mardi 18 mars 2014

Enterprise Digital Strategy versus Marketing Digital Strategy

If you go on Google and type "Digital Strategy", what will you get?
  • Mainly a series of links that relates to digital marketing:
    • Great digital marketing strategy advocacy platforms on the Net: Internet Retailer (Top 500 eCommerce platforms and more), Mobile Commerce Daily (daily news on what is going on the mobile integration and successes), and Smart Insights (how to build sound marketing digital strategies and campaigns).
    • Marketing firms proposing their ideas and services to make great digital campaigns.
    • Digital Marketing Gurus (I personnaly like Baekdal) 
  • Few interesting links to different Governments that are promoting digital initiatives and strategies within their departments.
  • Fewer links from people (like me) who are promoting their opinions on digital strategy.

My opinion: a digital strategy should be before anything else an "enterprise matter".

Wikipedia definition of digital strategy is as follow:

“ In the fields of strategic management, marketing strategy and business strategy, digital strategy is the process of specifying an organization's vision, goals, opportunities and initiatives in order to maximize the business benefits of digital initiatives to the organization. These can range from an enterprise focus, which considers the broader opportunities and risks that digital potentially creates (e.g., changes in the publishing industry) and often includes customer intelligence, collaboration, new product/market exploration, sales and service optimization, enterprise technology architectures and processes, innovation and governance; to more marketing and customer-focused efforts such as web sites, mobile, eCommerce, social, site and search engine optimization, and advertising.
  • I have deliberated highlighted the latter phrase. I am a truly believer that marketing is extremely important in any business and that each and every opportunity shall be taken to maximize the chance to uphold and increase oneself position in any industry that we are part of. I like marketing and I love marketers.
BUT, I truly beleive that a company should invest and devote time and money in the initial phases of a digital strategy, minimizing risks, increasing opportunities, and ensuring success. An Enterprise Digital Strategy should be crafted and implemented way before a Marketing Digital Strategy be in place.

What is my definition of a digital strategy?

A digital strategy is the plan that describe how a company can create, capture, and deliver value by transforming their economic and cultural models so that employees, tools and processes become more digitized and connected with customers, delivering persistent unified multichannel experiences. I will decorticate each element.

“Create, deliver and capture value”
  • This is the ultimate inside goal.
  • Value is created anytime an action is taken for which the benefits exceed the costs, or anytime an action is “prevented” for which the costs exceed the benefits.
  • Value is captured anytime the selling price contributes to the firm’s profits AND the difference between what the consumers would have been willing to pay and the price.
  • Value is delivered (to shareholders) when value has been properly created and captured.

“Transforming their economic and cultural models”
  • This is the recipe to achieve the ultimate inside goal and the ultimate outside goal.
  • Transforming the economic model has to do with all aspects of a business, including but not limited to: production, supply chain, legal, human resources, financial, technology, sales, after-sales, and of course, marketing. Basically: employees, tools and processes.
  • Transforming the cultural model has to do with, perhaps, changing the way people are remunerated (e.g. Brick & Mortar employees that need to respond to customers that have bought a product online), the new skills that are required are not found in the company (e.g. speaking different languages at the service desk), the new level of expertise is somewhat different (e.g. employees need to be trained on new / different tools), the entire processes (e.g. selling to people that you don't see, managing inventories, etc.).

“More digitized and connected with customers”
  • This is the ultimate outside goal.
  • Delivering persistent unified multichannel experiences: where a company is not imposing a way to do business with, but rather, having a company that is so profoundly and intimately connected with its clients (visitors, returning customers, and regular customers) that will allow seamless and timeless interactivities (entire spectrum of the purchase cycle) between available channels.


I like this French Quebecois (really funny) proverb that says: “quand les bottines suivent les babines” – which means: walk the talk.

In this consumerization world, where the power is in the hands of customers more than ever, many companies have deployed digital initiatives more in reaction to the market rather than based on a genuine enterprise digital strategy. Many did not get the return they have forecasted, or they simply failed with dramatic outcome.

Just to make sure: this blog is not a plea against marketing firms. I truly enjoy digital marketing initiatives and campaigns that are going. If I were a marketing firm, I would certainly push ideas like they do.

This blog is more a plea for companies to invest and devote time and money in the initial phases of a digital strategy, minimizing risks, increasing opportunities, and ensuring success.

On that note, I wish you good continuity in business! And do not hesitate to contact me to discuss about the transformation of your business model.

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