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CARIA WATT

How to future proof business success | strong digital

Every business wants a strong digital presence. The first step is knowing what digital means for business success

Many small to medium businesses want to have a strong digital presence, but what does  ‘digital’ really mean? 

A strong digital presence might mean technology (IT) or digital could mean how your business engages with customers online.

With a conventional ‘bricks and mortar’ business, being digital savvy may represent an entirely new way of doing business and interacting with customers. Before the panedemic, you may have relied heavily on word-of-mouth or a firm handshake to do business. Now that we have become more digitally focused, these types of tactics may no longer work.

With so many different perspectives losing out on digital activities can lead to missed opportunities, poor online performance, and even unsuccessful sales attempts.

 

How to future proof your business success with a strong digital presence

Being better at digital means you need to have a clearer understanding of what ‘digital’ actually means for your business. One of the key elements is digital marketing.

I believe that having a strong digital presence and being better at digital should be seen less as one digital component, and more as a performance of digital components.

To help make the digital definition simple, I’ve broken it down into three elements: 

Digital Shifts

The biggest digital shifts mean you need to  examine an entire way of doing business, by evaluating how emerging digital growth sectors present opportunities or threats, to show a unique digital value proposition to learn from.

For example, disrupters use digital data to identify flaws in digital marketing efforts.

 The automobile industry has cars that can ‘self-navigate’ and have ‘in-car digital entertainment’. 

Being digital-savvy means you understand how customers make decisions online, and how their decisions are always evolving, especially now that business as we know it has changed since 2020.

You need to understand how customer behaviours and expectations are developing inside and outside of your business. 

These are crucial to be ahead of digital trends that can deliver on or destroy digital value.

Customer Experience

Business owners need to rethink how to use digital value propositions to improve how customers are served. This is grounded in understanding every step of the customer purchasing journey, and thinking about how to design and deliver the best digital experiences over all parts of your business. 

For example, the supply chain is critical in the efficiency and speed to deliver the right product to a customer, in the way they want to receive it. This type of digital data gives insights about the customer, to help drive digital marketing and sales decisions.

The way you can measure digital value propositions is :

Analysing how a customer interacts with your brand and modify these digital interactions to improve the customer experience. 

For example, as a customer shifts from a mobile phone to a laptop, the content and digital experience may adapt to each digital platform when making a purchasing decision. 

Automating customer interactions can boost the number of self-service options that help resolve problems quickly, personalise communications, and deliver consistent customer journeys no matter the digital channel, time, or device. 

Serving customers well gives your business permission to be innovative in how you interact with and sell to them. 

These innovations in turn fuel more interactions, create more information, and increase the value of the customer-brand relationship.

Having a strong digital presence isn’t just about delivering a one-off customer journey. It’s about realising there are evolving processes and capabilities based on the input from a customer, to help foster digital products, ongoing sales or service loyalty. 

This is done through the customer making decisions, analysing the customer data, implementing automation, and how you interact and sell to them.

Digital Foundations

The final element of our definition is the digital foundations based on the technological and organisational processes that help companies be agile and fast. 

Use digital data to make better and faster decisions, and to develop simple but rapid ways of doing things. 

It can incorporate how your business operates, and creatively partner with external agencies (like mine) to extend on digital capabilities.

A digital mindset promotes cross-functional collaboration, flattens hierarchies, and builds a new generation of ideas. 

In Conclusion

A strong digital presence is about unlocking your potential business growth. How you interpret or act on this digital definition may vary, but having a clear understanding of what digital means for your business allows you as a  leader and innovator to develop a shared vision that can capture real value.

Image: Courtesy @Unsplash

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