Today, standard business operations increasingly exist primarily on digital platforms, challenging users’ relationships and interactions with an organization. Vital to a successful business, these channels must be recognized, developed and thoughtfully implemented. Acting as the fundamental delivery method of determining this engagement, the use of a digital strategy is essential for any organization.

With the goal of brand awareness, increased outreach and market share gain, business owners make investments in these critical pursuits without having core strategies in place and even more worrisome – jumping into resource draining marketing plans that simply don’t align with their business goals or brand messaging.

Often marketing, design and sales departments operate in linear motion with only a few essential cross functional touch-points along the way. This results in duplicate activities, watered down results and a disjointed overall experience. So how can these efforts merge – allowing a digital strategy to align with business and brand goals?

Know The Goal

When kicking off a new campaign, design or marketing initiative, to begin, its important think first about vision and end goal before focusing on specific tactics. What is the result to be achieved? More website visitors, brand awareness, lead generation? Promoting a new product, expanding to a new market? Narrowing down to a specific goal will help to develop just the right methodology to reach the desired result.

The Digital Connection

From defining the objectives of the initiative or overall business plan, from here – the digital aspect can be sketched out. Always working back to the end goal to determine a hierarchy of actions will help to form the bigger digital picture. Similar to developing goals, questions toward the digital implementations should be asked including; What marketing channels are used by customers of the business, are they standard to the industry? How can digital marketing be integrated into overall marketing efforts? How can messaging – both visual and contextual be leveraged?

Measure & Implement

To truly deliver a viable strategy, accountability and measurement of ROI should be in place. Following through on who should oversee campaigns and who is responsible for creative and content assets is essential. Whether its a single point of contact from concept to delivery or an entire team of stakeholders, the directive should be clear. Hindsight is essential to optimization and adjusting the strategy for improvement.

Too often, digital strategies are put together with experimentation and no planning – while these methods have a place in the stream of a strategy, joining marketing, design and sales messaging can deliver the most effective digital messaging reflecting the true goal of a brand.