A few years ago organizations valued their presence in the digital realm as a commendable initiative, an element of added value to your business plan, but not indispensable. In no time, it stopped being a complementary channel to become a necessity and obviate was perceived as a lack. Today, it is assumed that any company has its own digital strategy. And not only that. If you do not have it, with a web identity, participate in social networks or bet on ecommerce, can arouse distrust and even suspicion among its public, whether consumers, suppliers, partners, etc.
We do not fall in the mistake of believing that the digital world is the panacea and that has come to replace the traditional channels. Proof of this is that even the giants of the digital world have taken the opposite approach and have relocated in the off value. Just mention Apple, a pioneer after opening its first retail store in 2001. They have followed many others, including the most recent Google or Amazon, which opened last November an establishment almost 20 years after Jeff Bezos created the online bookstore.
But for those who were born and developed in the traditional world, regardless of size or activity, the digital channel offers multiple opportunities for growth, optimization of resources, talent search … The list of advantages and options could be as extensive expectations as to deposit in the middle. Because, oddly enough, there is still much to explore and exploit. Among them, I find especially significant (because of its applicability to different types of companies) the following:
- Grow, grow and grow. Although we are great, the digital world has only the boundaries imposed our own company. If we are small, we open the doors of a shop window that would otherwise be unattainable: with millions of consumers and preceptors, with new and effective forms of communication, increased access to information, more effective management protocols …
- Accessible to all. Any company can implement a communication strategy, advertising and marketing, commercial, etc., from shoestring budgets. Since SEO and SEM campaigns positioning, through actions in the social media environment, email marketing, etc. The cost of the initiatives will depend on the objectives we want to obtain, but the relationship between the investment made and the results can be really beneficial if we also add a certain amount of creativity and innovation.
- Making their mark. Internet is a great encyclopedia in which the history of a company, a brand or product is housed. Unlike an ad on TV, a mailing or telemarketing campaign, the fingerprint is maintained over time with greater or lesser visibility, but is always there. It is clear that also is a double-edged sword when faced with a crisis communication or credibility. But again, the Internet is a dynamic medium that offers us more opportunities to interact and manage an agile manner such situations.
- Try and failure. In the channel off the launch of a campaign it is subject to the constraints of the medium, characteristics that do not provide sufficient margin for changes or adaptations and the inflexibility of some of the procedures. In the digital realm all this disappears. You can correct and redirect a strategy almost on the fly, efficiently and without large budget deviations.
- By measuring each step. This is one of the great advantages of digital media: the measurement tools of the results we get with each share and return on investment. Through KPIs and control mechanisms we monitor not only sales, also recurrence, generation of ambassadors, engagement … A information that to date access was very difficult, or even impossible, and had a disproportionate cost in many cases.
- Connection. Probably this is where the real conceptual change occurs. The relationship established between brands and their audiences in the digital medium is the germ of a new paradigm. The online world has transformed the profile of the consumer, now have greater access to information, is more demanding and, above all, he knows what he wants. It has also changed communication patterns, in which raw immediacy and interactivity. All this leads us to a new stage, in which digital strategies have shifted from ecommerce to ucommerce is configured. That is, electronic commerce that puts the user in the center of the strategy.
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Fortunately, there are very few companies that is unrelated to the need for a digital strategy. However, there are many who are disoriented or have difficulty obtaining results in line with expectations. The reasons can be many and to avoid should seek appropriate travel companions.
In this scenario it is determining the involvement of professional teams and, especially, of those responsible for the companies. Many people, faced with the dilemma of leading change or follow the footsteps of others, prefer to appear conservative and not risk.
PETER DRUCKER already said, “where there is a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.”