As Westerman points out, companies do not need a digital strategy, but they need a better business strategy, enabled by digital technologies (Ref. 1). In my opinion, any strategy about digital transformation should focus on ‘transformation’, not ‘digital’ because ‘transformation’ is the goal while ‘digital’ is only a tool and mostly refers to technology. Digital platforms and technologies including mobile devices and social media provide two prominent benefits to modern marketing: convenience and data. Therefore, a better business strategy should focus on how these fast-evolving technologies could improve business operations and values.
Small mobile devices with significant computing power have become a routine part of day-to-day life for people of all ages (Ref. 2). Fast-growing adoption of mobile devices has radically changed user behaviors. In digital era, digital tech can certainly provide a better way to catering to customers along the user journey map. Objectives need to be set before starting any digital marketing. The first step would be customer analysis & segmentation, followed by determining which group will be the most cost-effective to reach. Further analytics based on dataset could define what devices the target audiences use (Ref. 3). As I discussed in one of my comments regarding Katie’s post (Ref. 4), apps are probably preferred by most people if they are using smartphones while situation may change on desktops or tablets. Users can click on app icons to get start immediately, while to use mobile sites they have to open up a browser and type in web address before getting there (imagine if they do not remember the right web addresses or misspell them in many cases!). However, when people use desktops, laptops, or even tablets, responsive sites may be preferred over apps since the larger screens allow users to view everything all at once. Amazon is a typical example for this situation where many people prefer to use the optimized responsive site to search products and do shopping. Another example is the Google map which I use it almost every day: app is my default option when I use my iPhone while visiting their site is always what I do on desktops and laptops.
Once the above situational analysis is done, companies will get a pretty good idea about their target and digital requirements. A detailed customer journey map can help to identify good touchpoints where digital platforms or technologies can be used to improve engagement. Traditional sales funnel model (Browse/Active/Purchase/Loyalty) and See/Think/Do/Care frameworks indicate different contents needed in different stage of user journey (Ref. 3). This will allow companies to determine if an app or responsive site is the better option to align with their business strategy.
If an app is better, companies have to think about native apps or web apps depending on the OS of most customers are using. In case of a responsive site, a mobile-optimized site doesn’t mean the site works on mobile devices – it means the user journey via mobile has been carefully considered and optimal experience is offered. Both apps and responsive site development share a similar process – understand current situation, user requirement, and business objective; define persona, scenario, use case; design prototype, wireframes; develop the mobile site or app, do user test, improve and iterate. (Ref. 3).
In addition, this graph-illustrated process of determining digital strategies can be framed into the checklist of Mobile Marketing Strategy (BOTA – Benchmark, Objectives, Technology and Mix, Analytics and Measurement) described in Rowles and Daniel’s book (Ref. 3).
- Your Company Doesn’t Need a Digital Strategy. by George Westerman. MITSloan Management Review. Spring 2018. Vol. 59. No. 3. http://mitsmr.com/2Gk4a0h
- How Mobile Technologies Are Shaping a New Generation. by Tammy Erickson. APRIL 18, 2012. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2012/04/the-mobile-re-generation. Accessible on 9/14/2019.
- Rowles, Daniel. Mobile Marketing: How Mobile Technology is Revolutionizing Marketing, Communications and Advertising. 2nd ed. London: Kogan Page. 2017.
- Wishy Washy Millennial Who Wants to Be Entertained. September 12, 2019. By Katie Allegretto. http://digitalmarketing.temple.edu/2019fallmktg5606/2019/09/12/wishy-washy-millennial-who-wants-to-be-entertained/