Originally published on the Digital Strategy Conference blog; republished with permission from dStrategy Media.
Defining Digital Strategy: Finding Common Ground
As a relatively new concept, there is no commonly understood definition of digital strategy. Many would say that digital strategy has to do with incorporating email, websites and social networks into marketing and communications efforts. Some might say it has to do with accepting electronic payment, registrations or donations. Others would say that it relates to going mobile.
Depending on your sector and industry, the perception and role of digital changes radically. To some, it’s disruptive in the worst possible way. To digital–first companies, it is their native habitat. To many, it hints at new opportunities – and to far too many, it is threatening, impacting roles and job expectations.
To muddy the waters further, the rationale for digital is ever evolving. Initial efforts focused on substitution – uncovering cost savings and improved efficiency. Then, focus shifted to identifying what we could sell online. And today, focus has shifted again, as we find ourselves asking how to use digital to improve the overall business.
Which brings us to this:
Digital Strategy Leads to Competitive Advantage
Digital strategy is the process of identifying, articulating and executing on digital opportunities that will increase your organization’s competitive advantage.
A competitive advantage is found when your organization “acquires or develops abilities” – such as technology or people – that allows you to create value, which no other organization is capable of. Those in the public or not for profit sectors might bristle at the term competitive, but we believe it still applies when seen through the lens of a competitive–comparative set.
A critical word in our definition is “process”. If a digital strategy is a process, remember that a process presumes a progression – from an initial starting point, to the approach of and overtaking of milestones to destinations both identified and unknown.
A practical and efficient way to do this is to take advantage of established planning tools such as maturity models. In our next post, we’ll introduce you to the dStrategy Digital Maturity Model.
We look forward to discussing our definition with you at at Digital Strategy Conference.