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Digital if done well gives brands consistency. It is everything you do online, and it is always evolving. Your digital effectiveness is about leveraging engagement opportunities. But how do you know if your digital footprint is not working well? Obviously, take a good look at your numbers, web traffic, conversions, shopping cart abandonment, etc. But there is more to this than simply charts and numbers.

What are the most common causes of digital effectiveness problems? Here are a few: static content, lack of rich media, no mobile, slow access, fragmented story, no global perspective, not engaging socially– its like you are broadcasting at customers instead of engaging with them. You must break out of your channel-centric thinking and begin to treat your users as real people.

This may be hard to do if your marketing organization continues to operate in silos. Most companies need to better understand their digital readiness– what platforms, process and people are needed in your organization to help you engage with customers across your digital footprint. Lets break this down further, here are six things to consider:

1. Leveraging content & story telling. Why are digital stories so important? Humans are all about stories, they create a framework, allowing people to understand a component of your brand that can touch them emotionally not just intellectually. Remember that all stories need to have a narrative, stories have to have characters, they need to have an introduction, an inciting incident, rising action, a transition climax and resolution. Telling a good digital story is not about your product, it is about creatively connecting to your user. It is about understanding first how they live their life and its about creating access touch points across all of their devices. If your story breaks down across any of their devices– you loose that connection which is very problematic to achieve consistency.

2. Providing ongoing engagement. You have to also understand how and when you want users to engage with you? Engagement is hard to do with bullet points, but when you write a story about someone using the product and you can couple that with a level of intimacy with your user, then you can begin to drive the engagement opportunity. This is one reason why mobile and social media will never go away. Ongoing stories and reviews are critical to this process. Allowing people to access this on the go via mobile devices is critical. Also using video that is connected to your web site traffic (not just on YouTube) is growing in importance.

3. Monetization. Understanding which workflows drive monetization. Do you understand your workflow process? Not everything can be automated, first you must understand why are your there. This sounds simplistic but its not really. Are you there to sell, influence, inform or just facilitate? Each of those efforts has different work flow characteristics and monetization (e.g. ROI). Take a holistic view and then detail how you are getting there.

4. Digital DNA Analysis. Take look under your hood and understand how much engagement do you want against what you have today and what you need in the near future. Ask yourself, what would be “success” when you talk about your digital presence? This is more than just web sites. What are your GAPS? Being able to define and set realistic and stretch goals, understanding what measurements can be used, and the technology interaction, and who the people that must be involved in making it happen is all a part of this what I call your digital DNA. The digital DNA is complicated in most cases because all these years we have evolved with the technology that for many is very fragmented. Knowing digital benchmarks and your digital eco-system is very helpful at this stage of the process.

5. Re-Building Workflows. We see that all digital workflow starts with Content Creation, then moves to Management of Content (via software or via an agency), Delivery to get it to your users, and your Engagement efforts (via people in your organization from marketing, business development, IT, customer care.) Create the workflow regarding on why you are doing this. For example as a “seller” you are interested in having transactions, a paywall, ongoing subscribers? If you are “informing” you are very interested in converting visitors to prospects and prospects into opportunities and then into customers.

6. Which Digital Tools. There is no one right way to do all of this but you have to pick a set of tools. Some pick local tools, some pick cloud based tools to use them to build a digital presence. Here is a list of key digital tools needed in 2013:

Website/ content management system
Rich media/video platform
Mobile strategy & mobilized content delivery
Delivery and performance
Social monitoring & engagement
Optimization & analytics dashboard

I hope this helps you understand what elements are needed to increase your digital footprint and digital effectiveness. I will be writing more on this topic in future blogs. Please let me hear your comments and if BGGMobile can help you move the needle.