Table of Contents

What is a digital business, examples of digital business, digital business benefits, 4 concepts of digital business, components of digital business, examples of popular digital businesses, growth of the digital economy, common elements of a digital business, digital business vs. e-business, how to build a successful digital business, best approach to create a digital business, leveraging data and insights in digital business, fast track your career in digital business, what is digital business overview, concepts, and how to build one.

What Is Digital Business: Overview, Concepts, and How to Build One

Key Takeaways: Transforming businesses into digital entities enhances revenue streams and creates new value-added opportunities for growth. Technologies like AI, IoT, and Blockchain drive digital transformation and innovation in modern businesses. Automation, cost reduction, quality enhancement, and better decision-making are key advantages of digitalization. Leveraging data for insights, personalization, operational efficiency, and innovation is crucial for digital business success.

What is digital business? It is one of the most frequently asked questions on the internet. Digitalization means transforming any business into a digital business using digital technologies. The main purpose of digitalization is to generate higher revenue and create new value-added opportunities. At present, many companies are in the process of digitization. Top businesses have already done this technique and are very successful in economic, financial, and customer satisfaction.

Keeping up with the latest updates and facts regarding digitalization is very important for anyone who would want to start their own business or change their business into a digital one. Some of the most popular digital technologies are Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Quantum Computing, Edge Computing, Blockchain, 5G, Internet of Things (IoT), etc.

There are more than 2 billion websites in the world. The Internet is a huge thing, so it isn't easy to measure its actual size. However, IT giants, namely Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and Facebook alone, store around1.5 million terabytes of data.

In this informative article, let us see what is digital business and discuss everything related to it and the process of digitization.

In today’s work-from-home world, it feels like everyone is running a digital business. But the reality is that top business leaders have different definitions of what it means to go digital . As a result, priorities vary when it comes to technology adoption and transformation. 

Generally speaking, digital businesses rely on technology to operate and grow. Depending on your industry, that might look like:

  • Using productivity apps and task management systems to automate workflows
  • Leveraging AI to improve customer experience
  • Capturing data to improve business intelligence
  • Or, for online-only companies, doing 100 percent of your work via digital platforms

But just downloading a few apps doesn’t make you a digital business. True digital transformation is the slow process of shifting away from manual processes and toward a customer-centric, technology-focused business model .

Becoming a digital business impacts every part of your organization, from employee experience to customer service to back-end maintenance and management.

One example of a digital business is Amazon.com. Amazon.com started as an online bookstore, but they have since expanded to become a powerful e-commerce platform. Amazon.com uses digital technology to connect buyers and sellers and to facilitate transactions. Another example of a digital business is Uber.

What is digital business and what are its benefits? To answer this question: there are numerous advantages of transforming a business into a digital business. It improves the effectiveness and efficiency of organizations. Apart from that, it also boosts productivity. Below given are some of the pros of digital business:

1. Enhances Productivity

Automating manual processes has a huge impact. For example, imagine you automate an assembly sector inside your industry. Now, there is zero to the minimum need for manual labor to work in that particular sector because everything will be done with the help of robots. Therefore, there will only be minimal mistakes. Apart from that, the process is also faster.

2. Lower Operational Costs

The main objectives of every business are to save time and money. Doing manual processes and tasks is extremely time-consuming and relatively slower than automated techniques. In addition, you also need to pay the laborers on a monthly or hourly basis, which would involve a lot of money. 

It has been proven that inefficient processes can cost companies up to 25 % of their revenue. When the processes are done manually, there are higher chances of mistakes. In such cases, digitalizing the organization will be more efficient and less expensive. 

An interesting fact about digitalization is that it can save up to 90 % of the companies’ operational costs.

3. High Quality and Consistency

A major advantage of having a digital business is that it can guarantee that all the operations are made consistently. It provides high-quality outputs. 

For instance, automating a customer service sector will provide the consumers of that sector with high-quality information and support. 

4. Governance and Reliability

The automated services are very consistent, enabling the user to rely on them. It will help in the following way:

  • Run your business.
  • It helps in giving reliable procedures and methods to the clients.

5. Better Decision Making

Information management and digitization work very closely. When the information is analyzed, it will help transform it into knowledge. Knowledge helps in making better decisions.

Becoming a digital business is a foundational shift, so it’s important to consider the key concepts guiding your transformation.

What are businesses looking to achieve by going digital? Most organizations cite the following four concepts :

1. Flexibility

Our world is constantly changing, and companies are looking for a business model that allows them to be more flexible. During the COVID-19 pandemic , for instance, businesses realized that technology could help them pivot from on-site to work-from-home and back again without creating a logistical nightmare. Going digital allows you to adapt to change quickly without the dead weight of time-consuming manual processes. 

2. Scalability

With scalability, processes match fluctuations in your workload. Digital businesses can quickly scale up or down to meet the needs of the organization. As an example, a scalable business can efficiently onboard new employees during periods of growth or expand their data storage when taking on a large client. 

Digital business requires changing how you operate, and this starts with changing how you think . To truly become a digital business, you need your staff to be on board. Though tech leaders in your organization may be at the forefront of this work, building a philosophy of productivity, efficiency, and automation into every department's mission is vital to success.

4. Quality 

Our final digital business concept seems straightforward, but it’s important to keep in mind that quality is key as you make big changes. Often, we become swept up in innovation for innovation’s sake. But this won’t add value to your business. If your new processes aren’t enhancing quality, you need to rethink your strategy. 

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To digitize a business, there are some essential components that the business should possess. Let us see what they are:

1. Artificial Intelligence

The other name for Artificial Intelligence is AI. It is considered one of the most efficient methods in digital businesses. It helps the organizations anticipate customers' desires, faster forecasting outputs, etc. It can detect what is happening and calculate the reasons for it. It also provides the most appropriate solutions for any problem that occurs. 

2. Internet of Things

Another name for the Internet of Things is IoT. It can help develop smart products. Also, the arrival of 5G internet will help businesses reach their goals faster. It will also help increase the productivity of the processes. 

3. Digital Engineering

This technology plays a vital role in transforming customers' journeys. It also enables rapid innovation, which will help launch new brands and technologies.

Digital business isn’t just a transformative trend for major companies like Home Depot and GE . Many digital businesses start online (and remain online) with 100 percent of their operations existing in a digital space. Online-only digital businesses often have low startup costs and can quickly scale to meet the demands of the market, making them a popular choice for both experienced and fledgling entrepreneurs.

Sellers on Etsy, the popular ecommerce platform offering handmade goods, are a common example of the digital business trend. Etsy reported in 2017 that 97 percent of the business owners selling on their platform ran their business from home, and more than 75 percent were one-person operations. Despite being considered a “microbusiness,” many successful digital business owners on Etsy said it was their sole occupation – about 32 percent of sellers. 

Other popular digital businesses include:

  • Social media and content marketing 
  • Web design 
  • Online retail (clothing companies, online bakeries, bookstores, etc.)
  • Drop-shipping
  • Industry consulting 
  • Wedding planning 
  • Virtual assistants

As we have discussed everything related to digitalization and digital business, let us see some examples to understand this concept clearly:

Netflix: It is an excellent example of digital business, which has switched from e-business to digital business. Back in the day, Netflix used to supply DVDs to retail stores, and people used to buy them. However, with the commencement of new technologies, Netflix can transform itself into a digital business. People find it more convenient because they are allowed to stream videos online without having to purchase CDs or DVDs. Now, they can watch any movie or TV show very conveniently.

Uber: Uber is a transportation technology that allows its users to ride from one place to another. Uber uses GPS technology to locate the users and gives them their ride to any place they need, up to a certain distance. Taxis, autos, etc., are being operated under uber. Mostly, vehicle owners can tie themselves up to provide uber service to their passengers. Even delivering food is possible through uber. Uber has an enormous customer base and is very successful in many countries.

Disney: Disney used to be a traditional business that has recently switched to a digital one. It improves the experience of the users. Disney provides many services. It is a streaming site, a theme park, a movie production company, etc. Children have enjoyed Disney since the olden days and will still improve due to digitalization. 

The digital economy is growing at an unprecedented rate. In 2016, it was estimated that the global economy was worth $11.5 trillion, which is expected to increase to $19 trillion by 2025. This growth is driven by several factors, including the increasing popularity of online shopping, the proliferation of mobile devices, and the rise of the sharing economy. As more and more businesses move online, it is becoming increasingly important for companies to have a solid digital presence.

The digital economy has increased in recent years as more and more businesses move their operations online. This trend is driven by several factors, including the increasing accessibility of the Internet, the growing number of consumers who are shopping online, and the ease with which businesses can set up and operate a digital presence. The result is that the digital economy is now worth trillions of dollars and is expected to grow in the coming years. This growth has a profound impact on how businesses operate and is transforming how the economy functions.

A digital business is a company that uses digital technologies as an integral part of its business model and operations. Many digital businesses are born-digital companies, but even traditional businesses use digital technologies to create new value for their customers and shareholders. The critical elements of a digital business are: 

1. A customer-centric business model that delivers value to customers in a new or different way.

2. An agile organization that can rapidly respond to market or customer needs changes.

3. A data-driven culture that uses data to drive decision-making.

4. A focus on creating a great customer experience.

In the 21st century, many businesses have turned to digital methods to expand their customer base and remain competitive. By definition, digital business is the creation of new business designs by blurring the digital and physical worlds. In contrast, e-business uses the Internet to conduct business transactions between companies and customers. E-business includes marketing, sales, customer service, and collaboration with business partners.

With so many benefits to starting a digital business, you might be wondering: how do I get started? 

Whether you’re taking your traditional business into the digital world or starting a company from scratch, here are five tips to help you build a successful digital business. 

1. Automate 

Digital businesses have one thing in common: they automate everything. Why waste time doing mundane tasks that AI can do for you when you could be spending that time growing your business? Examine your processes and start automating wherever possible. 

2. Train Your Team

People are the foundation of everything you do. Invest in upskilling your team so they feel confident using new technology. They’ll help you find new ways to embrace tech as your business grows. 

3. Stay Agile 

Digital transformation takes time, and staying agile is one of the foundational digital business concepts. By making micro-adjustments to your digital business strategy as you go forward, you’ll have a more satisfactory end-product. Evaluate your transformation frequently and gather as much data as you can to help you make the right long-term decisions. 

4. Invest in Digital Marketing 

You can have the most efficient organization in the world, but it won’t do you any good if you don’t have any customers. Invest in a smart digital marketing strategy for your organization. Train your marketing team on the best digital marketing strategies for today’s market, from S EO optimization to social media management and beyond. 

5. Don’t Be Afraid to Go Big 

Digital businesses have huge room for growth, so don’t set your sights too low. There’s no telling where this new technology could take you.

Digital business is a term that refers to businesses that rely on electronic technologies to conduct their day-to-day operations. This can include using social media to advertise their products and services, completing transactions, and managing their finances online. In recent years, there has been a shift towards digital businesses, as more and more consumers are turning to the Internet to purchase goods and services. This trend will only continue as the Internet becomes more accessible and user-friendly.

Leveraging Data and Insights in Digital Business is a crucial aspect of modern business operations. In this section, we delve into how businesses can effectively utilize data and derive actionable insights to drive growth and innovation in the digital landscape.

Data as a Strategic Asset

In today's digital era, data is often referred to as the new oil. Businesses collect vast amounts of data from various sources, including customer interactions, transactions, social media, and IoT devices . However, the real value lies in how organizations harness and analyze this data to gain meaningful insights into customer behavior, market trends, and operational efficiency.

Harnessing Advanced Analytics

Advanced analytics techniques such as predictive analytics, machine learning, and data mining play a crucial role in extracting actionable insights from complex datasets. By applying these techniques, businesses can uncover hidden patterns, identify emerging trends, and make data-driven decisions to optimize processes, personalize customer experiences, and drive innovation.

