Back in 2008 while working for the local newspaper selling print advertising, I was sent to a digital marketing conference to learn all about advertising on the web. That was my introduction to a world that I am now extremely passionate about. The digital world! We have come a long way technologically since 2008, but I am learning that a lot of small business owners in my area still have little to no knowledge of the options they have for improving their business model and marketing with all of this great new technology.
So - Digital strategy, what is it exactly? In a nutshell, digital strategy is the practice of using digital technology to transform customer experience, operation process, and business models from outdated practices to updated and enhanced digital practices. For instance, rather than keeping a calendar on your desk with scheduled client meetings and a Rolodex to hold all of the business cards you collect, you could switch to using a CRM (customer relationship management) program. A CRM will not only store all of your customer's contact information, but also keep track of appointments, important notes and details about each customer, where in the sales process that customer is, and it will assign tasks and reminders for you to follow up on. Digital technology making work a little easier.
Here are some more examples of digital technology that can be implemented into your business:
- Google Apps - Get rid of that old AOL email address for your business purposes! And how about using Google Apps for shared spreadsheets and documents rather than having a bunch of copies floating around?
- Skype or some other video chat system - Save on gas and conduct meetings face to face over the internet.
- CRM - No need to keep a giant desktop calendar for all of your appointments! Throw out that clunky old Rolodex!
- Social Media - Connect and engage with customers and potential customers, even when they aren't in your place of business.
- Online Branding - Everyone is online and top of mind awareness is still king. Why not have your brand following your potential customers around the web rather than take a chance with radio or traditional print ads? Be found when and where people are actually searching for your products or services.
- Blogging - Show your authority in your industry. Having a blog is a great way to show off your knowledge and personality. Having great, sharable content is a fantastic way to spread the word about your business.
There are a lot of different options when it comes to implementing digital strategy into your business model. Too many to list here. There are a ton of very informative videos on YouTube all about digital strategy and digital business transformation. We all use the internet now, there is no getting away from that fact. It is high time we all embrace the digital evolution of business operations. If you have any questions or comments, please hit me up in the comments section below.