Building better experiences with digital strategy
Thursday, 28 July 2016 | Posted in: Articles | 6min read
Thursday, 28 July 2016 | Posted in: Articles | 6min read
Despite the growing demands on business to satisfy digital consumers, most struggle to implement effective digital engagement strategies which cater to these needs and lead to greater engagement and conversions results.
The following information provides an insight to our strategic workshop process. This process is intended for the business stakeholders to maximize the benefits of creating digital experiences which cater to the needs of both the business and its consumers.
We approach the initial planning as the most important factor of any project – with the different levels of briefs and requests we receive nothing beats getting stakeholders in a room to work through what we are trying to achieve here in a digital transformation strategy workshop. In the end, we try and understand the needs of your users and how a new solution will help them, as well as provide success for your business; it all begins with good planning and stakeholder discussions.
On booking the strategy workshop, we will always ask for as broad a stakeholder group as possible. The project may be sponsored by Marketing or IT, but more than the sponsor team need to attend – remember that digital is often the first instance that a user will engage with any part of a business so involving staff from top management to the person(s) answering the phone and directing calls provides excellent insights to the needs of the solution.
And we especially recommended involving the person answering the phone as they get all the requests and have to answer a lot of questions that can be gaps we can help fill.
Where possible we will always open up dialog with our clients in the workshop with why they are developing, or redeveloping, their website. Not only does a simple “Why are we doing this?” question disrupt the room a little, but also brings everyone back to the core of what we are doing this all for.
We review the objectives of the project we are undertaking, and match these with overarching business objectives, so we can align this new communication channel with actual KPIs and work to provide a return on investment for the client. There is no point in building something that doesn’t help facilitate business goals.
Understanding the client’s users provides the next level of detail in the strategy discussion – who are they and what are they looking to achieve on a client’s digital channel. No one is coming to your website or social channel without wanting to take something from it. Understanding who they are and what they are after, lets us begin to create the picture of what the solution is.
We can make some initial educated decisions on who these users are and what they are after, but discussing this with the stakeholder group provides a greater scope to understanding the audience we are building this for – they’ve got the experience and insights that we can never hope to gain via online research.
In the end, what we are delivering is some form of content to engage users with, in hope they will connect and decide to convert, therefore giving us the return on investment we are looking for. Now knowing the objectives the business wants to achieve and who we are building this for; we discuss what we need to build to grab the user’s attention, and what functionality will provide benefits to visitors giving them a great customer experience.
We open this up to the old adage of “no idea is a bad idea” – you’d be surprised how ideas and discussions flow around the content suggestions, and from there we can slowly refine and realise ideas that provide exactly what the solution requires. We will continue reflect back to our previous discussions to make sure things stay on point, but even those grandiose ideas will trigger something that ends up in the solution – maybe not the same as the initial idea, but the objective of it constructed into something that meets requirements.
Digital solutions are a big investment for businesses and in the end we need to discuss what success looks like, so we can identify whether we are succeeding in our strategies or they need refinement. This goes beyond the old idea of “wow, look how many visitors we have on our site” (we call these vanity stats!) and focuses more on the value gained from the solution and the types of KPIs we can attribute numbers and metrics to.
Increase in leads from the website, ongoing sharing of social posts or conversion from an multi-touch advertising campaign are all measures that go beyond core numbers and provide the value the business is looking for. The best one we’ve had is “happy customers” – in the end that is what we are trying to do and understand so we develop a framework and strategy that allows for its measurement.
After we’ve delivered the strategy workshop we collate all of this information and document our findings and further insights – the output is a document that has input from all stakeholders and The Digital Embassy. The document provides the direction for the next stages of the project with the business and the user at the forefront of the strategy going forward.
Our process isn’t about telling the client how they should do things and what they should be doing – that gets you nowhere – we facilitate conversations with and between stakeholders (these discussions are often bringing together stakeholders who haven’t had the chance to talk about these things together in a room) and use our expertise in the digital space to help guide and realise objectives and requirements, turning them into a solution that provides success and return on investment. It is often the beginning of a great partnership.