Personalization and Customer Experience

One of the key benefits of leveraging data in digital business is the ability to deliver personalized experiences to customers. By analyzing customer data, preferences, and past interactions, businesses can tailor products, services, and marketing messages to individual needs and preferences, thereby enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Optimizing Operations and Efficiency

Data analytics enables businesses to optimize internal processes, streamline operations, and improve efficiency across the organization. By analyzing operational data, businesses can identify bottlenecks, inefficiencies, and areas for improvement, leading to cost savings, faster decision-making, and better resource allocation.

Driving Innovation and Competitive Advantage

Data-driven insights provide businesses with a competitive edge by enabling them to anticipate market trends, identify new opportunities, and innovate more effectively. By leveraging data analytics, businesses can fuel innovation, develop new products and services, and stay ahead of the competition in rapidly evolving markets.

Ensuring Data Security and Privacy

While leveraging data is essential for digital business success, it is equally important to prioritize data security and privacy. Businesses must implement robust data governance policies, adhere to regulatory compliance requirements, and ensure the ethical use of customer data to build trust and credibility with customers.

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1. What are the challenges of digitalization?

Below mentioned are some of the biggest barriers to digitalization:

  • Lack of vision of corporate
  • Change in management capabilities
  • Legacy systems
  • Inability to experiment quickly
  • Risk-aversive culture
  • Inadequate and improper collaboration between lines of business and IT.
  • Lack of talent

2. What are the advantages of digitalization?

Following are the benefits of digitalization:

  • Lesser error or mistake
  • Enhanced agility
  • Streamline processes
  • Decreased operational expenses
  • Higher productivity
  • Enhanced transparency
  • Reliability and governance

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Digital Business Strategy Examples, Definition, and Strategies

Published: 14 January, 2024

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Stefan Mitzkus

Digital Strategy

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In a time marked by rapid technological evolution and unprecedented interconnectedness, businesses find themselves standing at the crossroads of adaptation and endurance. As organizations grapple with the challenges and opportunities that the digital revolution brings, the development of a resilient digital business strategy has become a critical necessity.

As we unravel the complexities of digital business strategy, our goal is to empower businesses with the insights and tools required to not just survive but flourish in the digital era. At Digital Leadership, we ignite creativity within your organization, fostering a culture of continuous innovation and groundbreaking ideas, and offering a holistic view of how digital technologies can be seamlessly integrated into your overall business strategy.

What is Digital Business Strategy?

A complete digital business strategy describes the specific steps a company will take to evolve its business model and value proposition to best leverage new technology.

Digital business strategy is about using developments in technology to improve how companies create value for their customers, Digital business strategy guides the innovation of new products and new capabilities that were previously impossible, It highlights areas for growth, like new customer segments, and creates efficiencies and competitive advantages.

As small businesses restructure to adapt to the realities of the digital age, demand is placed on the need to understand digital business strategy & concepts for more growth and success. That is why this post is written. In this post, you will learn how to transform your business from offline to online, digital marketing strategies for small businesses, and digital transformation strategies .

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In a survey conducted by Tech Pro Research in 2019, 70 percent of business leaders reveal that they are investing more time and energy into Digital strategy. So you might be tempted to want to ask: why are businesses seeking digital business transformation. The answer is simple, digital transformation is the new normal, and it helps companies to work smarter and not harder.

Adopting digital business concepts and digital strategies can help improve customer experience, boost productivity, and leverage business intelligence. This post will take a clearer view of digital strategy definition and the digital marketing strategies for small businesses. We will also consider key examples of local and small businesses that successfully went digital and dive into the digital business strategies that can help transform your small business.

Digital Marketing Strategies

An efficient and effective digital marketing strategy is a vital component of the overall marketing mix of a business, regardless of its size and whether or not the business is in-store or online.

Marketing strategies for local businesses can include many offline local advertising methods. However, in today’s economy, a business needs to embrace digital marketing concepts and digital strategies to maximize sales and make more profits. A small business that operates all activities online needs to leverage a digital transformation strategy that helps attract potential customers.

There are many areas of online marketing that are beneficial to small businesses. Some of them are more important to offline and local businesses, while others are more effective for multinational and online businesses. Today, many businesses engage in multiple areas of digital business concepts and strategies to maximize marketing results and business growth.

7 Best Digital Marketing Strategies For Small Businesses

Digital Marketing Strategies

To correctly answer this question, you need to study your target audience and discover where they are likely to spend more time online. This gives you an idea of the strategy to adopt in reaching out to them when marketing your products and services. Your budget will play a key role in determining what digital transformation strategy to adopt.

Don’t be afraid to try out different methods when deciding which digital transformation strategy is best for your small business. Study the results to see which strategies are more effective with your target audience and make sure you’re getting a profitable return on investment (ROI) .

Some digital business concepts and digital strategies can be difficult to measure but be consistent with your measurement strategy. The most effective measurement method is to compare the company’s revenue before adopting certain marketing strategies to the revenue generated while running a different digital marketing strategy.

Here are some digital marketing strategies for your small business:

1- Search Engine Marketing

Search engine marketing (SEM) is crucial for every small business. It gives you a better chance to stand out when competing with bigger brands and companies by being more visible in search engines. Since most people use a search engine to find products and services, both locally and online, it is essential that your business rank high in search engines for words that relate you your products and services.

Professional digital marketing agencies offer search engine marketing services through search engine optimization (SEO) and paid advertisement. SEO is a free marketing tool that helps your website rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs) via methods such as:

  • Internal and external link-building
  • Keyword research
  • Content optimization

2- Content Marketing

Content marketing gives prospective customers information about your products and services through blog posts, articles, and product reviews. In this digital age, everyone is trying to sell something, but those who inform well are more likely to get more sales. Therefore, the more information you share with people, the more people will appreciate your expertise, thereby instilling confidence in your potential customers.

In the past, content marketing was carried out through guidebooks, printed brochures, and user manuals. However, in today’s world, the strategy relies solely on delivering valuable, relevant information and articles on your company’s website to attract your target audience and serve as a call-to-action.

3- Local Search Marketing

Local search marketing integrates a search engine’s maps function into a business’ website optimization and marketing strategies to maximize the business’ local search results performance.

Local search marketing is also called location-based marketing. This is especially the case for Google My Business (GMB), where your small business can be listed with address information and mapping, giving potential customers all the necessary but underserved details they need to contact you for your products and services. You can also include your phone number and website address. An efficient customer service system will also be available to attend to all inquiries.

4- Email Marketing

Email Marketing is a highly effective distribution marketing channel, which is a type of direct marketing, and digital marketing which makes use of email to advertise the products or services of your business. It is a great way to keep your customers informed of the latest products or services you offer by including them in your marketing automation strategies.

It could also play an essential part in the overall plan of marketing by generating leads, branding, increasing brand awareness, establishing relationships, or keeping customers interested throughout their purchase with different kinds of email marketing.

5- Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing (SMM) is one of the most effective marketing strategies today. However, it can be very tricky. Every digital marketer talks about social media marketing, but it can be difficult for small businesses to integrate social media into their distribution marketing channels. The type of social media platform you use depends on the kind of business you run. A small business that stays in touch with its customers by giving them motivational quotes, timely industry-relevant information, and customer-centric tips might find it easier to call its customers to action when the need arises.

Indeed, businesses, such as local restaurants, have recorded remarkable success using social media platforms by keeping their customers aware of the latest additions to their menus. The essential component of social media is to use it to strengthen your customer base to achieve repeat sales.

Trying to gain visibility across all social media platforms can be difficult for your small business, especially if you have limited key resources. Therefore, you should figure out which social media platform makes more sense for your business and the target audience you are trying to reach.

Are you targeting young people? Then boosting Facebook followers , followers on Instagram, or WhatsApp reach should be your priority. If you are targeting corporate clients, then you should invest more in LinkedIn marketing. If your business depends on a strong visual strategy, then you should invest heavily in Instagram and YouTube.

Social media marketing is about building and maintaining a mutually beneficial relationship with your customer base. It involves a system of keeping in touch with them and constantly showing that you care about them, instead of trying to constantly sell to them. Therefore, use social media platforms to listen and engage with your target audience and prospective buyers.

6- Mobile Marketing

Nowadays, a customer’s experience is largely driven through mobile devices- whether they are searching for a company or product, making a comparison, or actually buying a product.

Mobile marketing is targeted at reaching prospective customers through their mobile devices by using mediums such as targeted ads, mobile applications, email marketing, responsive websites, social media, and text messaging. In addition, small businesses can leverage technologies and strategies that can target customers based on time, location, keywords, and other specific attributes.

7- PPC Marketing

Pay-per-click (PPC) is an online marketing strategy where businesses pay and make money when their ads are clicked. There are different types of online ads. They include ads featured at the top and sides of search engine results pages, ads that show up in mobile apps or while you’re browsing, and promotional ads that pop up when watching videos on YouTube.

One advantage of PPC marketing is that your business only pays when your ads are clicked. Moreover, you’re able to target your ads toward specific locations and people.

Digital Businesses Strategy Examples

Digital business is a transformative trend seen in businesses transiting their operations from offline to online or from analog to digital. Many businesses started 100% online and remained online over the years, with 100 per cent of their products and services existing in the digital space. Interestingly, exclusively online businesses often have low startup costs and can quickly scale up to meet the current demands of the market. Sellers on the popular e-commerce platform Etsy are a good example of a successful digital business trend.

1) E-commerce Optimization:

  • Example: An online retailer implements a digital business strategy focused on enhancing user experience through personalized recommendations, AI-driven product suggestions, and a seamless checkout process. This strategy aims to increase customer satisfaction, boost sales, and cultivate brand loyalty.

2) Data-Driven Decision Making:

  • Example: A financial institution adopts a digital business strategy that leverages advanced analytics and machine learning algorithms to analyze customer data. By extracting valuable insights, the organization can make informed decisions, predict market trends, and tailor financial products to meet individual customer needs.

3) IoT Integration in Manufacturing:

  • Example: A manufacturing company embraces the Internet of Things (IoT) as part of its digital business strategy . By embedding sensors and connectivity into machinery, the organization gains real-time visibility into the production process, enabling predictive maintenance, reducing downtime, and optimizing overall operational efficiency.

4) Social Media Engagement for Customer Service:

  • Example: A consumer goods company employs a digital business strategy that prioritizes social media channels for customer engagement. Through proactive monitoring and timely responses, the company not only addresses customer inquiries and concerns but also utilizes social platforms to gather feedback, conduct market research, and build a stronger brand presence.

5) Cloud-Based Collaboration:

  • Example: A multinational corporation implements a cloud-based collaboration strategy, enabling employees to work seamlessly across different locations. By leveraging tools like cloud storage, collaborative platforms, and virtual meetings, the organization enhances productivity, facilitates remote work, and fosters a more agile and responsive workforce.

6) Blockchain for Supply Chain Transparency:

  • Example: A food and beverage company integrates blockchain technology into its supply chain. This digital business strategy enhances transparency by allowing consumers to trace the origin and journey of products. This not only meets the growing demand for sustainability but also builds trust among consumers regarding the authenticity of the supply chain.

7) Personalized Marketing with AI:

  • Example: A marketing agency employs artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to analyze customer behaviour and preferences. By tailoring marketing messages and advertisements based on individual user data, the agency enhances the effectiveness of campaigns, increases conversion rates, and maximizes return on investment.

In 2017, Etsy reported that over 97 per cent of the business owners selling on their e-commerce platform ran their businesses from home, and over 75 per cent were one-person operations. Despite being considered a small and medium-scale business (microbusiness), many sellers on Etsy reveal that it was their major source of income. Other successful digital businesses include:

  • Virtual Assistant
  • Wedding planners
  • Industry consultants
  • Drop-shippers
  • Online retailers (clothing companies, online bakeries, bookstores, etc.)
  • Web designers
  • Social media and content marketers

Digital Business Strategy Management?

