Let’s not overcomplicate things. Digital strategy is simply to put a plan in place to accomplish objectives using digital channels.

As Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” Without a defined digital strategy your project is at risk of failing to meet its objectives and may never reach its full potential.

It’s not easy to do internally

The words ‘digital strategy’ sends tingles up most marketers’ spines. Why? Well, it’s not something that is really taught in Marketing school, nor is it an exercise that is done on a monthly, or even yearly basis. From my experience most companies go through a website refresh every two to five years, so gaining experience whilst sticking in one job role is tricky. I’m not picking on marketers; it just normally falls on in-house marketing teams to organise a website refresh. And I’m not advocating ‘job hopping’ to gain experience, although this does seem to be the norm for the #MillenialCrew according to the experts.

A web design company might not be the answer

When you need a new website or application you might jump on to Google and search for a ‘web design company,’ or ‘application developers.’ That’s fine if you are confidant with your digital strategy but if not, is your local web design company or development team equipped with the skills and knowledge you really need to launch a successful project? I’m not so sure. Many traditional ‘web design’ companies (including us at Bigger Picture) evolved into Digital Agencies whilst others remain as web design companies. The difference?

Web Design vs Digital Agencies

This might not be true in all cases but what I personally see out there are two types of company. Web Design companies expect a brief, deliver pretty websites, and expect YOU to handle the strategy. They won’t talk to you about key performance indicators, your objectives and more importantly, how you will achieve them. On the other hand, digital agencies don’t want you to deliver a concrete brief, they would much rather collaborate and define a strategy with you, guide you through the process, and set realistic expectations that they will be measured on. A digital agency is not just designed to deliver a website; they see the ‘bigger picture.’

What you should expect from a digital agency

Every agency has their own way of doing things. Most include some kind of analysis, a workshop, and personalised project brief creation. Here is a glimpse of a few key things we at the Bigger Picture look at during the digital strategy phase:

  • Current site performance
  • Your digital footprint
  • Primary objectives
  • Your audience and their objectives
  • User journey
  • Key performance indicators
  • Technical requirements
  • Creative execution
  • Service / Product hierarchy
  • Messaging and content
  • Conversion opportunity
  • Company assets and their potential
  • Marketing strategy (inbound and outbound)

The results

A website creatively engineered to perform for your audience and meet your objectives, a strategy to deliver true ROI, and an agency that really understands your business.