less effective. Everyone agrees that digital media work best when integrated with traditional media and response channels.

7. Digital doesn't have enough people/budget given its importance

resource will be devoted to both planning and executing e-marketing and there is likely to be a lack of specific specialist e-marketing skills which will make it difficult to respond to competitive threats effectively.

8. You're wasting money and time through duplication

Even if you do have sufficient resource it may be wasted. This is particularly the case in larger companies where you see different parts of the marketing organization purchasing different tools or using different agencies for performing similar online marketing tasks.

9. You're not agile enough to catchup or stay ahead

If you look at the top online brands like Amazon, Dell, Google, Tesco, Zappos, they're all dynamic - trialing new approaches to gain or keep their online audiences.

10. You're not optimising

Every company with a website will have analytics, but many senior managers don't ensure that their teams make or have the time to review and act on them. Once a strategy enables you to get the basics right, then you can progress to continuous improvement of the key aspects like search marketing, site user experience, email and social media marketing. So that's our top 10 problems that can be avoided with a well thought through strategy. What have you found can go right or wrong?

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