A digital business strategy is incredibly difficult to manage. We often fall into the trap of treating transformations like improvements. The UNITE Horizons of Growth framework goes into more detail and tells you exactly when and how to improve, transform or innovate your business.

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In today’s digital era, it feels as though everyone is running a digital business. But the fact is that top business leaders have different opinions on what it means to go digital. Hence priorities vary when it comes to digital business strategy, Digital transformation strategy, and technology adoption.

Digital Transformation Strategy

Generally speaking, digital businesses rely solely on technology to operate. However, depending on your sector, it may involve:

  • Capturing data to improve business intelligence
  • Leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve customer experience
  • Using productivity tools and task management systems to automate workflows
  • Doing 100% of business tasks via digital platforms for online-only companies

However, you must note that leveraging technology only doesn’t make you a digital business . A true and effective digital transformation takes time and is a gradual process of transiting from manual processes to technology-based and customer-centric digital business strategies.

Becoming a full-fledged digital business impacts every aspect of your organization, from customer service to employee experience to back-end management and maintenance.

Digital Business Concepts

Becoming a digital business is a fundamental shift. Therefore, it is important to understand the key concepts guiding your digital transformation. The following concepts are crucial to small businesses seeking to achieve digital transformation.

Flexibility

Our world is constantly changing. The way business was conducted in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries is different from how it is in the 21st century. Things have changed and are still evolving, and businesses are looking for digital business concepts and digital strategies that will make them more flexible. For instance, during the Covid-19 pandemic, businesses realized the power of technology in continuous sustainability and success. Therefore, adopting digital business transformation strategies allows you to adapt to change quickly.

Digital transformation requires changing how you operate, and it mostly begins with changing how you think. To truly become a successful digital business, you need to have like-minded people working together with you who understand the culture and core values of your vision. Although tech leaders may be at the forefront of this digital transformation process , building an Organizational culture and philosophy of productivity, efficiency, and automation in every section of your business is vital to success.

Scalability

With scalability, small businesses can make up for unforeseen circumstances that may arise in their delivery. In addition, digital businesses can quickly scale up or down to meet organizational needs. For instance, a scalable digital business can expand its database when taking on a large project or efficiently onboard new employees during periods of growth and expansion.

How To Build A Successful Digital Transformation Business Strategy

Whether you’re taking your small business into the digital world or you’re starting your business from scratch, the following tips will help you build a successful digital business.

One common characteristic of all digital businesses is that they automate almost everything. Why waste time doing common tasks that artificial intelligence and machine learning can do for you? It’s better to spend that time brainstorming ideas that can move your business to a greater height. Examine your business processes and start automating areas where possible.

Invest in Digital Marketing

We can’t overemphasize this enough. There can be no successful digital transformation without digital marketing. Therefore, you need to invest in digital marketing strategies for your business. Having the most efficient organization in the world is impossible without having a good customer base. Train your marketing team on the best digital marketing strategies for today’s world, such as SEO optimization, social media management, and others.

Train Your Team

Behind every thriving business is a great team working tirelessly behind the scenes to shift the business to a greater and more enviable height. You need a great team for your business; therefore, invest time, energy, and resources in training your team. Invest in upskilling your team so that they can be more confident in using new technologies. This way, they will help you find better ways to position your business for better results.

Conclusion On Digital Business Strategy

If you have a small business, you need to implement the digital marketing strategies for small businesses shared in this post. For your business to thrive in this digital age, you need to invest in the right business concepts and strategies.

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The Ultimate Digital Business Plan Template & Tips

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Article Snapshot

Traditional business plans are long, comprehensive and difficult, and they take a long time to prepare. It is a task that will require the development of assumptions and projections based on vision, objectives, market conditions, and competitive analysis.

This article aims to outline how you can modernise your business plan in order to create a digital business plan for the contemporary age. Before you get started, it may help to briefly recall the purposes that a traditional business plan serves. It is, in essence, a strategic document, and needs to:

  • Set out clear business objectives based on information and analytical data.
  • Present the viability of a business venture.
  • Detail the assumptions on which a business prospect relies.
  • Outline cash flow projections based on assumed sales, expenses, market data, and competitive analysis.
  • Include resumes which outline the strength and relevant background and experience of the most important staff members including the business owner.
  • Outline business and market strategies in case of setbacks and adverse conditions.

The traditional business plan is a selling tool used in negotiations with lenders, banks, and investors. You can also use the business plan to solicit feedback and advice from your lawyer, bank, business mentor, trusted business friends, potential customers, and small business organisations. Finally, the business plan is a tool for measuring income, expenses and profitability against projections made in the plan.

The Digital Business Plan

Market conditions are changing rapidly in response to technological advancements. For this reason, a business plan has a progressively shorter life-span and needs to be revised and updated more frequently.

Both assumptions and market data needs to be reviewed and updated at least annually and quite possibly quarterly. Two separate market conditions have changed expectations about strategies that must now be incorporated into a digital business plan.

  • Business organisations must now embrace technology to remain relevant and competitive.
  • Organisations must develop a digital strategy with particular emphasis on mobile technology and mobile applications.

These conditions have given rise to what is now called the Modern Digital Business Plan, and this type of digital business plan is dramatically reduced in size. Entrepreneurs may wish to use an application called StratPad to guide them through the process of writing a shorter plan.

What is a Digital Business Plan?

A digital business plan is an extension of your regular business plan that details how digital initiatives can contribute to the success of the vision, the goals, and opportunities contained in the business plan.

For example, consumers today expect to communicate with a company using a website, app or phone, and the strategies outlined in the business plan should facilitate such communication.

What Needs to be Included in a Digital Business Plan?

There are some aspects of a business plan that will be applicable to both a traditional business plan as well as a digital business plan, and these include:.

Vision - A business vision statement will outline that you wish your business to focus on, and should communicate your long-term view for your organisation. It should include your mission statement, your goals, and your company’s values to your staff, your financial backers, and your customers.

Mission - Your mission statement is the core of your business objectives, and the principles underlying them. It should reflect every facet of your business, as this will help to clarify what you want to achieve.

Goals - By sitting down and taking the time to choose goals that are tailored to your company, you will be on the right track to achieving those goals. They shouldn’t be generic, but rather be specific targets that you can work towards.

For example, instead of setting a goal of ‘I will turn a profit in six months’, you should set a goal of ‘I will sell 200 units of Apple headphones in six months in order to turn a profit on this product’. By being specific you keep yourself and your staff on the right track of what needs to be done to achieve that goal.

Values - Your business values should be made up of three things: The principles you personally stand for; the attitudes and beliefs that everyone in the business has in common, and the standards of behaviour that your organisation subscribes to.

There are also aspects of every business that will have an impact on the actions you need to take, and these include:

  • ‍ Finance - How will you generate revenue? What are your costs likely to be? What are your profit projections? ‍
  • Staff - What positions in the business are there to be filled? What policies do you need to have in place? ‍
  • Marketing - How do you plan to market your new venture? Include the four P’s of marketing: Price, Product, Promotion and Place. ‍
  • Operations - What systems will your business use? What will your overhead be? How will you improve efficiency? ‍
  • Customers - Who are your target customers? How will they find you? How will they purchase/hire your goods/services?

Cloud based accounting practices

How do you backup your financial data? Cloud computing offers a convenient and reliable method for backing up accounting data, and the primary advantage is that the data can be retrieved using a desktop or mobile device from any location.

However, before choosing a cloud provider it is essential to make sure that it offers more than incremental backups, as historical financial reports must be retrievable ongoing.

Online ordering and payment system

How flexible is your online ordering and payment system? Many programs and mobile applications are now available to allow customers to place orders and pay online, but some are still user-unfriendly. Ensure that the ordering and payment system you choose is suited to your products/services.

BYOD policy

Do your employees prefer to use their personal mobile device to perform work-related tasks? It can provide a significant cost saving for an organisation to implement a BYOD policy, as it reduces the amount of hardware that needs to be purchased upfront by the business. If you decide to allow your employees to BYOD, does your BYOD policy ensure that company data is not mishandled? And does the policy set out what to do if a mobile device is lost or stolen?

Regulated use of mobile devices

If your employees are allowed to use either their own or company mobile devices, do you have a system in place to regulate their personal vs professional use and their device’s security? It’s important that everyone is on the same page, particularly regarding what your staff’s responsibilities are regarding software and security updates, bills and liability.

Use of cloud-based applications and tools for projects

Have you thought of using cloud-based tools for project management and project collaboration? Cloud providers supply a range of tools on a subscription basis and can be an economic choice for startups and large enterprises alike.

Integration of digital technology and apps

Can your staff members communicate and collaborate regardless of location? Can they accept orders, process payments, and enter project time and expenses using a mobile device? There is a large range of business applications available on mobile stores like the Apple store and Google Play designed to provide mobility for staff, as it enables them to access project data from any location. For example, Google recently introduced a work-related mobile for Android devices called Android for Work .

Online Chat

How do your staff members communicate between themselves and with customers? Online chat can be implemented with a service provider like Skype, which provides voice, video, and conference call facilities.

Online presence

Does your website attract a sufficient number of visitors? Search engine optimisation (SEO) ensures the visibility of a website in Search Engine Result Pages (SERP). The purpose of SEO is to make a website appear in search listings in response to a person’s search intent. The major factor is the selection of a major and some secondary keywords (search phrases), but SEO is a complex process that involves more than 50 ranking factors.

Pay-per-click (PPC) is the use of paid advertisements ( Google Adwords ) to increase visibility and bring in sales/leads from the search engine Google. PPC is an essential part of any lead generation campaign for a business, and so should be implemented by the marketing department of a company.

Do you have a presence on social media channels? Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest facilitate engagement with potential or existing clients. Like website content creation, social media activities should be based on a content marketing strategy that defines what type of content to post, the frequency of posting, and analytics to measure what type of content produces the best engagement with clients. Facebook ads can also be a valuable lead generation resource for business, depending on your industry and target audience.

Google for Business

Can new clients easily find the location of your business? The Google for Business program suite is particularly important for promoting a business in a local area, as people will be able to look at Google Maps to find the business location. Once entered, the business will also appear in search and on Google+. You can begin the process of adding your business to Google here .

Email marketing

Having an email marketing system in place is a great way to take advantage of any contact information you may have in your database. This is effectively free advertising and can be a good way to encourage consumer engagement. There are a number of email marketing solutions available where a company will take care of your email campaigns, such as Direct Mail and Marketing , or there are DIY solutions available such as Hilltop Mail and MailChimp .

Responsive website design/Mobile site

Is your website optimised for mobile devices? This implies what is called responsive design. Wordpress sites use a responsive theme, while HTML/CSS sites can use different techniques to make the design responsive. A responsive design means that the site displays correctly on the narrow screen of a mobile phone, as well as on the size of a PC screen. All websites today should have a responsive website design or a mobile-friendly site, as Google is now prioritising those sites with mobile-responsive features over sites that are desktop-capable only. You can find out more about this here , and you can find out if your website is mobile-friendly by Google’s standards here .

Implementation of a content strategy

Do you have a website content strategy? It should set out the planning, development, and management of your website content, as Google and other search engines now emphasise website content as a critical factor for site ranking. Articles or posts should be longer and more comprehensive than regular page content, and in addition to main keywords the content must contain theme-related words and phrases, also called semantically related terms . Such terms ensure that the content is relevant to your target audience. An example template of a business’ content strategy can be found here .

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Do you have an integrated customer management system? A Customer Relations system is a prime software tool for managing a company’s interactions with customers. It can automate, organise, and synchronise sales, marketing, customer service, and customer support activities. There is a range of different CRM programs available, such as Microsoft Dynamics , Salesforce , and Infusionsoft .

Cloud-based file management

Have you considered the pros and cons of cloud-based file storage? Files stored on a cloud server can be retrieved from any location using a mobile device. It provides flexibility as project staff working in different locations can collaborate, share files, and assign project tasks easily.

