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This will be my inaugural post here on Digital Generals. I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts on Digital Strategy, and in the process I’m sure I’ll learn a thing or two myself.

I couldn’t be more delighted or honoured when I was asked if I wanted to be a Digital General. One of our first projects was to launch the North Atlantic Marketing Optimization (NAMO) podcast. We’re hoping that this will be educational and that this can be a great resource that other Digital Strategists can leverage in their day-to-day.

In our first podcast, the one question that we wanted to debate and discuss was the difficulty for organizations to come up with a digital strategy. Both Xavier and I thought that this was an important topic and that this would be a great way for us to kickoff our podcast.

One of the things that I’ve noticed in organizations that I’ve worked at is that there are a lot of competing priorities from different channels and different marketers. Everybody has their head down and they’re all working on their own thing.

It’s generally a very silo’d environment, and although there is a lot of collaboration, there’s a lack of togetherness. This is a result of how many of our corporations are set up each department/channel owns their own set of numbers. This setup inherently causes internal competition whereby each channel will only care about delivering on their own targets even if it’s at the detriment of other channels. Because of this lack of shared vision, we have fragmented and disjointed digital strategies within one single organization.

As we live in an interconnected world, we need to start thinking that way.

That means developing a unified digital strategy that can be executed by all team in a collaborative manner is of paramount importance. In service of delivering delightful digital experiences we need to change the way we think about organizational goals. We need to stop thinking about each department as an independent entity, instead we should look at how everything is integrated.

The first step to do this is to remove department level financial goals.

There should be an overarching Digital goal, every department and channel work in order to achieve this goal. This helps build synergies throughout the organization. Although this might sound controversial at first, I feel like there’s a lot of merit to this idea. We as Digital Strategists all know that there are certain channels that are better at bringing in traffic, while others are better at bringing in conversions.

Organisations need to leverage these synergies to create a strategy that leverages the strengths of all available levers to pull forward in the Digital Marketing space.

By removing the individual goals, you encourage collaboration since everybody has a vested interest in achieving the organisational goal. This also removes barriers to certain channels. For example, if the social channel is de-shackled, they’re able to do the things they’re good at doing, i.e. customer engagement, brand building, etc. These tactics will ultimately assist channels that are good at converting customers.

In short, if you find that your organisation is mired a lot of infighting and not being able to build a successful digital strategy; try influencing the organisation to change the way goals are being measured that should help build a strong Digital strategy since everything will be interconnected.

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  1. Great piece Renny. Bold tip, removing the channel based goals which actually don’t make sense: we want to grow the business, regardless of the channel and sometimes competition among the teams harms achieving strategic goals.

    I wonder if companies are ready to cooperate within agencies and teams rather to compete.