5 Attributes of a Successful Digital Strategy Plan That Achieve Real Results

Your digital strategy will determine the success or failure of your business. But how do you know if it's working? What can you do to improve it? This article will help you understand what constitutes a successful digital strategy plan.

5 Attributes of a good digital strategy plan

Feeling a little let down because your digital strategy isn't achieving the results you expected? It can be frustrating to pour time and effort into a plan and not see the desired outcome. But don't worry, we're here to assist you. 
This article will shed some light on potential issues that may be impeding the success of your plan, the significance of having a clear digital vision, and the key characteristics of a winning digital strategy. Understanding these concepts will let you make the necessary changes and get your digital plan back on track.

What Is A Digital Plan? 

A digital strategy plan is a must-have for any business looking to navigate today's digital landscape. It is a comprehensive guide outlining the objectives as well as the specific actions required to achieve those objectives. It is an essential tool for business owners and executives because it provides a roadmap for the company's future.

In this plan, you'll find an analysis of the current state of your organization, your digital vision, and a clear action plan to improve your digital presence and reach your desired goals. It also identifies the resources needed to execute the plan and how to measure its success. Having a well-defined digital plan in place ensures that your digital efforts align with your overall business objectives and that your resources are being used effectively.

5 Signs Your Digital Plan Isn't Working

If you’re a business owner, you know how important it is to have a solid digital plan. A good digital plan can help you reach new customers, increase brand awareness, and boost sales. But if you’re not seeing the results you were hoping for, before start improving your digital strategy, you need to take a closer look and assess whether your digital plan is working, and if not, what are the reasons behind it.
Here are five common signs your digital plan isn’t working:

1. Your sales & statistics are down!

  • The numbers don't lie. If the numbers are going down and you're not seeing any growth in your customer base or sales, then there's probably something wrong with your digital plan. But, to solve the issues, you have to figure out why you are not seeing growth. There are many possible reasons behind the problem of numbers going down. Are you targeting the right audience? Are you leveraging the latest technologies? If you're not seeing any growth, it may be time to make some changes. 
  • Your business's objectives were not defined clearly, and expectations were not correspondingly adjusted. What are your digital objectives and vision? Were these identified at the start? Have they changed since then? 
  • You haven't thought about the changes in your business or applied those changes to your digital plan. For example, your audiences could have changed over the years, but you haven't re-aligned your digital strategy to your new audience, so you're not getting the results you want out of your digital strategy. 
  • You haven't analyzed and evaluated your stats to determine why these numbers are declining. Is there a particular category of your stats that's showing more decline? Are there errors on your site that could be leading to a decline? For example, if your website is not generating leads, start monitoring and analyzing it; take a look at your website’s design, content, and user experience. Do you have the right calls to action in place? Is your content engaging and informative? 

2. There is a lack of correlation between business goals and digital objectives

This happens when your business goals are not in alignment with your digital stats and objectives. The first step to solving this issue is clearly defining your business goals and what you want to accomplish. Next, create a digital strategy that supports and contributes to these objectives. For example, assume that your goal is to create more meaningful traffic on your site rather than raise the traffic numbers in general. In that case, you should set up your monitoring and analysis to track the quality of your engagements rather than focusing on the amount of traffic.

3. There is a conflict between departments 

Your departments could have conflicting ideas regarding expectations, goals, and strategy. This could happen between your IT, marketing, and digital departments. Some common causes of this type of conflict are poor communication, not clearly defining the expectations of each department at the start, unclear directions, and rushing to complete projects due to deadline pressures. When you establish objectives and strategy, different departments automatically want to focus on different aspects of the goal and KPIs. It's essential to define each department's KPI and objective so that nobody is stepping on anybody else's toes or not doing what they need to do. 