Online security

How secure is your computer and communications network? Security systems must be implemented that prevent the intrusion of computer viruses, malware, malicious hackers, and spam mail.

Reliable backup process

How safe is your data? A reliable backup process is an essential requirement for any business. Apart from data loss caused by equipment failure or malicious hacking, the process should also provide off-site data storage as protection from theft, fire, or natural disasters.

SSL security

A Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate increases website security and provides encryption of data, and is recommended for all businesses with an online presence.

Cloud computing

What hardware and software could you potentially hire from a cloud service provider? Cloud service providers supply hardware and software on a subscription basis.

Source nationally and globally

Do you operate on a worldwide basis? Digital facilities enable companies to source products or services on a worldwide basis.

Customise software

Are your software systems optimised for the tasks they perform? Strategic reviews may reveal areas where existing systems can be customised to provide improved productivity.

Digitise processes

What manual processes can potentially be automated? Manual processes should be reviewed and analysed with the intention of integrating them with online computer systems.

Automatic inventory control

Is your inventory management a manual process? Computer systems are available that can re-order products on the basis of sales volume and inventory holdings.

Online purchasing

Review and implement systems that improve online purchasing as a service for customers, and as an internal process for inventory management. A variety of mobile applications are available.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

Save capital costs by paying a subscription service to software programs.

Online purchasing capability

An increasing number of Australian people now prefer to shop and pay for products and services online. As outlined in the operational section, potential systems include payment gateways and mobile applications.

Channel development

What channels can customers use to order and pay for your services? These can include the Internet, mobile applications, Facebook or online ordering applications.

Create FAQs

How do your customers find common information and problem solutions? Publish an FAQ on your website. It can save your staff a lot of time by not having to answer the same questions repeatedly.

Online support

Who and how do your customers contact your business for support? Customers today expect fast turnaround and good customer support service. Implement a live chat system or a ticket system, or alternatively, have a dedicated email for contact.

Call to Action apparent throughout the website (CTA)

There is a saying that people browsing a website will only take action if told to do so. Be clear what action you want people to take, and spell it out on every page.

Use of social media for engagement

Implement a social media strategy, and establish a presence on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. This will increase the engagement with your customers and potential customers have with your brand.

**This article is limited to the incorporation of a digital strategy in the appropriate segments of the business plan

If you’d like more detailed instructions on how your digital business plan needs to be filled out, this YouTube video from the Queensland Government could be of use. Based on a recording made from a June 2013 webinar, this clip is an introduction to digital strategy for small businesses, but can also be applied to larger enterprises that are moving online.

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Digital Business Plan Template

If you’d like to use our outline to create your own digital business plan template, download the PDF here.

  • http://www.digitalbusiness.gov.au/getting-online/planning-your-online-activities/online-business-plan-template/
  • http://www.myownbusiness.org/s2/
  • http://www.entrepreneur.com/businessplan/index.html
  • http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2010/05/the-modern-business-plan.html
  • http://www.businessplanarchive.org/
  • http://www.discoverbusiness.us/business-plans/
  • https://www.business.qld.gov.au/business/running/technology-for-business/digital-strategy/creating
  • http://websprint.me/blog/business-planning/digital-agency-business-plan-template-target-market/
  • http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/224460
  • http://www.plan2profit.ca/modern-business-plan/

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Understanding What is Digital Business: A Comprehensive Guide

You’ve likely witnessed the digital revolution that’s sweeping across industries, transforming the way business is conducted in Singapore and beyond. Grasping the digital business definition is more than just recognizing a buzzword; it’s your roadmap to success in a world where interconnectedness reigns supreme. But what is digital business truly about? It represents the profound digital business transformation influencing every aspect of interactions, operations, and strategies. Imagine leveraging technology to not only meet customer needs but to set new standards and elevate your business to new heights within the vibrant Singapore digital ecosystem .

Digital business isn’t a destination but an ongoing journey of innovation and adaptation. Whether you are an entrepreneur ready to scale or a marketer keen on engagement, your approach to digital business can shape the future of commerce and industry. Seize the opportunities that digital technologies offer and embrace a world of endless possibilities, where every click can lead to new ventures and visions realized. Let the digital odyssey begin!

Key Takeaways

  • A digital business harnesses technology across all activities, extending its outreach and reshaping traditional practices.
  • Targeted marketing and data analytics drive customer engagement and business growth in the digital domain.
  • The ability to adapt and innovate is crucial in sustaining a competitive edge in the ever-evolving digital landscape.
  • Embracing digital transformation is instrumental for businesses to scale operations and enhance their global presence.
  • In the face of cybersecurity concerns, maintaining customer trust is pivotal for long-term success.
  • The Singapore digital ecosystem is a testimony to the transformative power of digital business models and strategies.

The Evolution of Digital Business

As you navigate the vibrant marketplace of Singapore, you’ll observe a striking transformation—a digital business evolution that dictates the norms of the modern economy . Pioneers such as Uber in transportation and Netflix in the domain of media streaming have revolutionized their respective industries through strategic adaptation of digital technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) , and cloud computing . This shift is not just a change—it’s a comprehensive overhaul of how digital business works .

Grasping the digital landscape transformation involves understanding the harmonious synergy between groundbreaking tech and innovative business models. This is where traditional companies metamorphose to meet the emerging demands of a digitally-oriented consumer base and create a ripple of change that affects the global market context. Let’s delve deeper into the keystone events that have shaped the digital economy:

IndustryPredigital DominanceDigital DisruptionMarket Transformation
PhotographyFilm CamerasDigital Cameras & Online SharingShift toward instant, accessible imagery
TransportationTraditional Taxi ServicesRidesharing Apps like UberPreference for on-demand, app-based services
MediaCable TelevisionStreaming Services like NetflixCustomized, subscription-based content consumption
RetailBrick-and-Mortar Stores like AmazonConvenience and global reach of

In Singapore’s dynamic ecosystem, these technological advancements have not just been adopted passively but have been leveraged to create intricate networks of digital business practices, firmly establishing the region as a leader in the digital landscape transformation . It’s no surprise that the entrepreneurial spirit here thrives on innovation and adaptability in the face of digital revolution.

“In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity.” – Sun Tzu

It is an era where opportunities in the digital realm are limitless, provided one is prepared to challenge the status quo and embrace the chaos of transformation. For businesses in Singapore, the digital revolution presents a canvas to reimagine traditional models and emerge as forerunners of the digital business evolution , contributing critically to the flourishing modern economy .

  • Understand the impact of digital technologies on your industry.
  • Adapt to progressive business models to stay relevant.
  • Stay attuned to customer preferences shifting due to digital advancements.
  • Utilize strategic innovation to cultivate a competitive edge in a tech-savvy marketplace.

Recognizing these monumental industry shifts as more than mere trends, but rather as the cardinal directions for navigating the future of commerce, is pivotal for your success. The metamorphosis into a digital entity is not merely about adopting new technologies—it’s about reinventing your presence in the market and your connection with customers at a foundational level.

Defining Digital Business and Its Core Elements

The concept of digital transformation has taken the world by storm, and nowhere is this more evident than in the bustling hubs of commerce like Singapore. As you journey through this digital revolution, it’s essential to understand the digital business ecosystem—an interconnected domain where innovation and digital disruption forge paths for new business paradigms.

The Digital Business Ecosystem Explained

Imagine an intricate web, with nodes and links forming a sophisticated structure. This is the digital business ecosystem , a dynamic network that incorporates online marketplaces , e-commerce platforms, social media engagement , and content creation . Leading platforms like Amazon and eBay exemplify colossal marketplaces where goods are just a click away. But it’s not just about the transaction; it’s about the engaging experiences created through targeted content marketing that lead to lasting customer relationships and business growth.

The Role of Technology in Digital Business

Within the backbone of this ecosystem lie the pulsing veins of digital technologies . Cloud computing offers a host of scalable solutions, simplifying complexities of infrastructure and fostering business agility. Similarly, the deluge of big data analyzed for understanding user behaviors, when combined with the pervasive presence of the Internet of Things (IoT) , can markedly increase operational efficiency . As you tap into the transformative power of AI, witness the metamorphosis from rudimentary processes to sophisticated, automated decision-making capabilities.

How Digital Business Is Reshaping Industries

With every stride in technology, an industry reshapes, adapts, and reinvents. Digital cameras disrupted the film photography landscape, a change mirrored across sectors as diverse as retail, entertainment, and transportation. Streaming services like Netflix have ushered in a new era of content consumption, capitulating traditional media into a bygone era. These shifts necessitate a pivot toward on-demand models, compelling businesses to recognize and respond to customer demands for greater convenience and immediacy.

Whether you’re a stakeholder, a strategist, or a spirited entrepreneur, your mastery of digital business elements is both your arsenal and compass in the contemporary digital battlefield. Let the unwavering spirit of Singapore inspire you to harness the collective force of the digital business ecosystem , ensuring your enterprise not only survives but thrives amidst the currents of digital transformation impact and digital disruption .

“Adaptability is not imitation. It means power of resistance and assimilation.” – Mahatma Gandhi
  • Recognize the breadth and depth of the digital business ecosystem
  • Leverage key digital technologies to drive transformation
  • Stay proactive and adaptable in an ever-evolving digital landscape
  • Assimilate changes initiated by digital disruptions for industry growth

You stand at the precipice of a transformative era—embrace the change, lead with innovation, and rewrite the future of your industry.

Digital Business Models: A Closer Look

In the heart of Singapore’s economic vibrancy, digital business models are reshaping the landscape of trade and commerce. As you embark on this digital journey, it’s enlightening to explore the various structures that enable companies to thrive in the digital domain. From the freemium offerings popularized by Spotify to the expansive e-commerce marketplace championed by Amazon, this is a world where innovation reigns and adaptability equates to success.

Let’s dive deeper into these models that form the cornerstone of the digital economy. The subscription-based economy , with Netflix as a prime example, offers consumers a continuous stream of value through regular payments, creating a steady revenue stream for businesses. In contrast, the marketplace model , employed effectively by eBay, connects buyers and sellers in a digital space, fostering transactions and facilitating a diverse ecosystem of goods and services.

“The art is not in making money, but in keeping it.” – Proverb

The subscription-based economy and marketplace models are not standalone successes; they’re part of a broader narrative that includes innovative structures like ecosystem and sharing models propelling entities like Google and Airbnb. This is indicative of a space where creativity meets practicality, leading to a revenue-generating power that’s both dynamic and sustainable.

Business ModelKey PlayersMonetization MethodValue Proposition
Spotify, LinkedInFree core services, Paid premium featuresAccessible service with optional enhanced experience
Amazon, ShopifyDirect sales, Commissions, Subscription feesConvenience, Variety, Personalization
Subscription-BasedNetflix, Adobe Creative CloudRecurring subscription feesConstant value and ongoing innovation
MarketplaceeBay, GrubhubTransaction fees from sellers/buyersConnection of diverse userbases and services

As you contemplate your place in the digital skyline of business models, consider the transformative implications of each approach. Freemium models lure with foundational offerings while banking on a percentage of conversions to paid plans. The direct sale prowess of e-commerce cuts through geographical barriers, bringing products to doorsteps worldwide. And amidst these, the marketplace and sharing models orchestrate a symphony of interactions, creating value through community and access.

  • Reflect on the freemium model and its potential to convert free users to premium customers.
  • Embrace the far-reaching implications of e-commerce for global product distribution.
  • Capitalise on the recurring revenue streams offered by the subscription-based economy .
  • Engage with the marketplace model to understand its role in connecting diverse entities.

Remember, your vision of digital dominance in Singapore’s thriving market is attainable. By understanding and implementing the right combination of these business models, tailored to your unique value proposition, you are not just transactions but creating enduring relationships and legacies in the digital universe.

Forge ahead with confidence, knowing that the pathway to digital business prowess is lined with the footprints of those who have navigated these models to mastery. Let their insights illuminate your route as you carve a niche for your enterprise in the interconnected, high-speed digital economy of tomorrow.

