Navigating the Digital Landscape

Five tips to consider before launching your ship into the digital waters

Companies ready to launch their ship into the waters of the digital landscape can face daunting challenges.

Waters can seem to be fraught with peril as companies ask questions such as, “Are we heading down the right path?” “What if we don’t pick the right path on our first attempt?” “What happens when something goes wrong?” “Can we even afford this journey and will it pay off?” Navigating the digital waters to effectively answer these questions can seem like the business equivalent of crab fishing in Alaska – Deadliest Catch style.

Navigating the digital waters to effectively answer these questions can seem like the business equivalent of crab fishing in Alaska – Deadliest Catch style.

Successful navigation requires two items: a well-defined destination and a solid navigational plan. To get you started, I’ve outlined five tips to help your company confidently sail in the right direction:

1. Don’t Get Overwhelmed

Before even leaving the dock, companies can get overwhelmed. What is digital? Is it marketing? Is it social media? Is it my mobile app? What technology do I include? Do I need big data and analytics? The reality is that digital encompasses all of these things and more! Don’t let it overwhelm you. Every journey begins with a single step.

2. Define your Destination

No one starts on a journey of this importance without first determining a destination. Otherwise, you may just float and wander for days or months. To define your end goal or destination, paint a detailed picture of what success in digital looks like to you. Asking the right questions helps you draw a clearer picture of what success means to you or your company. Here are a few examples to stimulate your thinking:

  • Customer Intimacy – how can digital touchpoints decrease customer attrition and increase personalization for existing customers?
  • Business Agility – if your business doubled in size, are there bottlenecks in existing work processes that would inhibit growth?

3. Understand the Cost

No wise person embarks on a journey without understanding the cost in reaching their destination. Digital projects are significant investments that span lines of business, systems and department budgets. When determining your investment, make sure to consider questions such as:

  • How much do we bite off at once?
  • Where do we begin?
  • What will it cost me to get where I want to be?
  • What price can I afford to pay? What’s the price and risk of doing nothing?

4. Be Flexible

Know that this journey will have twists and turns. It will not be a straight path to your destination. There will be times you will need to test the waters and learn, adjusting as you travel. So be prepared and do not retreat at the first negative sign. Keep your courage! Ask others to support you and help you stay committed.

5. Hire a Guide

With so many challenges, you need to keep an eye on the prize. This is a brave new world full of opportunity that offers a new way of doing business with more direct interaction with your customers than has ever been possible. To streamline your success, consider hiring a trusted advisor, guide, or partner that is aligned with your goals and invests in helping you achieve them.