- Know where you want to go,
- Know where you are,
- Understand what separates you from your destination, and
- Determine how to get there from here.
Let’s cover these one at a time.
Step 1: Know where you want to go
To decide on your destination, consider how various digital capabilities – email marketing, social media, paid search, and so on – will help your business accomplish its near term business goals and longer term strategies.
Bring knowledge of your business objectives to a strategy session. Combine them with industry and competitor research, knowledge of your customers, and analysis of digital trends to define your Desired Future. There’s a depiction of this process on the Desired Future tab below.
Step 2: Know where you are
With your destination in mind, examine and document the relevant aspects of you Current State. An honest and thorough assessment of your current state will include more than a listing of your websites and eBusiness IT projects.
It will include a look at your governance, culture, processes and capabilities as well. Its likely that your desired future will have impact on the culture and processes of Marketing and Operations. But it will also likely impact Sales and even Product Development. Additional details can be found on the Current State tab below.
Step 3: Understand what separates you from your destination
Now that you know where you are, you can figure out how far you are from where you want to go. Perform a Gap Analysis by determining how the various aspects of your current state need to change in order for you to reach your desired future. There’s more on the Gap Analysis tab below.
Step 4: Determine how to get there from here
Take the initiatives list into a planning session. Along with other stakeholders, prioritize them against competing priorities and put together a multi-year program, a Digital Roadmap. The roadmap will guide you to your future state by addressing the gaps you’ve identified. There’s a depiction of this process on the Digital Roadmap tab below.
A few things to keep in mind
This process is designed to maximize success by cultivating stakeholder buy in through their participation. Their engagement is key to defining and ultimately selling your strategy to senior management. Plan to routinely revisit and update your strategy and roadmap. Finally, keys to successfully enacting your strategy include patience, pragmatism, and perseverance – not unlike your vacation trip come to think of it.