I have visited with companies over the last couple of months and the term “Digital Strategy” has come up many times. It started me thinking about the last time the term was very popular – the late 1990s and early 2000 time period. I saw a reference to Digital Strategy 2.0 last week and thought it was a perfect way to describe this latest phenomenon. Several factors are driving this renewed focus on digital strategy:
- The need for customer intimacy, personalization, and an improved customer experience
- The critical need for innovation and the use of customer co-creation models
- The growing importance of social business
- The explosion of the mobile channel
- The growing number of customer interaction channels
- The exploding growth of data
A digital strategy has several objectives and strives to establish a consistent customer experience across all interaction channels. Best in class strategies will take a customer from initial brand awareness to conversion and ultimately engagement. Different methods are effective in supporting aspects of the customer journey. For example, search is effective during the awareness phase, while social media and the main website are effective during the engagement phase. Strategies should leverage each method in a coordinated and integrated manner, orchestrating the journey from awareness to engagement. The challenge lies in the complexity of an environment that includes existing digital assets, and an emerging set of capabilities in areas like mobile, social, location, search, gaming, augmented reality and analytics.
Indeed, the last time we talked about digital strategy, the world seemed less complex. Customer relationship management focused on multiple channels – but there seemed to be a limit to the number of channels we were dealing with. Data existed in silos and impacted our ability to get that elusive single view of the customer – but data was not growing at exponential rates and dominated by user generated content. Yes, Digital Strategy 2.0 is challenging – but I get the feeling from all these conversations that many companies will tackle it anyway.