Are you digital enough? (Article 4)
As we discussed in the last article, your digital strategy needs to be built around your business objectives and your purpose of doing business. Once this is clear it is simpler to move ahead.
Do you want to be local or national or global?
It is important to decide where you want to do business. It is very tempting to say ‘we want to be global’ — but we need to indeed take a critical look at our current business level, customer base, type of product and needs of the customer. Local, national and global customers have distinctly different requirements. For example, if you are making products for Mumbai customers, requirements in Manipur, Rajasthan, Shimla and Chennai can be distinctly different. If you are making products for Indian customer, requirements in Chile, Saudi, Russia, China or South Africa can be vastly different.
To give an example, one of our customers made systems that were being exported to North Iran. The customer thought it would be always warm or hot. But the fact is, Northern Iran is cold and snowy with dry summers and wet winters often below -3º C. Many of the instruments in the system supplied were not designed for it & got cracked and damaged due to severe weather conditions in winter.
So, make up your mind, do enough research about the target customer and their requirements before thinking about arbitrary expansion of business.
There is nothing wrong in being local, as you might not have tapped enough potential lying at hand. There are simpler and cost-effective ways of reaching the local customer digitally. You can run targeted advertisements, increase your presence in trade directories, have listing in the trade portals etc. You can design your website to make it easier for a local customer to find you. You can provide all necessary details like your working hours, best products, customer testimonials, ‘How to’ videos, your location… available easily for the local customers.
While choosing social media strategy, you can opt for everything local — so that the local customers easily notice you. The social media or the search engines are very intelligent today to identify what is local & automatically promote local stuff to locals.
We will discuss about essentials of global digital strategy some other time. Now let’s see some important aspects of ‘any’ digital strategy (may it be local, national or global)
Do you communicate well?
The communication is of prime importance in any digital strategy. Many a times, people are not clear on what they want to communicate. Or sometimes, they want to give too many messages in one communication… Something which is TOO MUCH for a customer to chew at one go!
If your communications are not so good, you may end up spending without any great results.
Choosing a title
How you choose headline of your message is quite important. It is something like how newspapers choose their headlines. You can imagine how much effort must be going on while selecting a right news to be put on the front page & giving it a catchy headline. Your work is like this, when it comes to making any communication — may it be subject line of your email, your social media message or the title of your advertisement.
As David Ogilvy says, on the average, 5 times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent 80 cents out of your dollar. It is so important!
Contents of your communication:
The next thing is the ‘content’ of your communication. It is important that the message you give through your entire communication is:
- Easy to understand
- As compact and clear as possible
- To the point
- Written keeping in mind benefit to the user
- Giving the user some knowledge that he/she finds useful
- Written by someone who understands your business
- Without ornamental words that many users fail to understand. Many feel, using heavy, difficult words gives more value to their writings. Not in business!
- Inciting some action by the reader — You need to write in such a way that the reader will be inspired to take some action beneficial to your business
Look and feel
The contents are not enough these days, as no one has ample time to keep on reading too much of text. So, the look and feel of your communication matters as well. A good digital communication would necessarily involve some good images, sketches, videos, info-graphics etc… to make it attractive for the user. The communication design should be using attractive color combinations in line with your brand identity, using appropriate fonts and much more. There are experts in these designs & you should avoid making home made communications if you are serious about your business.
Good communication design with great content and a wonderful look and feel is one of most important recipes for the success of your digital strategy.
In the next article, we will discuss about some more aspects of a good digital strategy for your business.
© Nitin Kirloskar