For the geekiest, you’ll have recognized in the title of this article a reference to the comedy science fiction series created by Douglas Adams “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”. In this story, a super intelligent computer (“Deep Thought”) is supposed to be able to calculate the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything. When the hitchhiker comes to Deep Thought, this latter reveals the answer to be 42. The answer is actually a total non-sense because the question itself is not the good one.
End of geek break//
If you’re still questioning yourself whether you need a digital strategy or not, then let me tell you that your business is already dead. Please accept my condolences.
Digitalization is happening. Digital Transformation is impacting every industry: consumer goods of course but also agriculture, education, healthcare, transportation, manufacturing, sports…
We already witness the application of “digital” technologies into many, if not every, aspects of our lives. It’s the way economic history goes. Welcome into the Fourth Industrial Revolution!
Let’s ask the right question: Why do you want a digital strategy?
That being said, it doesn’t mean that you must have a digital strategy at all cost. This is not the latest fashion trend to be in. “Having a digital strategy” is not just a matter of adopting new technologies to sell more. Before you can embrace such success, you need to step back and ask yourself the real question: Why do I want a digital strategy?
You need to be clear on this answer. Because the transformation it implies for your organization, even if it’s just at a business unit level, will have a major impact on your marketing and sales processes, on your IT staff skills, and finally, on your culture in general. As you can imagine, such changes can be painful for every individual engaged in this process. So, your answer to the question “Why?” must be clear for you and the contributors of your project.
The answer is… not 42.
If you can’t figure out why you want a digital strategy, here are common reasons other businesses have already experienced. A digital strategy will help you:
- Differentiate and position against competition,
- Better meet your customers’ needs and build loyalty,
- Empower your employees and give them tool that will help them be better in their job,
- Strengthen or revamp your brand to make it more innovative, or at least more “cool”,
- Build a sustainable business…
- And let’s think big: it can help you build a centenary company!
Top 3 key factors of success.
Your digital strategy must have a purpose and must serve your vision. (NB: by the way, do you know what your 1-year, 3-year, 10-year vision is? Okay, let’s see that in another blog post).
Your digital strategy must be customer and people obsessed. Digital transformation isn’t a matter of technology first. The technology you will use and implement is a mean to enhance your customer experience. (NB: by the way, do you know who your customers are or will be, what they like and what they will like in 6 month? Do you have a rich database? Okay, let’s see that in another blog post too).
Your digital strategy must be actionable AND agile. We are on changing markets so your digital strategy and your plans must be able to adapt quickly. To do so you need to test, learn, measure, adapt, learn again, try new things, and learn again, again and again.
Then, train your people and communicate with them all the way along. This adventure isn’t only your personal adventure. It’s your adventure as a team, as a group, as a brand. Engage your customers in this adventure too. They will become you’re biggest ambassadors and fans, and your best customers.