Adapting to a world continuously transformed by new digital thinking and technology requires 5 Musts to fully appreciate, process, and selectively use the cornucopia of innovations and options. The 5 Musts underlie effective digital strategy and digital architecture.
1. Be Open and Skeptical. It’s a necessary paradox. Read, hear, see, touch, feel, and engage with all kinds of new ideas, products, services, data, and people. But apply a curiousity filter to separate the real from the hyped. You can’t be an effective marketer without knowing and having new options, even though most of what you encounter will either be irrelevant or less than advertised. Expect to reject most of what you become aware of.
2. All that Glitters Isn’t Gold. Technology breeds innovation and invention. But not all innovation or invention is useful, needed, or applicable. Existence is not a sufficient raison d’etre. Thousands of inventors and entrepreneurs create cool things that aren’t valuable, relevant, useful, or practical. Hundreds of start-ups launch technologies that never find a use or a home. Be wary of the shiny object claiming to be a silver bullet.
3. Humans Are Predictable. We are creatures of habit and patterns, which can be discerned, measured, and predicted. We are reluctant to change. We cling to workflows, sentiments, and actions that are familiar and repeatable. Inertia is our greatest competitor. We are social and tribal. Savvy marketers understand and appreciate this and try use this in targeting prospects, developing content, selecting channels, and identifying the digital moment of truth.
4. Focus on Think, Feel, & Do. Focus digital strategy and technology strategy on what we want customers and prospects to think, feel, and do. Too often, we get carried away with features and benefits of a new product or service or become mesmerized by a technology. And we forget to do the obvious logical and psychological math. Every communication and campaign must begin with a clear understanding of how we will marshal the rational, emotional, and directive elements to ensure that audiences think, feel, and act the way we want him or her to. Provoking interest isn’t enough. Directing action is critical. As Grandma said, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.”
5. Test & Learn. The beauty of the digital space is that everything is iterative. You don’t have to get it right on the first try. Use regular feedback, to mix it up with your audiences and adjust, adapt, or revise as needed. Based on the principle of understanding customers by creating relevant interactive experiences, digital content is always evolving driven by consumer inputs and data plus the dynamics of the marketplace and advancing technology.
Digital transformation only happens successfully when the 5 Musts are bedrock elements of a digital strategy. When the 5 Musts are integrated into a technology landscape designed to super-serve target audiences, good things happen.
Danny Flamberg, EVP Managing Director of Digital Strategy and CRM at Publicis based in New York, has been building brands and building businesses for more than 30 years.Prior to joining Publicis, he led a successful global consulting group called Booster Rocket, as Managing Partner. Before becoming a consultant, he was Vice President of Global Marketing at SAP, SVP and Managing Director at Digitas in New York and Europe and President of Relationship Marketing at Amiratti Puris Lintas and Lowe Worldwide.
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