Often self absorbed in my own digital strategy work – I sometimes forget far I’ve travelled and the level of transition the advertising industry is in over digital strategy.
I’ve been doing digital strategy for years – though at IBM, we called it e-business strategy, then marketing strategy, then customer experience strategy & design and now, due to how broad digital has become, digital strategy. (I know.. its really just strategy but to limit scope, allow for digital).
When asked what a digital strategy is – my elevator answer is that digital covers mobile, social, web, apps, etc. and strategy is the ‘how’ to achieve a gap between where a company or brand is currently and where they want to go. Arriving at a digital strategy & plan is more complicated than I’m making it sound but essentially it is a gap analysis done right. (not minimizing the difference between strategy and good execution). Simpler – I say that digital strategy is identifying which of the 20 digital opportunities facing a business are the right ones for business, brand and marketing. (long elevator ride right!)
Back in late 2009 – early 2010 – I thought myself quite progressive by labelling myself a digital strategist but the actual role, its qualifications, the job description and deliverables are much confused today.
And this was the topic of tonight’s discussion with a meeting of the minds with Paul Crowe at Bnotions , @pcrowe – a growing dev/strategy/start up into cool mobile, game things +. Among the audience – @Ianbarnett, @michaelnus and Rick Jacobs – all very bright, articulate and seasoned folks.
Couple great gems coming out of our dicussion.
1. we debated over a framework for developing a digital stategy. It was a different lense than I’ve used but it actually worked well and I’m grateful to see a new perspective.
2. we spoke about a digital strategist being a rather senior, long tail digital/strategy experienced individual – though not to say that there isn’t a need for junior strategists and career path for this senior role.
3. there are tiers to digital strategy – that sometimes the deliverable is large and other times quite small. (or the timeframe to complete is tight)
4. I spoke of the role of a digital review or business review plays in arriving at a digital strategy. A digital strategy often has optimization of existing digital assets as a goal and this is only best understood by reviewing performance.
5. I also spoke of how the strategy needs to be separated from the plan – which is what my own ad agency/planning department has teased out of me – forcing a focused strategy from the planning/roadmap stage.
Anyhow – the popcorn is ready.. I welcome your thoughts on the matter.