4 Reasons You’re Not Leveraging Digital


By Daniel Weule

16 Apr 2014

I recently attended a conference in New York entitled Digital Innovation Strategy Summit. It was very well attended by a wide array of global and domestic US firms. I went with a view to learn the smart ways companies were leveraging the digital domain to contribute to their strategic objectives. What I found was ways that companies were not achieving this.

Here are 4 reasons you may not be leveraging this lucrative domain to add value to your business:

1. Assuming digital means marketing

Much of what was presented related to social media. As the various heads of Marketing and Digital strategy talked about what they had done, I couldn’t help thinking about the old adage, ‘If you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail’. I wondered how powerful strategies might have been if a cross functional team of business leaders worked on customer solutions together. Which brings us to our next point.

2. Chasing likes and tweets but not thinking about value

Social and digital media still seem to be building the rationale for the investment. Most discussions landed at the assertion that it is very difficult to translate likes and followers to revenue, but what was more realistic was that social media gets your potential customers to the ‘top of the funnel’ and then its up to you to convert them. This is where value comes in.

Apart from CBS and the New York Times, unique as publishing companies, no one really presented how they were leveraging the digital domain to make the lives of their customers any better. Think about how airlines have innovated using the digital domain to make it easier to fly. Much of the work they have done makes the lives of travelers much more comfortable and only a small proportion of this involves social media.

3. You control your content and design

Branding is big business. Your brand must be just so, and yet each of your thousands perhaps millions of stakeholders use and think about your product and services in their own way.

Companies like CBS and BAE showed how they were relaxing their control and handing it over to employees and customers to great affect. CBS allowed fans to design the key elements of their Hawaii Five 0 episodes, which challenges the writers to combine the ‘Cludeo’ type elements into a storyline, but was rewarded by massive lifts in engagement and subsequent advertising revenue. BAE went down a different track challenging their employees to produce a video about BAE; lifting their employee engagement levels through the process.

In each of these cases the results were not what each of the companies would have produced according to branding rules but their courage was rewarded.

4. You haven’t thought through multiscreen

You’ve heard of multi-screening? No (see below).
This is really about understanding how consumers move between multiple devices to decide to make a purchase. Your job is to consider how you can work this scenario to support your business objectives.

Tip: it’s not about marketing. It’s about content and about helping consumers fulfill their objectives, whether they be leisure based or otherwise.

Many firms seem to be heading towards storytelling and utilising the convergence of devices around television screens as the delivery and purchasing vehicle. What is your strategy here?

CBS have found that during their programs users would spend an average of 28 minutes online, yes, while watching TV shows they’re looking at other content. Is this sale-able to advertisers? Oh yes!

Start a strategic conversation with leaders in your business and work towards solving this question:

How will we leverage the digital domain more effectively to unlock greater value from our markets and our employees?

 


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