One of the challenges faced by anyone in the digital space today is determining how best to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of digital experience design and marketing. Social networks ebb and flow, trends in design and user experience are in constant flux — amidst the shift from desktop to mobile as the dominant means of accessing digital content. Given the rapid pace of change, the often abbreviated life cycles for once-popular approaches and the seeming unflinching adoption of new ones can create a kind of paralysis on the one hand or a “me, too” methodology on the other. How can an organization navigate these changes in the digital landscape thoughtfully and strategically?
As a way to step into the discussion, here are three key questions to consider:
1) What are the primary motivators for this change?
Take a hard look at the motivating factors. Do I need to be an early adopter because that’s where our audience is today? How does it fit with our brand? Are we feeling pressure to innovate from leadership or vis-à-vis competitors? As noted in previous posts, developing an internal set of “lenses” or filters help you assess new digital initiatives and ultimately align them with current goals and priorities. One of the key lenses must invariably take into account motivation for change.
2) What are the specific benefits or results we are hoping to see?
Now that we understand the motivation for change, can we articulate the specific benefits we hope to realize from the digital initiative? Does it give us exposure to new audiences? Can it create a differentiated platform for presenting our story or a specific call-to-action? Can it create opportunities for development of customers, donors or stakeholders? Establish measurable ROI and goals. Tune your analytics to make sure you get the business intelligence (BI) needed to assess the results.
3) What do I need to stop doing to support this new activity?
At home, we have the “new thing in, old thing out” rule that has actually become a fun game since we almost always find more than one thing to give away or share with someone else. But the bigger point is that none of us can continue to add new things to our plates while managing well what’s already there. No matter how talented the digital team is, too much is still too much. Destruction can be a powerful way to refocus your digital efforts to minimize ‘dustbins’ of less-fruitful activities while freeing up resources to pursue new approaches or sustain core initiatives. There’s much more to say on this last point but that’s for another post.