Making digital central to your strategy in a post-COVID world

When we rang in new year, no business could have prepared for the wild ride ahead. Eight months on, we still don’t quite know how far into the pandemic we are and how much longer we will need to live with the restrictions to our daily lives.  What is however certain is that COVID-19 has altered consumer behaviour and accelerated the need for businesses to embrace digital.

It’s been 13 years since the launch of the iPhone and 16 years since Facebook was born and yet many Australian organisations have struggled to embrace and adapt their business to operate in a digital world.  COVID-19 has, for many, exposed the fundamental flaws in their business strategy and it has left businesses scrambling to develop a digital presence in order to survive.  For some, the shift has proved fruitful exceeding expectations, whilst for others, the lack of investment in digital over many years has meant their foray into digital has been met with lacklustre results.

Setting your business up for success in a digital world

We live in a digital age and if ever there was a catalyst to adapt based on the changing market landscape, it is now. Transforming your business to make digital a central part of your strategy isn’t easy but the risk of doing nothing is now simply too high.  How your business approaches and navigates the transition can however be the difference between success and failure;

Digital shouldn’t be a bolt-on

Too often we see businesses in industries like retail launch an eCommerce site and run it as an independent business. This is despite the fact it is one of several channels their consumers use to interact. If digital is implemented as a bolt-on, it is unlikely to gain the focus and attention it needs to thrive.  Digital is a mindset and a way of operating.  It needs to be the way you do business, and that means you need to re-think how you effectively serve your customers and add value and the role digital plays in the process.

Adopt an MVP approach

Often one of the key challenges that can hold a business back is the enormity of the challenge as well as concerns over the investment required. Adopting a minimal viable product approach (MVP) allows you to bring something to market in a relatively rapid fashion and learn as you go. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give some broader thought to your strategy or direction, it simply means you start small when it comes to execution and scale based on learnings.

Identify if you have the right skills and experience to drive the change

Trying to adapt and embrace digital will require you to re-consider if you have the right skills and expertise within your business. This may mean you need to upskill the existing workforce or employ new talent into your business to help navigate the change. Having the right partners around you can also be invaluable to draw upon knowledge to navigate the change and to avoid costly mistakes.   

Stay the course

Often organisations will invest in digital expecting an immediate outcome.  Whilst paid digital marketing, ie search and social, provide an immediate presence – it doesn’t mean that your digital strategy will net immediate outcomes.  It takes time and focus to build an engaged audience and to determine which strategies are most effective for your business and therefore it is vital to stay the course.

Teresa Sperti, Founder, Arktic Fox