Developing a sound Strategy is more than coming up with a great idea. Intuition only gets you so far. With a clear strategy you will be able to determine your potential for increasing revenues, profits, or traffic to your website, depending on your objectives. A well-crafted Strategy will clearly define your business objectives, establish goals to measure to success and identify tactics or steps to execute the strategy.
A good Strategy begins with clearly defining your goals or Objectives. Objectives are plans that your organization will use to measure success, increase market share, sales, unique visits, volume of traffic to your site, or become a recognized leader in your industry. E.g. drive 5,000 unique visitors to my website each month. Objectives should include short term goals (next 6 months to a year) as well as longer term goals of 3 to 5 years.
Once you have defined your objectives you will conduct an assessment of the “landscape.” Ask who are my competitors? What do they provide my potential customers that I currently don’t? (to better understand your customers see Amanda Broughton’s post here). Also, what benefits do I offer my customers while my competition lacks? This assessment is referred to as a SWOT. (Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, Threats). Strengths and Weaknesses refer to internal variables, while Opportunities and Threats apply externally.
Strengths are internal advantages that set your organization apart. Weaknesses are internal shortfalls that challenge your business. Opportunities are external factors (environment) that allow your organization to provide an advantage. Threats are external factors that if not dealt with will ultimately harm your business.
As a quick example let’s take a look at the recent developments for Blockbuster and competitors in the movie rental industry.
Internal Factors- Strengths:
Blockbuster may conduct a SWOT analysis and determine that one of its Strengths (unlike many current competitors) is allowing customers to select from a wide range of the newest available releases with face to face interaction.
Internal Factors- Weaknesses:
For Blockbuster a weakness may be the store hours; customers can only rent movies during the hours that a Blockbuster store is open. Late fee charges have historically been a big weakness for Blockbuster. Digital competitors and on-demand movie options allow consumers to view on their terms 24/7.
External Factors- Opportunities:
Due to negotiated contracts with the movie studios, competitors Netflix and Redbox cannot offer new releases as quickly as Blockbuster. This is a competitive advantage that Blockbuster could capitalize on.
External Factors- Threats:
Technology has changed the way that consumers access movies; the competitive landscape is changing. Redbox, Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, illegal downloading, as well as other forms of entertainment compete with Blockbuster. Customers are continually finding new ways to access movies at their convenience. If Blockbuster were to ignore current trends and not plan accordingly it would fail.
Tactics are a series of steps carried out to reach your objectives. Tactics help you determine what is required to achieve your goals. Tactics must fit your overall Strategy; otherwise they are wasting your resources and not adding value to your organization.
Biznet Digital can assist you in crafting sound digital strategies, help you assess the landscape, identify your target audience, and craft the “correct” message. We want to help you determine the best approach for becoming more profitable and accomplishing your goals. Biznet is staffed with professionals who are experienced in providing sound solutions for developing a comprehensive digital marketing presence. For more information contact us.