Creating a Robust Digital Business Strategy

In the heart of Singapore’s vibrant economy, creating a digital business strategy is akin to charting a roadmap through uncharted territories. Your strategy must be as robust and dynamic as the city itself, ensuring not just an evolution, but a revolution in how your business operates and thrives. As you embark on this transformative journey, know that you’re not just putting digital technology to work – you are defining the very future of your operations.

Key Components of a Successful Strategy

To construct an unassailable digital business strategy , you must first lay down the foundational stones of executive buy-in , ensuring leadership is fully engaged with the digital vision. Collaboration with business partnerships that extend your capabilities and access to new markets is the next critical piece. Coupled with agile training for your workforce, such a strategy pledges not just to enhance IT services but also to improve productivity overall.

“Success is not delivering a feature; success is learning how to solve the customer’s problem.” – Eric Ries

Ensure your blueprint for the digital realm includes agile network capabilities that enable your business to respond swiftly to change. With hybrid IT services bridging the gap between digital and traditional business integration , tap into enhanced operational efficiency and let the power of technology adoption propel your business forward.

Integration of Digital and Traditional Business Methods

Integrating digital and traditional business methods doesn’t mean simply adding technology to your current operations. It requires a nuanced blend of the reliability of time-tested practices with the flexibility and scalability of cutting-edge digital procedures. The essence of this integration is an operational efficiency that harmonizes customer experience with effective technology adoption .

Through a hybrid model , you can enable on-demand services that resonate with modern customers while preserving the integrity of traditional interactions. This requires an agile framework that allows your business to pivot with shifting consumer behavior and surges in technological advancements, all while maintaining the highest quality standards.

ChallengeDigital Strategy ComponentTraditional Business IntegrationHybrid Outcome
Customer EngagementCRM SolutionsPersonal InteractionEnhanced
Data SecurityCybersecurity MeasuresCompliance ProtocolsRigorous Data Protection
Market ExpansionDigital MarketingLong-standing Brand ReputationGlobal Brand Recognition
Process EfficiencyAutomation toolsOperational WorkflowsStreamlined Operations

Such integration ensures not just survival, but prosperity in economic upheavals, making it clear that embracing a mix of digital and traditional methods isn’t just desirable – it’s essential. Create a digital business fusion that resonates with both the efficiency-seeking, tech-savvy client and the customer seeking the human touch – and watch your enterprise flourish in the Lion City and beyond.

  • Secure leadership commitment for the digital march ahead.
  • Cultivate an environment where traditional and digital methodologies coexist and complement.
  • Bridge the gap between digital promise and traditional value with a customer-centric approach.
  • Ignite an innovative spirit throughout your workforce, reinforcing the bedrock of your digital strategy.

As you set forth on this digital odyssey, remember, the horizon is bright for those who dare to blend the agility of digital innovation with the stability of established best practices. Formulate your strategy with an eye on the future, leveraging the strengths of both worlds to craft a digital business identity that is uniquely yours.

Benefits of Embracing Digital Business

Imagine transforming your enterprise’s operations and opening up a world of opportunities where your business not only grows but thrives. By embracing the digital business landscape, you reach new pinnacles of efficiency and innovation. Let’s delve into the tangible benefits of adopting a digital approach in the modern economy .

Enhanced productivity is undeniably one of the most significant benefits of digital business . The infusion of technology in everyday processes increases productivity by streamlining operations, thus freeing up your resources to focus on strategic initiatives that spur growth. The notion that technology drives productivity is not just a claim; it’s proven in the operational efficiency and innovation capability of digitally mature companies.

“Technology is best when it brings people together.” – Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress

Looking at the financial aspect, the adoption of digital processes reduces operational costs substantially. Automating daily tasks minimizes the need for extensive labor and accelerates the pace at which services can be delivered, directly contributing to a leaner expense sheet.

AspectTraditional BusinessDigital Business
Process ExecutionManual, Time-ConsumingAutomated, Swift
Cost EfficiencyHigher Labor and Resource CostsLower Overhead, Optimized Resources
Error RateHigher Due to Manual TasksLower, with Consistency in Outputs
ScalabilityLimited and SlowFlexible and Rapid

Additionally, the reliability and high quality assured by digital solutions cannot be overstated. Consistency in customer interactions and behind-the-scenes operations builds a trustworthy brand image that customers appreciate. This level of reliability encourages consumers to form long-standing relationships with businesses that have seamlessly integrated digital operations.

At the heart of modern business strategy lies the capability for improved decision-making . Through sophisticated data analysis, businesses gain invaluable insights that guide strategic decisions and drive innovation. It’s the informed choices, backed by concrete data, that shape successful businesses in today’s data-driven environment.

  • Access real-time data to respond to market changes promptly
  • Analyze consumer behavior for targeted marketing campaigns
  • Gain competitive intelligence to stay ahead in the industry
  • Implement data-driven strategies for optimum resource allocation

By adopting a digital pathway, your business isn’t just local; it’s global. The digital economy has dissolved geographical barriers, enabling businesses to tap into new markets and cater to an international customer base effortlessly. The capability to reach across continents, entwined with digital efficiency, means your business is equipped for global high performance.

Take inspiration from the resilience and adaptability that define success in digital business. As you embark on this transformative journey, visualize the endless possibilities that arise from enhanced productivity, reduced operational costs, and improved decision-making—all cornerstones of a thriving and sustainable business.

Emerging Digital Business Trends in 2023

As you forge ahead in the digital economy of Singapore, arm yourself with the knowledge of digital business trends 2023 , where the convergence of technology and strategy creates transformative opportunities for businesses like never before. You are not just witnessing a trend but becoming part of a movement that harnesses leveraging AI and using big data —the tools to revolutionize the marketplace.

Leveraging AI and Big Data

Imagine a world where AI amplifies the potential of big data , transforming piles of raw information into actionable insights capable of catapulting your business to unprecedented success. In the landscape of Singapore’s thriving digital market, businesses that embrace these technologies will lead the charge in innovation and customer satisfaction.

Artificial intelligence is our present-day alchemist, turning data into gold. This year, leveraging AI elevates businesses by providing tailored experiences unparalleled in precision. Combined with the power to analyze vast arrays of big data , AI empowers you to anticipate customer needs and deliver solutions before the demand even arises.

“AI is the new electricity. Just as electricity transformed almost everything 100 years ago, today I actually have a hard time thinking of an industry that I don’t think AI will transform in the next several years.” – Andrew Ng
TechnologyApplications in BusinessBenefits
AI and Machine LearningAutomated Customer Service, Predictive AnalyticsEnhanced Efficiency, Personalized Experiences
AnalyticsMarket Trends Analysis, Consumer Behavior PredictionInformed Decision Making, Strategic Planning
IoT DevicesSupply Chain Monitoring, Real-time Data CollectionImproved Connectivity, Enhanced Productivity

In tandem with AI and big data , the IoT advancements in the digital sphere integrates and enriches every aspect of business operations. IoT connects a web of devices, offering real-time analytics and increased operational awareness, opening doors to optimize everything from supply chain logistics to in-store customer experiences.

Your strategy to capitalize on the digital business trends 2023 will not only set you apart but also define the future trajectory of your business. It’s about being at the forefront, riding the wave of IoT advancements to pilot smart cities and intelligent solutions that cater to the nuanced needs of a hyper-connected society.

  • Establish AI-driven processes to streamline business operations and enhance customer services.
  • Invest in big data analytics for profound insights that drive business growth and product innovation.
  • Adapt IoT technologies to unlock efficiencies across various facets of business, from inventory management to customer interactions.

As these technologies continue to evolve, they will be the cornerstone upon which successful digital businesses are built. By leveraging these trends, you will be not only keeping up with technological advancements but also shaping a future where your business remains relevant and resilient in the face of change.

So, take the bold step toward integrating AI, big data, and IoT into your business strategy. Singapore’s dynamic market awaits those ready to embrace innovation and redefine the business paradigm.

The Future of Digital Business: Predictions and Possibilities

As you stand amidst the current digital revolution in Singapore, the horizon stretches forward into an exhilarating future for digital business. The tapestry of tomorrow is woven with threads of virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), edge computing , and blockchain, each strand holding the potential to reconceptualize customer interaction and the very architecture of business models. With the future of digital business heralding significant economic impact, it’s paramount to stay ahead of the curve with strategic foresight and adaptability.

Digital transformation predictions point toward a cross-industries migration that echoes the sentiment of relentless innovation. This digital renaissance, defined by the integration of cutting-edge technologies, holds the promise of operational efficiencies heralded by virtually limitless applications. Businesses that embrace these paradigms are the ones set to flourish on the global stage.

“Businesses anticipating the curve of innovation position themselves not merely as players but as pioneers shaping the digital frontier.”

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality: The Immersive Future

Imagine a customer in Singapore, or anywhere in the world, exploring your storefront or trying your product from the comfort of their home through VR and AR. These technologies are not just reshaping experiences, they’re revolutionizing them, offering a level of immersion that elevates your brand into something tangible and interactive. Predictions suggest VR and AR will become pivotal in engaging consumers more deeply and personally.

Edge Computing: Accelerating Business Capabilities

Edge computing is poised to bring power to the periphery of digital networks, ensuring quicker data processing and response times. This computing paradigm predicts a shift in data reliance, emphasizing proximity and immediacy, which in turn can advance industries such as autonomous vehicles, smart cities, and IoT devices – all pivotal in the emerging fabric of Singapore’s digital ecosystem.

Blockchain: A Cornerstone for Future Transactions

As we journey forward, blockchain stands tall as a beacon for secure and transparent transactions. Its integration into digital businesses is predicted to foster trust and efficiency, especially in finance and supply chains, by offering an unalterable ledger of transactions with robust security features. Blockchain’s principle aligns seamlessly with Singapore’s pursuit of a trustworthy and sophisticated financial hub.

TechnologyImpact on Digital BusinessImplications for Singapore
Enhanced customer engagement and experiential marketingPositioning as a hub for immersive tech and innovation
Improved speed and efficiency of data-driven servicesAdvancement in smart city initiatives and IoT proliferation
BlockchainSecuring transactions and building customer trustStrengthening the financial sector with enhanced security
  • Integration of VR and AR is set to transform retail and service industries by offering virtually ‘hands-on’ experiences.
  • Edge computing will decentralize data processing, resulting in faster operational capabilities and enhanced customer experiences.
  • Blockchain technology is expected to revolutionize trust in digital transactions, with significant implications for trade and finance.

As these predictions underscore the transformative inertia of technological evolution, you are encouraged to not just witness but actively participate in the genesis of these technologies. The future of digital business in Singapore and across the world beckons you to be bold, innovative, and adaptive, ensuring you’re not just on the edge but are the edge itself.

In the throes of a rapidly evolving digital landscape, embracing digital transformation equips you to navigate the complexities of the digital economy with finesse. This journey within Singapore’s bustling market—marked by innovation and a customer-centric approach—demands not only your attention but your active involvement. By cultivating strategic digital planning and fostering consumer trust in digital business , you set a trajectory for long-lasting success and industry leadership.

As you power through this era, your grasp on transformative technologies and their intricate applications becomes a critical asset. Aligning your digital initiatives with traditional business values ensures a seamless transition, imbuing your brand with an aura of reliability and authenticity that resonates deeply with your clientele. The key is to not only stay ahead of the curve but to redefine it, establishing a digital presence that’s both commanding and trustworthy.

Your vigilance and strategic foresight in reinforcing consumer trust—particularly within the quagmire of cybersecurity—cement your standing in a market that is becoming increasingly competitive and technologically driven. As you step forward, remember, the future is bright for those who are bold, for those who are innovators, and for those who are ever committed to navigating the crests and troughs of the digital sea. Forge onward with confidence in your journey of digital enlightenment and market transcendence in Singapore and beyond.

