It’s that time of year when the predictions for 2014 begin to emerge. First up is Cloud Computing which promises to be an even more disruptive force next year (Software Insider).
For chief marketing officers, Forrester predicts that life-cycle management will become a major priority for the year ahead. I’ve talked about this area before in relation to the amount of information and understanding digital enables businesses to gather about their customers. It will be interesting to see how it develops in 2014 (Forrester blogs).
One technology that offers a tremendous amount of potential is iBeacon. For retailers in particular, it offers a great deal of potential (Business 2 Community). Meanwhile, ground-breaking marketing activities in 2013 point the way for other businesses in the year ahead. Here are 10 of the most progressive. (PSFK)
And finally, trying to find a way to make New Year’s resolutions stick? Here’s one answer (Steve Shapiro)
Brands now have to exist in a much more participative and social online environment. They’re expected to be more engaged with their audiences and customers online, more flexible in the way they create and share content and more responsive to the needs of the people they talk to.
Brands also have to contend with a more fragmented media environment and the greater plurality of sources from which people receive messages. According to the Edelman Trust Barometer research, people now need to hear a message between three to five times from different sources before they are willing to believe it:
Source: Edelman Trust Barometer 2013
These changes mean crafting a digital strategy demands more care and consideration than ever before, whether you’re a large organisation operating in several markets and countries, or a smaller business working to establish a profile. There are plenty of considerations to think about when developing a strategy; here are five that from experience I’ve found to be particularly important:
- Executive sponsorship: Support from senior leaders and their recognition of the value digital can deliver to the organisation is crucial to driving change. For digital to fulfil its potential, it needs to be considered an integral part of the business strategy. This means the digital strategy must be aligned with organisational goals and designed to deliver against key business objectives so that its value is quantifiable.
- Scalability: The digital landscape – and social media in particular – is evolving rapidly, in terms of technology and user behaviour. The strategy must be flexible enough to enable the organisation to adapt swiftly to change. It must also be capable of scaling with the business, enabling activity to be deploying quickly in new countries or markets with a roadmap in place to support this process.
- Organisation: Digital typically demands and encourages greater integration between organisational divisions to create content and manage interactions with audiences. As you plan the digital strategy, think about internal process or organisational changes that might also need to happen to make it work.
- Engagement: The strategy should give you the opportunity to conduct controlled pilots for digital campaigns and evaluate outcomes to determine how activity should be scaled across the business. In this way, you can increase your digital maturity in a safe and manageable way, extending programmes and service improvement ideas across the organisation based on the outcomes of the trials.
- Evaluation: The digital strategy must be founded upon a robust measurement framework that enables you to track the relationship between digital activities and outcomes relevant to the objectives of the business. This framework should underpin all digital pilot programmes and large scale initiatives so that everything can be evaluated according to a common set of criteria. Evaluation will not only allow you to measure the effectiveness of activities in reaching audiences and stakeholders, but also identify when changes can be made to improve future performance.
There are plenty more that could be added to the list, so please do add any that from your experience are particularly important.
One of the great virtues of the Internet is that it enables us to tell complex stories in an interactive, non-linear way. The Guardian’s Gabriel Dance explains the approach his company takes. (Nieman Journalism Lab)
Creating a culture of innovation in large companies can mean significant cultural change. The Silicon Valley Product Innovation Group offers some techniques. (SVPG blog)
Creative Commons have released a new set of licences designed to be clearer and easier to use than previous versions. (BoingBoing)
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has published its study on how well web companies encrypt the data you share. (Electronic Frontier Foundation)