The problem with most organizations is that they are afraid to define themselves, because that would lead to the world knowing who they really are. Really? Are we seriously still trying to play footsie with our customers?
Brands forget that they are personalities. The more they showcase their unique qualities, the better off they are in terms of getting customers, making money and generating social media buzz.
So why are most digital strategies boring beyond belief? Or worse, just a set of goals and tactics, mislabeled as a strategy?
Digital Strategy: Why You Should Put Customers First
The problem is most brands think about what they want to say, instead of focusing on the problems customers want solved. Think of the average person. Know what he’s thinking about? Himself. (It’s true for the female gender as well).
If you really want to shake it up, you MUST STOP PRETENDING, and you must start getting real. This is probably a radically different approach for you, so it will take some time to adapt.
Start focusing on the results people get, instead of the benefits you provide.
Here are some examples to get you thinking in the right direction:
- We sell books and tons of other stuff online at lower prices.
- Instead: We get you the products you want to your doorstep in 2 days.
- We design forward thinking technology that gives you access to your own content.
- Instead:You can carry the equivalent of 10,000 CD’s on one small pocket device.
- We sell luxury jewelry that is timeless.
- Instead: When you give the woman you love a piece of our jewelry, she will pledge her undying love to you forever.
5 Ways to Fix Your Digital Strategy
When you focus on the result—or better yet, the feeling you give to your customers when you solve your problems, you’ll have better results. Here are 5 reasons your digital strategy may be vanilla, and how to fix them:
1. You call it a strategy, but it’s a set of goals: A strategy is a roadmap for how you intend to get to your business objectives or goals. You can pretend that it’s a strategy if it says STRATEGY on top of the brief, with Confidential running across the pages in light grey watermark, but it’s not a strategy unless it lays out where you are, and how you intend to get to where you want to be.
2. You focus on you and NOT your customers:You know what a great way to use this rule is? Ask yourself when you’re creating content: Does anyone care? Will my customers care when reading this? If the answer is no or maybe, rip it up and start again. Make a list of your customers’ true pain points. Then start from there.
3. Provide real solutions: If you can’t tell people how they might be able to resolve their current challenges, then you’re not providing them with real value. People consistently tell us how much they love this blog and how much value they get out of our posts. Do we love hearing that? Absolutely. But what we love even more is that we’re giving people answers to their problems. How great is that?
4. LISTEN & ADAPT: In the digital world, everything is changing all the time. You have to listen to your customers and continually solve their problems, listen for more problems and answer those as well. Social media allows you to do just that. Don’t just listen to the direct conversations customers have about you—listen to the ones they have about your competitors or people in your niche. You never know what you might learn.
5. Know when you don’t know: So often clients will tell me “they just know.” You have to get out of that mindset. The only way you make decisions is with data. If you want to make important decisions by instinct, you might as well purchase an office Ouija board. If you want to make smart decisions, then use data, and triangulate your research (find 3 data points that support your hypothesis). Speak to professionals, companies like Cefar are there to help you with your digital strategy. If you try to do this alone with know knowledge at all, your “strategy” is likely to be useless. Do some research, ask for some help, you will see a huge difference if you do this!
It’s definitely a different way to think. You may have to defend it to the C-suite. But trust me, when you start focusing on your customers’ pain, instead of your own, you’ll find that there are more pain-free days ahead for both of you.