What not to do when implementing digital strategies

mistakeThe new digital world has created unlimited new opportunities for businesses to market to its customers. The amount of choice can however overwhelm many people causing a lack of action as they simply don’t know where to start.  Whilst creating a workable strategy is the first step, the most important step is in the implementation which usually proves the most challenging. Below are some of the basic mistakes to avoid that will save you valuable time and resources.

Thinking Every Social Media Platform is right for you

Due to the proliferation of social networks, you may be excused to think that optimizing your prospecting campaigns means publishing on all of them. While initially this may seem a good idea, the first step is to find out what social channels your target customers are using as they will most relevant to you. You cannot effectively managed 4-5 social media platforms if you are an SME and even most larger companies (with more resources) don’t do this effectively either. Choose the most relevant 2 and do them well.

Not Setting Priorities and Deadlines

Irrespective of the many marketing tasks you have, not setting priorities and deadlines is a sure path to failure. It’s a great start to create a strategy but without any timelines in place it is likely you will keep putting off key deliverables to next week. Always next week when I have time. Unfortunately that time never seems to come so set priorities, break them into weekly tasks then diarize these to keep you on track. The key to any tactic being successful is in taking action to implement it. That is where the true value lies.

Copying what everyone else is doing and not making your own rules

Just like two people cannot have the same fingerprints, copying another business is not necessary going to reap you rewards. Being a ‘me too’ player will not make successful since you are not offering anything unique. Copying other people’s strategies will put your business in an unfamiliar territory because the strategies adopted may not actually suit your business goals or target market. They will also lackauthenticity.

Not Leveraging Between Digital and Traditional Marketing Channels

Despite the rise in popularity of digital marketing, a significant portion of your prospects could still be using the traditional marketing channels. By not leveraging across both platforms, you are not getting the best return on your content messages and you are missing out on vital touch points. Think cross channel or tradigital for best results.

Forgetting To Write a Workable Strategy and Action Plan

A common mantra goes “if you do not know where you are headed, any route can take you there.” In the digital world, a strategy is the road map that gives you the direction for your business.  It will help you make the right decisions, create the right messaging at the right time and show you how and when to do it. Action is key! Creating a strategy without an ongoing action plan is a waste of time and resources.

Understanding the basics is vital in knowing what action to take moving forward.  Mistakes can be costly and result in missed opportunities so if unsure, engage an expert and get advice.  The very nature of digital means you can start small, tweak and measure very effectively. What are you waiting for? Take action and start to implement those tactics. You wont get results while they are sitting in a document.

Webrooming – Problem or opportunity?

Showrooming (the practise of consumers researching on their smart phones whilst in store) has been a major concern for retailers, many of whom have been desperate to stop it. While 73% of shoppers have showroomed in the past six months, 88% have engaged in webrooming — an emerging trend that actually benefits brick-and-mortar retailers.

So what is webrooming? Like showrooming, webrooming combines online channels and brick-and-mortar retail opportunities. But instead of viewing products in-store and purchasing them online, webrooming consumers research products online before visiting a brick-and-mortar store for final evaluation and purchase. So it is basically the same process but in reverse. Most of us research online when looking to buy a product and whether we buy online or instore, it highlights that fact that consumers expect the ability to shop easily across many different channels. The new retail reality is consumers allow online and offline channels to influence their buying decisions — regardless of how or where they eventually purchase the product.

Embracing Webrooming

The practise of showrooming and webrooming is not going to go away so retailers should embrace the process and play an active role to influence the buying decisions. I have seen this done in store as simply as allowing customers to use a computer in store which provides the sales person with the opportunity to price match without losing the sale.

Shoppers expect the customer experience to be continuous across all channels. To take advantage of the webrooming trend, leading retail brands are launching initiatives that expand consumers’ access to information online, while retaining control over the customer journey by emphasizing brick-and-mortar as the customer’s final destination.

  • Embrace it – Shoppers expect the customer experience to be continuous across all channels. This means that retailers have an opportunity to adapt their existing business models to provide a better experience across all available channels, thus allowing retailers to tap into the benefits of webrooming, and significantly improve customer satisfaction, loyalty and other key experience metrics.
  • Allow for seamless transactions across channels. Rather than seeing offline and online as separate channels take a one view approach rather than separate sales areas within the business. Retailers need to recognize that all touch points and interactions should be working toward a common goal—the delivery of a unified customer experience.
  • Capture Data Every channel and touch point gives you as the retailer data you can leverage to understand your customer behaviour, allowing you to improve customer experiences. Knowing what channels you are customers have purchased through is vital to optimising the web rooming opportunity and to create a relevant experience for your customer

In many ways, webrooming and showrooming are two sides of the same coin. The line between in-store and online is blurring, and going forward, the most successful retailers will be those that enable consistent and seamless customer experiences across an increasingly diverse array of channels and touch points. This tradigital approach is one that must be adopted by any retailer that wants to still be in business in the next 5 years.