What is the definition of digital business?

Digital business refers to the transformation of traditional business activities, competencies, and models utilizing digital technologies to leverage opportunities and create value. It involves integrating digital processes, such as e-commerce and online customer engagement, to conduct business in the digital realm.

How does digital business transformation impact Singapore’s digital ecosystem?

Digital business transformation contributes significantly to Singapore’s thriving digital ecosystem, spurring innovation, improving efficiency, and encouraging economic growth. By adopting digital business practices, organizations in Singapore can improve their global reach, streamline operations, and stay competitive in the digital age.

What are some examples of the evolution of digital business?

Examples of digital business evolution include the shift from physical to digital marketplaces, the disruptive innovations of platforms like Uber and Netflix, and the adoption of mobile and cloud technologies. Businesses have evolved by adopting new ways of engaging with customers, delivering services, and entering markets.

Can you explain the digital business ecosystem?

The digital business ecosystem is an interconnected environment of businesses, customers, and service providers, fostered by online platforms. This ecosystem supports e-commerce, digital marketing, social media engagement , and content creation , fostering innovation and growth within the digital space.

How does technology play a role in digital business?

Technology is the backbone of digital business, providing the tools and platforms for companies to operate efficiently and innovate continuously. Technologies such as cloud computing , big data, AI, and IoT enable businesses to process vast amounts of data, improve decision-making, and offer personalized services to customers.

In what ways is digital business reshaping industries?

Digital business is reshaping industries by introducing new business models, altering consumer behaviors, and facilitating the entry of disruptive competitors. Industries like photography, media, and transportation have seen significant transformation due to digital advancements, moving towards more flexible, on-demand, and customer-centric services.

What are the different types of digital business models?

Digital business models include freemium models exemplified by Spotify, subscription services like Netflix, marketplace platforms such as Amazon, and e-commerce sites. These models use digital channels to engage with customers and monetize products or services, often incorporating innovative approaches to create value.

What constitutes a robust digital business strategy?

A robust digital business strategy encompasses understanding the contemporary digital landscape, aligning digital solutions with business objectives, and having a commitment to organizational transformation. It should focus on improving productivity, enhancing IT services, securing data, and optimizing internal processes for stronger business partnerships .

Why is integrating digital and traditional business methods important?

Integrating digital and traditional business methods is crucial because it combines the best of both worlds. The innovative and scalable nature of digital methods complements the established reliability of traditional business practices. This integration ensures resilience and allows businesses to offer enhanced customer experiences while adapting to technological changes.

What are some benefits of embracing digital business?

Embracing digital business offers benefits such as enhanced productivity through technological efficiency, reduced costs via automation and digitization, consistent quality in operations, and improved decision-making through data analytics. Companies gain a competitive edge and can potentially access a broader global market.

What are the emerging digital business trends in 2023?

In 2023, emerging digital business trends include the driving force of AI and big data in innovation, the automation of operations, and enhanced decision-making capabilities. IoT is also expected to play a larger role, providing greater connectivity and data insights for personalized and efficient services.

What does the future hold for digital business?

The future of digital business is likely to feature advancements in virtual reality , augmented reality, edge computing, and blockchain. These technologies will open up new channels for customer interaction and business efficiency, contributing significantly to the growth and transformation of the global marketplace.

How can businesses navigate the digital economy effectively?

Businesses can navigate the digital economy effectively by staying informed about the latest technological trends, understanding customer needs, ensuring strong cybersecurity measures, establishing trust, and combining strategic digital planning with traditional operational methods to maintain a competitive advantage.

About the Author  David Loke

David Loke is the co-founder and CEO of ReadySpace, a Cloud Service Provider in the APAC region. In 2003, he started ReadySpace with the vision to provide customers with reliable, secure, affordable and simple online apps. It then evolved into what we call Cloud today. Being through a decade of running ReadySpace, it has now grown into a regional business serving business owners and its managers across various industries to their success. Right now, he is taking his wealth of experience to help over 700 business owners as mentor and coach with an ultimate goal to multiply wealth creation.

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Guide to Creating a Digital Business Plan: Essential Steps for Success

Creating a digital business plan is a critical step in launching or expanding your online venture. It's more than a roadmap; it's the strategic backbone that guides every decision you make in the digital space.

creating business plan

Starting with a clear understanding of your objectives, which should be grounded in research and data analysis, you'll be better positioned to evaluate the feasibility of your business idea.

A digital business plan isn't static; it evolves as you gain deeper insights into your market, competitive landscape, and customer behavior.

To build a strong digital business , it's essential to align every element of your online strategy with your company's broader goals. Whether you're aiming to increase traffic, generate leads, or boost sales, the tools and tactics you choose must fit seamlessly into your overall plan.

Tailoring your approach to the unique dynamics of the digital ecosystem can help you overcome challenges and capitalize on the opportunities that today's online world has to offer.

As you're crafting your digital business plan, remember to include detailed cash flow projections and performance metrics. Your plan should also outline the assumptions your projections are based on, such as assumed sales volume and operational expenses.

Incorporating a thorough competitive analysis will further strengthen your strategy, providing you with the insights to position your business effectively in the marketplace. With careful planning and a robust digital business plan, you're setting the stage for success in the digital realm.

Vision and Goals

Your digital business plan hinges on the clarity of your vision and the specificity of your goals. These elements provide direction and form the bedrock for long-term success.

Defining Your Vision

Your vision encapsulates where you want your business to be in the future. It’s ambitious, yet achievable—a clear articulation of what sets your company apart and how it will shape the industry landscape. Consider it a north star, guiding every strategic decision you make.

  • Drafting a Vision Statement: Express in a sentence or two what your digital business ultimately aims to achieve.

Establishing Clear Goals

Goals translate your vision into actionable steps. They should be SMART: S pecific, M easurable, A chievable, R elevant, and T ime-bound. This framework ensures that you're setting targets that are clear and quantifiable.

  • Short-term Goals: These might cover things like launching a new product or growing your social media following within six months.
  • Long-term Goals: Consider where you want your business to be in five years. This could include market share you aim to capture or revenue targets you hope to hit.

Market Analysis

In shaping your digital business plan, market analysis is the cornerstone that'll ensure you're aligned with customer demand and equipped to outmaneuver competitors. It's the detailed examination of your industry landscape that'll steer your approach.

Target Audience

Identify your potential customers : Begin by narrowing down who your target audience is. Consider demographics like age, gender, income, and location. Understand their needs, preferences, and how your product or service fits into their life.

  • Demographics : Age, Gender, Income, Education, Location
  • Psychographics : Interests, Values, Lifestyles

Competitive Analysis

Know your competition : Identify direct and indirect competitors and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses. Focus on how you can leverage your competitive advantage to stand out. Use market research to learn from their positioning and customer feedback.

  • Direct competitors : Similar products/services
  • Indirect competitors : Different products/services that satisfy the same need

Understanding Customer Behavior

Study consumer behaviors : Look into how potential customers make purchasing decisions and what influences them. Analysis of these behaviors will guide your marketing strategies and product development , ensuring they resonate well with your audience.

  • Influences : Social media, peer reviews, marketing campaigns
  • Purchasing patterns : Online vs. in-store, one-time vs. subscription-based

Business Model

Crafting an effective business model is crucial as it defines how you'll offer value to your customers and generate income. It's a core part of your digital business plan, outlining the products or services you're selling and the ways you'll earn revenue.

Products and Services

Your offerings are the lifeblood of your business. They should not only meet a need or solve a problem but also stand out in the digital marketplace. When mapping out your products and services, consider the following:

  • Value Proposition : Clearly express the unique benefits your products or services offer.
  • Alignment with Customer Needs : Ensure that your offerings align with what your customers are actually looking for.

Here's a quick summary of what to think about:

Product/Service FeaturesValue to CustomerUnique Selling Point
What it doesProblem it solvesHow it's different

Ensure your products or services are adaptable to the changing digital landscape, be it through technology upgrades or new, innovative features.

Sales and Revenue Streams

Turning your products and services into revenue requires a clear sales strategy and diversification of income sources. Consider these key components:

  • Sales Channels : Identify where you'll sell your products—will it be through your own website, third-party platforms, or both?
  • Pricing Structure : Determine how you'll price your offerings. Will you use a one-time fee, subscription model, or a freemium approach with premium upgrades?

For your revenue streams, think about:

  • Diversifying to protect your business from market fluctuations.
  • Creating a mix of recurring and one-time income that can scale as your business grows.

Your sales strategies should be flexible to adapt to customer feedback and market trends. Keep them agile for long-term sustainability in the digital economy.

Marketing and Sales Strategy

Your marketing and sales strategy is a critical component of your overall digital business plan . It's the roadmap that guides how you attract, engage, and convert your target audience into loyal customers.

Branding and Positioning

Your brand's position in the market is what sets you apart from competitors. Craft a unique selling proposition (USP) that resonates with your audience and consistently reflect this in all aspects of your marketing.

  • USP : Define a clear and memorable statement that captures the essence of your brand.
  • Visual Identity : Keep your logo, color scheme, and design elements consistent across all mediums for immediate recognition.

Content Marketing Strategy

Content marketing is about creating valuable, relevant content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience. It's a long-term strategy that focuses on building a strong relationship with your target audience.

  • Blog Posts : Provide informative and engaging articles that address your customers' needs and pain points.
  • E-books and Whitepapers : Offer in-depth content that educates your audience and positions your brand as a thought leader.

Social Media Marketing

Social media platforms can increase your brand awareness and foster a community around your business. These platforms are also powerful tools for promoting content and engaging directly with your audience.

  • Platform Selection : Choose platforms where your target audience is most active.
  • Consistency : Maintain a regular posting schedule and a cohesive message across your chosen platforms.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO increases your website's visibility in search engine results pages. High rankings mean more exposure, driving organic traffic to your site which can lead to increased conversions.

  • Keyword Research : Identify terms and phrases that your target audience uses to search for solutions you offer.
  • On-page SEO : Optimize your website's content and HTML elements to rank higher on Google.

Email Marketing Campaigns

Email marketing remains one of the most effective channels for maintaining relationships with leads and customers. Personalized campaigns can drive engagement and sales with relatively low costs.

  • Segmentation : Group your audience based on behavior or demographics to tailor your messages.
  • Automation : Set up email workflows that are triggered by specific actions, like signing up for a newsletter or abandoning a shopping cart.

Digital Infrastructure

Building your digital infrastructure is a vital step in aligning your business with modern technological advancements. It lays the foundation for your operations and supports your digital strategies , ensuring that you're efficient, competitive, and resilient in a digitally-driven marketplace.

Website Development

Your website is the cornerstone of your digital business. When developing your site, focus on both form and function:

  • Design : Ensure your website is visually appealing, aligns with your brand identity, and provides an intuitive user experience.
  • Performance : A fast-loading website is critical. Optimize your site to load quickly in any browser, minimizing bounce rates and maximizing user satisfaction.

Online Presence and Engagement

Having a strong online presence is more than just being found. It involves engaging with your audience through various digital channels:

  • Digital Marketing Plan : Create a well-rounded digital marketing plan that includes strategies for SEO, content marketing, and social media to drive traffic and engage with your target audience.
  • Analytics : Use analytics tools to track your online performance and understand user behavior. This data is essential in refining your digital strategies for better engagement.

Digital Tools and Software Automation

Leveraging the right digital tools can transform your business processes:

  • Technology : Identify and implement digital tools that enhance your productivity such as CRM software, project management tools, and cloud computing services.
  • Digital Transformation : Embrace software automation to streamline your operations. From marketing to customer service, automation can significantly reduce manual workload while boosting efficiency.

Execution Roadmap

In crafting your digital business plan, it's crucial to carefully outline your execution roadmap. You'll need to set clear milestones and plan growth strategies that are pivotal for your business's long-term success.

