Ottawa Chamber of Commerce

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Does your company have traction with its digital strategy yet?

by Kelly Kubrick on September 16, 2014

First published in The Voice blog of the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce, September 15, 2014.

How to get traction with your company’s digital strategy

We cannot avoid the impact of digital on our plans for the future. Here’s a sample of business headlines from the last month:*

  • “Best Buy’s web sales rise as store sales fall”
  • “UPS tests pickup points for online orders”
  • “Staples says its omnichannel strategy increased web sales in Q2”

Offering opportunities (new revenue streams, distribution channels, and operational efficiencies) with simultaneous threats (shifting customer behaviors, higher service expectations, decreased asset utilization), digital feels overwhelming.

Instead, think of it this way: “Digital strategy is the process of identifying, articulating and executing on digital opportunities that will increase your organization’s competitive advantage.”

Digital strategy leads to competitive advantage

Think of digital as your company’s chance to create value that no other business is capable of. To succeed at digital, there are six process areas – the Six Dimensions of Digital Strategy – your company will need to address as you tackle digital:

  1. Human resources: Who are the people who will help plan and execute your digital initiatives?
  2. Technology resources: Which technologies will your business need to use to implement your digital initiatives?
  3. Data strategy: Data is an output of digital and the differentiator from its offline equivalent, allowing you to drive continuous improvement in your processes. What is your plan for leveraging its available insights?
  4. Content strategy: Digital demands that companies produce content efficiently and accurately across multiple platforms and channels. Are you ready?
  5. Channel strategy: Which channels – for marketing, transactions, distribution – can you realistically support, in a sustained, profitable way?
  6. Social Business strategy: Prospects and customers assume your ability to interact and collaborate – are you prepared for the transparency that will result?

What are your company’s current digital capabilities?

Start by assessing your company’s capabilities in each dimension. What are your strengths? Where are the gaps? What steps can you take this quarter? Where should your capabilities be this time next year? What will be your competitive (digital) advantage?

Learn more at Digital Strategy Conference Ottawa from September 29-Oct 1, 2014 – and save! Ottawa Chamber Members get $100 off.

*Source: Internet Retailer, August 21 – September 4, 2014
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Kelly KubrickDoes your company have traction with its digital strategy yet?

Digital strategy for Ottawa Chamber of Commerce Members

by Kelly Kubrick on May 23, 2013

First published in the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce email Newsletter, May 23, 2013

What is Your Company’s Digital Strategy?

Many businesses are aware of the potential digital represents – perhaps for cost savings and improved efficiencies; perhaps for increased sales – but ultimately, for improvement in the overall business. Yet, there is also a sense of feeling overwhelmed by digital and its never-ending waves of change. Which path to take: web? Email? Mobile? Social? All of the above? What to do?

Digital strategy is about competitive advantage

Take a step back to see the larger horizon: your company’s digital strategy is about more than the latest buzzword. Instead, its potential makes it about the larger issue of competitive advantage – identifying it, articulating it, and achieving it.

Yesterday, digital opportunities were limited by bandwidth and a lack of critical mass in the marketplace. Today, digital allows us to better connect our people – customers, constituents, donors, employees, partners – to improve the experience of doing business with our organization. Improving that experience pays off – retaining a customer, employee or supplier is simply more cost effective than acquiring new.

Yet, we’re also challenged by the simple reality that the way our digital stakeholders interact, learn and share has outpaced business’ ability to respond. And every succeeding generation appears to have an instinctive understanding of this world which most of us are still learning. Great. Now what?

Address organizational expectations vs. operational readiness

Make a plan that addresses the realities of organizational expectations and operational readiness. It will become the road map that connects the reality of where you are and where you need to go, to meet those evolving expectations. Identify the risks digital might bring, but don’t let them stop you from uncovering new opportunities. Finally, take advantage of the insights digital data generates – it’s what makes digital fundamentally different from our offline world.

In reality, digital is impacting across all channels, is forcing transparency, and is making it easier for new competition. Organizations that take digital out of its marketing and technology silos and see it a competitive advantage are weaving their digital strategy into their business strategy – challenging what was, acknowledging what is and planning for what could be.

Get advice from other companies facing the same challenges

What’s the next step? Attend Digital Strategy Conference, the first of its kind in the National Capital. From June 3-5, 2013, benefit from three days of advice on how to articulate your company’s digital strategy.

Ottawa Chamber of Commerce members receive a special discount!. Please visit members only section on the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce website.

It’s time to get strategic with digital.

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Kelly KubrickDigital strategy for Ottawa Chamber of Commerce Members