Why you still need a Digital Strategy, maybe today more than ever

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The big trend nowadays is to say that a Digital Strategy is no longer needed, that digital should be embedded in all strategies, it is mainstream, part of a global approach and that stand-alone digital strategies are no longer needed... that Digital strategy *IS* your Business strategy. 

I agree on most of these points: it no longer makes sense to do a stand-alone digital touch point strategy or digital media strategy or digital product strategy in a silo-ed approach without considering non-digital touch points, channels or products. We need to look at things globally, see how they complement each-other,  feed each-other, correctly addressing customer needs and attention.

However a digital strategy is still a major element to address is today's businesses.
Not to build a business case to create or revamp a website, a mobile app or marketing investments. That's mainstream day-to-day business. 
No : the main reason you still need a digital strategy is for your digital transformation. 

Many businesses today are working heavily on their digital transformation - digitalising processes, bringing new products and services on the market, investigating new A.I services or decision processes. Yet, according to surveys, 90% of these transformations are said to be failing or not meeting expectations. Lack of customer knowledge, lack of culture, lack of prioritisation, leadership, data, technology.... are claimed to be partly or totally responsible for these les than stellar performances.

And actually, all that boils down to a lack of strategy.

A strategy is the shortest route to attain an objective taking into account your assets, means, company objectives, competitive landscape, consumer needs. It contains a strategic plan detailing the route to get there, including what are the enablers you need to build on the way, may they be new practices, processes, skills, working methods, organisation, technology or products. 

The key questions to be answered to are:
- Why transform?
- What is the business case?
- What value are we creating for our business and for our customers?
- How fast can we go, by which route?
- What capabilities do we need to build and what culture do we need to create or sustain?

Having a digital transformation program without having a strategy or strategic plan - by doing headless test & learn approaches with teams aiming to test the waters and learn new practices or by implementing new technologies without thinking in terms of business value are costly, lengthy, demotivating and fail to deliver.

Sadly often looking like costly IT migrations or employee team-building activities with no real business opportunity or marketing value. 


About the author

Audrey has been managing digital strategy and digital transformations during several years from within large corporations before creating Belly & Brain.

By creating Belly & Brain, her aim was to design a consultancy firm finally adapted to the needs and reality of business leaders confronted to strong digital challenges - combining consultancy and coaching capabilities able to handle as well marketing and sales strategic questions, as well as change management, organisational & culture challenges needed to actually deliver on the transformation.

Audrey organises regular free meet up sessions with executives to discuss their challenges and give rapid feedback on solutions and options. Learn more about these here