Milestones and Benchmarks

It's all about knowing where you're heading. Set specific milestones and benchmarks to measure progress across your digital business journey. These should be tied to quantifiable outcomes and aligned with your overall strategic objectives.

  • Establish Milestones : Think of these as key achievements on your path to digital transformation. For instance: Quarter Milestones Q1 2024 Launch new online customer service platform Q2 2024 Achieve 25% increase in digital sales Q3 2024 Deploy analytics tools for customer data
  • Benchmarks : These are your performance reference points. Compare your progress against industry standards or past performance figures to assess your traction and make necessary adjustments. Benchmark Goal Industry Average Customer acquisition cost Decrease by 15% $60 Digital campaign ROI Increase by 20% 4x spend

Growth and Scaling Strategies

How will you escalate your efforts to meet demand? Your roadmap should include strategies to intelligently scale your operations and sustain growth without compromising quality or overextending resources.

  • Automation of tasks to reduce labor costs and increase efficiency.
  • Outsourcing non-core services to specialists as your business grows.
  • Calendar Planning : Keep a detailed calendar to synchronize your growth efforts with market opportunities and customer needs. For instance, you might target product releases to coincide with industry events or seasonal trends.

Remember to consider the following tactics for sustainable growth:

  • Diversify your service offerings to mitigate risk.
  • Optimize your user experience (UX) to retain customers.
  • Continually analyze data to inform decisions and pivot when required.

Performance Measurement

In your digital business plan, performance measurement is crucial to understand how well your strategies are working. This involves analyzing data to gain insights, conducting experiments to refine tactics, and tracking productivity and success through metrics.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

KPIs are quantifiable measures that help you gauge your company's performance against your strategic goals. When selecting KPIs, you should consider:

  • Relevance : Choose indicators that directly reflect your business objectives.
  • Clarity : Make sure KPIs are clear and understandable for all stakeholders.
  • Measurability : Each KPI should be easily measurable to accurately track progress.

Examples of KPIs could include :

  • Conversion rates
  • Customer acquisition costs
  • Retention rates

Analytics and Reporting

Analytics tools provide the raw data and insights you need to evaluate your digital efforts.

For effective analytics and reporting, you should :

  • Set up analytics platforms on your digital properties to collect data.
  • Implement regular reporting cycles to maintain up-to-date insights.
  • Leverage A/B testing or other experimental methods to optimize digital strategies.

Keep in mind that the way you interpret and act on the analytics is as important as the data itself. Regular reporting helps maintain a clear view of your business's performance and guides actionable steps to improve productivity and performance measurement outcomes.

Risk Management and Contingency Planning

In the fast-paced digital business landscape, you can't afford to ignore potential hiccups. Risk management and contingency planning are crucial in staying ahead and ensuring business continuity should challenges arise.

Identifying Potential Risks

To safeguard your digital business plan, it's essential to first identify the various risks that could derail your progress. These risks can broadly fall into several categories, each with its own set of challenges:

  • Technological Risks: Issues like data breaches, system failures, or rapid obsolescence due to the speed of technological innovation.
  • Operational Risks: These include supply chain disruptions, technical glitches, or loss of key staff.
  • Market Risks: Changes in market trends, consumer behavior, or new regulations that could impact your business model.
  • Strategic Risks: Competitor actions or shifts in the industry that could undermine your position.

Understanding these risks helps you anticipate and prepare for potential problems, ensuring the resilience and flexibility of your digital strategy.

Developing Contingency Plans

Once you've pinpointed the risks, developing robust contingency plans is your next step. This process involves:

  • Outline Potential Scenarios: Document what could happen for each identified risk.
  • Craft Response Strategies: For each scenario, devise a plan that details the steps you’ll take, resources you'll need, and who’s responsible.
  • Establish Monitoring Systems: Implement systems to watch for signs of risks materializing so you can respond with speed and precision.
  • Test Your Plans: Run simulations to evaluate the effectiveness of your contingency plans and make necessary adjustments.

These proactive steps don't just mitigate the damage of unforeseen events—they also position you to pivot and embrace innovation, turning potential setbacks into opportunities for growth.

Do something awesome. Tell friends:

Rich Kainu is the founder and a main contributor to Deal In Digital. He has over 12 years of experience in digital product creation, sales, and marketing as well as content creation strategies..

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What Is A Digital Strategy? [Key Elements + Examples]

What is a digital strategy? Explore our 101 guide, including how to create a strategy + winning examples from well-known brands.

digital strategy hero image featuring strategy elements

When Steve Jobs rejoined Apple in 1996, the company was weeks away from declaring bankruptcy.

Fast forward to 2023 and Apple’s brand value is a whopping $297.5 billion , the second highest for a tech company in the world.

So how did Steve Jobs reverse (or rather save) the company’s fate on top of Microsoft’s $150 million investment?

With a new digital strategy, focused on simplicity.

If you’re looking for a reason why your business should implement a digital strategy — maybe even one as life-changing as Apple’s — we’ve got you covered.

In this article, we’ll explain the benefits of a digital strategy, share top examples from successful brands and detail our own digital strategy services at Digital Silk.

Table of Contents

What Is A Digital Strategy?

A digital strategy is an all-encompassing guide that defines the goal for your digital project and outlines the most effective pathways to achieve them.

A digital strategy outlines your target audience, competitive landscape, goals, key performance indicators and your existing user journey .

This strategy provides a consistent direction and vision for your project, while ensuring everyone involved is on the same page, using the defined pathways to work towards achieving the same goals and vision.

Digital Strategy vs. Digital Marketing Strategy

Now that you know what a digital strategy is, let’s define the other terms that are often used interchangeably, albeit incorrectly.

A digital strategy is a broad term that focuses on using technology in general to improve your brand’s online presence.

In contrast, a digital marketing strategy is a roadmap of your digital marketing activities.

A digital marketing strategy allows you to choose and manage the channels and platforms you will utilize to reach your audience, so you can plan marketing campaigns that are aligned with your goals.

Digital Strategy vs. Digital Transformation

A digital transformation is the organizational, operational or cultural change your business goes through by integrating digital technologies and processes — like the ones you outline in your digital strategy.

Areas of your business that might undergo digital transformation include:

  • Customer engagement
  • Customer experience
  • Logistics and operations
  • Product or service
  • Business model

Why Should Your Brand Invest In A Digital Strategy?

Whether you own an established brand or a startup company, a digital strategy can help you define your goals and outline specific methods to achieve them.

Treat your digital strategy as your guiding light to improving the performance of your website, marketing campaigns, paid advertisements and other aspects of your online presence.

Ultimately, the reason to invest in a digital strategy varies from one business to the next.

For example, if you own a small- to mid-size enterprise and you’re competing with larger corporations, a thorough digital strategy can help you increase your online presence and position your brand to better compete.

The same can be said for startups looking to improve visibility and build a positive brand reputation.

A digital strategy can help you understand new trends and speak to the needs of consumers – whether it’s building a new brand identity or developing messaging that connects with your target audience.

If you’re not sure where to start, you can hire a professional web design agency to create a digital strategy for you.

At Digital Silk, our experts:

  • Measure the efficiency of your digital channels
  • Provide expert recommendations on how you can maximize your marketing campaigns and strategic communications
  • Initiate and lead your digital projects
  • Measure success using set key performance indicators (KPIs)
  • Consistently assess and adjust as needed

What Are The Key Elements Of A Digital Strategy?

From SMART goals to your launch plan, here are the six key elements of a digital strategy.

1. SMART Goals

SMART goals refer to specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused and timebound results that you want your digital strategy to achieve.

SMART goals allow you to stay on track when defining goals during brainstorming sessions.

Your goals may include:

  • Educate potential clients or customers about your offering
  • Increase brand visibility
  • Improve the performance of your existing website
  • Maintain customer engagement through social media, blog posts and marketing campaigns
  • Position your brand as one of the top players in the industry

2. Research

Once you have your SMART goals in place, it’s time to perform competitor research.

This should include industry research, market research and competitor analysis.

Conduct industry research to determine the latest trends and innovations in your industry.

Let’s say you’re in the tech industry.

Which products are going viral or are failing? Can you implement virtual and augmented reality into your website to help influence the purchasing decision for your customers?

Next, perform your market research. Market research provides insights into your target audience’s spending behavior, including who they are and what they like.

Finally, a competitor analysis allows you to get a glimpse into your competitors’ strengths (what they do well) and weaknesses (areas for improvement) to distinguish your brand’s potential threats and opportunities.

3. Target Audience

Your target audience is made up of consumers who are most likely interested in your brand’s products or services.

You can determine your target audience by:

  • Performing market research into purchasing habits, demographics (age and gender) and psychographics (hobbies and lifestyle)
  • Understanding pain points or how your product or services can solve challenges
  • Identifying your existing customers
  • Creating user personas or semi-fictional representations of your ideal consumers

4. User Journeys

The user journey is how your target audience will navigate through a conversion funnel, or the stages where your prospects move from the moment they become exposed to your products or services to when they decide to convert or purchase.

User journeys can occur in multichannel environments, such as your website, a social media channel and an ad, or a single-channel environment, such as your website.

Here is an example of a user journey in a multichannel environment:

  • A prospect sees your brand promoted on a pay-per-click (PPC) ad
  • They then search Google for your brand’s social proof, like customer reviews and testimonials
  • When they like what they see, they’ll go to your contact page and get in touch to inquire about your offerings

To create a user journey map or a visual representation of a customer’s experience, consider these steps:

  • Create user personas: Typically, you’ll need a different user journey map for each user persona since not all of your customers will have the same needs and pain points.
  • Define pain points and expectations: Now that you have a better idea of who your target audience is, think of what they want and the possible challenges they’ll face. How will your offerings solve their problems? What problems may they face once they start their user journey? Is your nav bar intuitive or will your users think of how they can navigate your site?
  • Perform quality assurance on your user journey: If you focused your user journey on your website, validate your user journey map by navigating through the user journey yourself. Are your contact details visible and sticky so your user won’t lose sight of it wherever they are on your homepage? Are your CTA buttons specific and give a clear idea of what will happen when your user clicks on them?

5. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are quantitative indicators that measure the success of your digital project.

KPIs are important since they keep your objectives at the forefront of your decision-making and allow you to measure how well your business is doing working towards your digital project goals.

KPIs may include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Website engagement
  • Qualified leads per month
  • Website conversion rate
  • Customer acquisition cost
  • Social media engagement rate

Setting up specific KPIs and monitoring the numbers can help you evaluate your campaigns, search engine rankings, traffic, and more, so you can identify what’s working and what needs to be tweaked for improvement. Explore this case study and see how web design and SEO optimization helped one of our clients increase organic search by 43%, session duration by 117%, and customers stay on page by 60% more .

6. Launch Plan

A digital strategy allows you to outline your launch plan or how your digital project will be executed.

Digital projects can range from launching a redesigned website to implementing a series of influencer marketing campaigns.

A launch plan includes a project timeline and an overview of your project’s deliverables with their deadlines, to ensure your deliverables are completed before pushing your project live.

3 Examples Of Successful Digital Strategies

The best digital strategy is the kind that evolves and keeps up with consumer trends and demands.

Here are some of the most successful digital strategies from three top brands.

1. The New York Times

The New York Times' landing page

In 1995 , The New York Times , one of the top global newspapers, established in 1851, used technology to launch its online edition and expand its circulation.

In 2005 , The New York Times introduced a subscription-based service where users paid $49.95/per year to read their published content such as Op-Ed, news columnists, online archives and more.

While most of their website’s content remained free, The NYT decided to make some of their content exclusive to paid users to capitalize their site’s growing popularity.

In 2006 , The NYT introduced an electronic version called The Times Reader, which allowed subscribers to download their newspaper’s printed edition.

In 2011 , they implemented a paywall and subscription model, allowing readers to access 20 online articles per month for free, but having to pay an additional $15/month if they wanted to read more.

As the news became increasingly popular to digest online content, the company adapted at every turn.

