More than ever, brands require a digital strategy, making your brand fit for purpose to embrace the right digital channels.
Too many organisations put tactics before strategy. This framework seeks to reverse this issue by helping to reconnect the brand, the wider organisation and how digital channels can be used to your best advantage.
The above diagram details the need for brands to stop rushing into the tactical elements of their digital activities, and consider if their brand, its purpose, and why it exists are really understood? By building a solid foundation, the framework helps to reconnect the certain stages of your transformation:
1 – Auditing Your Platforms
A deep audit should be considered for each platform and the tactics used to enhance the brand by each platform. A thorough audit of each channel together with the current tactics being used are audited.
We uncover your current position as well as opportunities to consider to further enhance your channels in meeting not only business objectives but how they support and enhance the brand and the wider organisation
Different channels will have different user experiences to take into account. For example, user experience through a mobile device has so many different complex layers, it is essential to understand how your site works and what your objective is for that platform.
As well as auditing the brands own platforms, assess your competitor’s channels – the platforms being used, how they interact with their own customers and prospects and what your competitor’s motivations are through the use of a SWOT analysis and benchmarking report.
Emerging channels such as Virtual assistance and voice search also needs to be taken into account when conducting the audit and how your brand is equipped for changes in tactics and to take advantage of new channels and markets.
2 – Know Your Audience
Creating customer personas helps brings to life who your existing customers are and what their motivations are.
From the audit in step 1, this will begin to provide a health check of how your brands digital platforms are positioned together with points of difference between your own proposition and the competition and the different types of audiences through the creation of personas.
Persona creation also helps to get buy-in across your organisation in helping to paint a picture and bring to life your customer profiles. By understanding your audience, it helps brands to align their proposition to what their customers really want, through what platform and how.
A good example of this is from Columbia Sportswear, US based sports wear company what conducted qualitative research to understand what their user needs were.
From this research they developed a mobile App called “What knot to do in the great outdoors” – realising their audience were outdoor types, active in sports and recreation and liked to be away from the office, Columbia developed an app providing instructions on how to tie knots.
3 – Identify a USP
What is it that helps to differentiate your proposition? Creating an USP provides a differential advantage over your competitor’s products, service and brand within the market place and an opportunity to build on something that’s unique and remarkable within the sector.
Differentiating should be considered a key element for your brand and should help to provide an opportunity and vision to define a niche within your market sector, helping to gain the attention of your existing customers and extend your proposition to encourage new markets and audiences.
4 – Building Authority and Trust
A brand that exemplifies trust provides the user with an affinity and helps to build a relationship by engaging with the consumer’s emotions through imaginative associations by implementing specific tactics to help drive authority and trust for the brand.
To help build both authority and trust, this framework helps to identify the right tactics to be used across your branded channels to enhance authority and build trust within the market.
Based on your objectives and from the groundwork already completed in building this digital strategy framework, we will work with you to recommend a series of tactics to consider
5 – Create a Narrative
Creating a narrative is an essential ingredient to help support your brand and to give it a sense of purpose in communicating a story through the different digital channels and tactics to be used.
Brands need to embrace the fear factor such as engaging in conversations through social media channels when addressing their users and that brands should be bold and by driving engagement, this will enhance their online reputation.
Author Mitch Joel, mentions that many brands fail to realise that the “branding opportunity is not of broadcasting the messages but that the true marketing story is to tell a great narrative, a story that takes place over time and through different channels” and this approach provides an opportunity for a brand to create a personality through their digital channels delivering a continuity of their narrative in a fast moving market place.
6 – Help and Support
The final part of this framework looks at what and how you as a brand can provide your customer base with a true value and utility, looking to create something your customers would want to use, a reason to return to you as a brand every day and, more importantly, to help you stand out.
Brands are clambering on the digital band wagon but using the same techniques they used in a bygone era of broadcasting their message through buying up media space (Radio, TV, ad impressions) but it is no longer working: appealing to the masses means appealing to no one – rather, brands need to spend more time to get to know their audience and know what motivates their audience.
This forms the digital marketing framework, working with you through each step