You could argue that in the second decade of the twenty-first century the vast majority of businesses are ‘digital’. After all, we live in an era when even my local window cleaner accepts payments via his website and you don’t have to scramble very much further up the tree that leads from a micro-business to a FTSE-100 market leader to find widespread adoption of digital technology. These days, networks facilitate everything from procurement and supply chain management to sales and customer service.
But using digital technology isn’t quite the same as being a ‘digital company’. On the customer-facing side, the truly ‘digital’ company puts the web, mobile, data collection and analysis, absolutely at the heart of its strategy to deliver the best possible level of service. To a digital company, a website or mobile app is not simply ‘another channel’, it is the most effective means to sell and deliver products and services while building a long-term relationship with the customer based on a two way flow of information. See our case studies here.
So what distinguishes a digital company from one that simply uses digital tools? Here are six questions you should be asking.
1. Is your digital strategy ‘joined up’?
At the risk of stating the obvious, a digital company must have an over-arching digital strategy – or to put it another way, a long-term plan that unites the various silos that exist even within small and medium sized businesses.
Think of it this way. Your marketing department may have a digital strategy involving search engine optimisation, an affiliate scheme, display advertising all linked to broader campaigns and a commitment to rolling out mobile apps. Meanwhile the other silos, such as customer service and sales/fulfilment also have their digital strategies. And they are not necessarily connected. Continue reading