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The Digital Strategy Myth

The digital strategy myth

Have you heard of the “digital strategy myth?” It’s more common than you might think. The myth exists when companies build their digital strategy by focusing on channels and devices and apps, instead of putting their focus where it belongs: Customers. As I heard one brilliant senior executive state recently, “What does digital even mean? I don’t talk about my physical strategy or, for that matter, my biological husband.”

She’s right. You’re not really looking for a “digital strategy” at all. What you’re really looking for is a business strategy that works for digitally-enabled customers.

Digital is a given today. Your customers are always online, always connected, always capable of finding an alternate solution to their problem. If you don’t meet their needs, they’ll just pull out their laptop or whip out their phone to find a better answer.

And that illustrates why, in a digital marketplace, you must focus on a customer-first approach. You have to build your business strategy around the needs of customers because they’ve taken control of their overall experience. Yes, ideally, they’ll use you, your products, your services. But they’ll also use whatever app, website, or company that is close at hand and that helps them accomplish their goals. They can and will switch at a moment’s notice to any company that makes it easy for them to solve their problem. Failing to help them accomplish their goals, remove friction from the process, and provide an excellent experience overall is a surefire recipe to lose customers.

If your digital strategy revolves around devices, screens, apps, and websites, I’m afraid you’ve fallen for the digital strategy myth. If instead, you’re looking at your customers, their needs, their experiences and interactions across your company’s touchpoints, and how you can continually improve those experiences, you’re putting yourself in a much more powerful position. You’re setting yourself up for a big win.

Digital is a given and a business strategy that understands exactly how customers use digital matters. But the digital strategy myth is one that puts more emphasis on “digital” and not enough on customers.

If you want learn even more about how your customers’ changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing, be sure and register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

You can also check out these slides and video from my recent webinar, “Digital Marketing Directions: Three Key Trends Driving Your Marketing Next Year”:

And, if you’re looking for still more insights and information to guide your marketing this year, check out some of the best of Thinks here:

Tim Peter is the founder and president of Tim Peter & Associates. You can learn more about our company's strategy and digital marketing consulting services here or about Tim here.

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