4. Defining a clear digital roadmap is challenging & time-consuming

When it comes to creating a roadmap, it shouldn’t be a long and draining task. If you have a clear strategy and goals, you should be able to easily create a roadmap. But there’s a lot to consider, from mitigating risk to clarifying your vision and justifying the budget. 
If you're having trouble creating a roadmap, an external digital strategy expert can assist. They can assist you in developing an actual plan that outlines each step and aligns it with your overall goals, business objectives, and digital budget. The most important thing to remember here is to keep your long-term vision in mind at all times and to understand how to align and adjust tactics to get there.

5. You’re not staying ahead of the competition

If your digital strategy isn't keeping you ahead of the competition, it's not working. Examine what your competitors are doing to see what you can learn from them. Are they employing new technologies or strategies? Are they interacting with customers on social media?

First thing First: Let’s Define Digital Visions

Before we jump into creating an excellent digital strategy that drives results, we need to understand a digital vision. Think of a digital strategy as the bumper sticker slogan of your digital strategy. It's a simple, short statement that summarizes what you want to get out of your digital strategy plan. 

You can think of a digital strategy as the "how" and "what" of the digital plan, while a digital vision is the "why" of it. A good digital vision statement will identify the big-picture aspirations of your business and define where it's going. They provide guidance for the development of a digital strategy plan by giving an overall direction for your business to pursue. Having a clear digital vision ensures that you make the right business decisions. 

To help you get an idea of a good digital vision statement, here are some examples from some high-success brands:

  • “To create a better everyday life for many people.” — IKEA
  • “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” — Google
  • “To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighbourhood at a time.” — Starbucks

5 Attributes of a Successful Digital Strategy Plan

1. Aligned with the digital vision    

As we mentioned earlier, the vision is your “why,” and the digital strategy is the “how” and “what.” So, it’s essential to ensure that these two parts are in line with each other. Your digital vision sets the tone for what you’re hoping to achieve and the final results you picture. And the digital strategy is the direction you’re going to take to attain your goals. If your vision and plan aren’t aligned, you will probably not get very far.

2. Clear goals and objectives 

A successful digital strategy plan should have clear goals and objectives. These goals should be measurable and achievable. It is important to set realistic goals and objectives that can be accomplished within a certain timeline. Additionally, the goals and objectives should be adjusted as needed to keep up with the ever-changing digital landscape.

3. Based on the long-term goals 

A good digital plan isn’t just focused on your “right now” or your next step; it responds to current business needs while remaining viable, flexible and adaptable enough to be useful in changing conditions for years to come. It is important to be able to adjust the strategy to take advantage of new opportunities and address any challenges that arise. Additionally, the strategy should be able to incorporate new technologies and trends to stay ahead of the competition.

So, before starting your digital road mapping, you need to evaluate your current and possible future situations. Consider what changes might occur over the next few years and what challenges you might face. Create a strategy and vision statement that describes what you want to achieve and why. And then, you can create a strong roadmap for how you’ll get there, including specific steps, a timeline, and budget planning.

4. Strategic Content

Content is king in the digital world. A successful digital strategy plan should include a strategic content marketing plan. This plan should focus on creating high-quality content that is optimized for search engines and is engaging for the audience. Additionally, the content should be regularly updated to keep up with the changing trends in the digital world.

5. The results are positive  

As we mentioned earlier, the numbers don’t lie. One of the most essential characteristics of a good digital strategy is achieving the results you expect. If you’re not getting the results you want, it might be time to head back to the drawing board, reassess your goals and the roadmap that you’re using to get there to see where things might be going wrong, and then try again. It’s okay, and expected, to go through some trial and error here.

Using these tips, you can develop a successful digital strategy plan to reach your goals and increase business ROI. Keep in mind you have to be patient; while there are exceptions, most investments based on strategy pay off over time, not immediately. 

Do you need help creating a strong digital strategy and roadmap? Symetris offers strategic roadmapping services to help you get where you want to be, maximize your ROI and hit your targets. Ready to get started? Let’s talk about your digital visions and plans.

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