This digital strategy brought remarkable results: in 2016, the newspaper made close to $500 million in purely digital revenue.

The New York Times growth graph

Today, The NYT has an even stronger digital strategy. The newspaper uses full-page imagery and colorful presentations to share stories, from news to sports, politics and more.

The result?

Steady climbing revenues that hit $2.31 billion in 2022.

The New York Times online version today

The lesson: The New York Times’ digital strategy cemented their market position and increased revenue by planning ahead, meeting tech trends and adjusting to evolving consumer behavior.

Adobe homepage

In 2013, Adobe moved from purely physical software to Creative Cloud, to achieve a revenue of $17.6 billion in fiscal 2022.

You can visualize the moment of change in the graph below:

Adobe growth stats

This revolutionary change increased software control, and decreased piracy while answering the growing demands of their consumers.

In 2018, Adobe acquired Magento Commerce , an eCommerce service provider followed by the purchase of Marketo, a marketing automation software company.

Adobe never stopped developing digitally.

In 2021 , they announced they were adding payment services to their eCommerce platform.

As Alvaro Del Pozo, VP of international marketing at Adobe, explains:

“Trends and technology that were years away from serious consideration are now at the top of the agenda. Additionally, businesses are all grappling with the same challenges: remote working, new all-digital customers with different buying behaviors, and, added to that, their employees’ and their customers’ well-being.”

The lesson: By understanding the needs and expectations of their users, Adobe offered innovative solutions, deserving their place among the leading digital businesses.

Alibaba homepage

Challenged by the growing number of customers and an uptick in orders, Chinese eCommerce titan Alibaba used artificial intelligence (think automated mobile robots) to build a smart warehouse with automated packaging and shipping.

Check out the video they launched to showcase their innovation:

Today, their digital strategy encompasses everything from chatbots (Alime is Alibaba’s chatbot) to smart product searches and recommendations to optimize the purchasing process and create a unique user journey.

Take a look at the chart below to see the impact this has had on their numbers of buyers since 2017:

A bar chart showing Alibaba's steady growth from 2017 to 2022

The lesson: Defining your specific business goals and acting from a user-centered perspective provokes interest, provides a competitive edge and does not go unnoticed by consumers.

Digital Strategy Services At Digital Silk

At Digital Silk, we create all-encompassing digital strategies to build and strengthen your online presence.

Our experts use data-backed insights into your industry, target audience and competitors to create a unique, actionable strategy to grow your brand and reach your specific goals.

At Digital Silk, we offer a wide range of digital marketing services including:

  • Content marketing
  • Social media
  • Email marketing

Key Takeaways On A Digital Strategy

A digital strategy plays a key role in improving your brand’s processes, may it be reimagining your current process or presenting your products through a new marketing strategy.

It outlines the direction your brand should take to gain a competitive advantage and ultimately, to thrive in the digital landscape.

At Digital Silk, we offer:

  • Custom web design services
  • Custom web development services
  • Digital and branding services
  • Digital marketing services

Whether you’re looking to build a custom web design, software or online content to increase your online presence, our experts will exceed your expectations on every project. Get in touch online , call us at (800) 206-9413 or fill in the request a quote form below to start your journey.

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CEO & Founder

Gabriel is a hands-on leader and digital expert focused on providing strategies that grow brands online. He has worked with Fortune 500 companies and reputable startups, including Google, Microsoft, SONY, NFL, NYU, P&G, Fleet Bank and NASA. In addition to columns in Forbes, Entrepreneur, The New York Times and American Express, Gabriel has made numerous media appearances, from Bloomberg and Reuters to ABC News and CNN.

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How to structure an effective digital transformation plan

Author's avatar

What are the essential parts of a digital transformation plan?

A digital transformation plan is a strategic, long-term plan focusing on integrated digital media channels, implementation of new technologies, and smart, digital ways of working.

The purpose of a digital transformation plan is to define how to compete more effectively with digital marketing. The scope of a digital marketing plan is typically annual, but a digital transformation plan will typically be longer since this involves creating long-term digital roadmaps.

Since creating awareness and achieving conversion still commonly involve offline channels such as a call-centre or in-store, digital marketing plans need to define integration between channels using techniques like customer journey mapping.

Your omnichannel digital transformation plan

Digital or online marketing is any form of marketing that involves using online channels for goals of acquisition and retention. It also includes digital technology and the use of data to target audiences more precisely with personalized messages.

  • Understand the channel. Your strategy should be informed by customer online behaviour and preferences. In particular, understand which intermediary sites influence purchase and how your customers switch between the channels.
  • Set objectives for future channel contribution. This includes specific monthly targets for both direct (online) sales and indirect (offline) sales.
  • Identify and prioritise target audiences. As with traditional marketing, targeting the right audiences or personas is key. Digital media enable you to micro-target.
  • Encourage usage of the channel. You may still need to communicate the benefits of using digital channels to encourage switching and enhance your brand.
  • Create propositions to emphasize the differences. This includes differences between online channels and other channels.
  • Support integration between channels. Although you want to emphasize the differences, that doesn’t mean the channel shouldn’t be integrated. Customer journeys should be seamlessly integrated.
  • Review how competitors use the channel. Understand their targeting and propositions, where do they excel?
  • Develop channel partners. Find the key players and influencers in the value chain or ecosystem and form strategic partnerships.

Selecting the best mix of digital media to meet your goals of customer acquisition and retention is a large part of a digital marketing strategy. There are a variety of  paid, owned and earned media assets  that fall within digital marketing, including, for example, your:

  • Online brand
  • Website and potentially mobile apps
  • Automated email communications, promotions and e-newsletters
  • Social media channels
  • Digital advertising
  • Partner co-marketing and affiliate marketing

Types-of-paid-owned-and-earned-media

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A digital marketing plan provides a clear picture of how the combination of different media supports an organization’s goals and objectives. The purpose of a digital marketing plan is to ensure that digital marketing activities are relevant and timely in the achievement of your organization’s objectives, that they can be implemented with available resources and that they are capable of creating and sustaining a competitive position online.

In a large organization, a digital transformation plan may be part of a number of integrated marketing plans, specific to individual parts of the business.

Digital transformation playbook

Download Business Professional resource – Digital Transformation Playbook

This playbook will provide you and your business with a comprehensive structure to follow, which will help you plan and prioritize transformation activities across different marketing communications in the customer lifecycle using the Smart Insights RACE planning framework.

Access the Digital transformation playbook

When to use a digital transformation plan?

Digital transformation planning is an effective way of strategically organizing your digital marketing tactics and effectively measuring their success. A digital marketing plan provides clear strategic targets for what you want to achieve from your online marketing activities. Implementation can provide numerous benefits:

  • Clear and agreed targets including a roadmap of changes to people, process and technology needed for digital transformation
  • A competitive edge and increased share of the market through better use of digital media than competitors
  • Valuable customer insights and analytics such as popular content, demographics, devices used and buying behaviours
  • A powerful online customer value proposition to achieve differentiation, customer engagement and to encourage loyalty
  • Reduces the likelihood of duplication, particularly in larger organizations
  • Provides your organization with the agility to catch up or stay ahead
  • Measures how many people are engaging with your content and how many qualified leads are being generated

An effective digital marketing plan will enable you to distinguish behaviour patterns and trends throughout your customer’s journey, providing you with the ability to make informed decisions and improvements at every stage of this journey.

What should be included? / How should a digital transformation plan be structured?

A digital marketing plan typically includes:

  • A review of your organization’s digital capabilities
  • Setting SMART objectives to grow online leads and direct online or indirect offline sales
  • Defining digital marketing methods to be invested in
  • Defining the resources required for digital marketing

A useful tool for reviewing and defining your digital marketing capabilities and resources is the SOSTAC® structure which we explain in our 7 steps strategy guide.

Introducing SOSTAC® for digital transformation

To make sure your digital marketing plan has all the essential features, I recommend the SOSTAC® structure developed by PR Smith—Dave Chaffey’s co-author of the printed book  Digital Marketing Excellence .

SOSTAC® is a great framework for structuring business, marketing or digital marketing plans since it’s relatively simple and logical, so it’s easy to remember and to explain to colleagues or agencies. SOSTAC® is a strategic planning process framework that gives you a clear structure to work through to create and manage your plan.

Our free, essential guide to digital transformation by Dave Chaffey includes a more detailed explanation of using SOSTAC® to structure a digital transformation strategy .

This chart from  Digital Marketing Excellence  summarises what should be included in each part of a SOSTAC® plan.

How-to-use-SOSTAC-for-online-marketing-plans

So, what does SOSTAC® stand for?

Situation  analysis means ‘ Where are we now? ’ For digital marketing planners, questions include:

  • Which digital channels are being used by our customers?
  • How are our competitors meeting the needs of our target customers?
  • Which digital marketing tactics are they using?
  • How can we stand out from our competitors?

Objectives  mean ‘ Where do we want to be? ’

  • How do we ensure alignment with our business’ goals and key performance indicators?
  • What are the top-level goals 5 Ss (Sell, Serve, Speak, Save and Sizzle)? Here we can build specific and measurable digital marketing plan targets. Good objectives are quantified against timescales e.g. to increase our conversion rate by 5% per month, to generate 100 new online leads per quarter.

Strategy  means ‘ How do we get there? ’ Strategy summarizes how to fulfill the objectives. It is the shortest part of the plan, but arguably, the most important, as it gives direction to all the subsequent tactics. It answers questions including:

  • How do we position ourselves in order to gain a competitive advantage?
  • How will digital marketing plan targets be achieved?
  • What messaging, technologies and channels will we use?

Tactics  are  the details of strategy . They highlight on a digital marketing plan exactly which tactics occur when. Your chosen tactics should support and adhere to your customer’s journey. Examples of digital marketing tactics could include, for example:

  • Content marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • E-mail marketing
  • Online PR coverage
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC) marketing
  • Native advertising
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Inbound marketing

I recommend you consider these 6 options defined in this diagram. In reality, you will specify more detail for each channel as listed in our digital media cheatsheet, which gives a succinct summary of the main organic and paid media options on Google and in the social network.

The-6-different-digital-media-options

Action  is the detailed planning of tactics. Who does what, when and how? What processes and activities are required to make things happen?

Control  identifies what you need to measure when and what happens. The Control section of the plan ensures you know if you are succeeding or failing – and you can make adjustments– before it is too late.  How you measure the success of your digital marketing activities will be based upon the overall marketing objectives detailed in your marketing plan.

To help you plan your digital marketing tactics effectively, the RACE Planning system will provide you with a simple framework.

Why use RACE for planning and managing digital marketing?

RACE is a practical framework to help manage and improve results from your digital marketing. Ultimately it’s about using best practice across digital marketing techniques to get more commercial value from investments in digital marketing. It will help simplify your approach to reviewing the performance of your online marketing and taking actions to improve its effectiveness.

Although SOSTAC® provides a superb framework for structuring a plan, I recommend that a digital marketing plan combines it with the Smart Insights RACE planning framework since:

  • RACE is practical and action-oriented  – it focuses on tactics you can implement in your digital marketing communications and on your website and mobile apps
  • RACE is customer-centred  – it follows the established customer lifecycle of relationship building or marketing funnel from creating awareness; generating leads from new prospects; converting prospects to sale online or offline and encouraging loyalty, repeat sales and advocacy such as social sharing.
  • RACE integrates performance evaluation  – It defines KPIs that digital marketers should include at each stage for setting targets and reviewing results using analytics and summary dashboards.

What is RACE?

RACE covers the full customer lifecycle or marketing funnel from:

RACE Planning Framework

(Plan) > Reach > Act > Convert > Engage

There is also an initial phase of Plan involving creating the digital transformation plan in the first place!

RACE consists of four steps or online marketing activities designed to help brands engage their customers throughout the customer lifecycle. This infographic shows the goals for each part of RACE and how you can measure them.

  • Reach. Reach involves building awareness and visibility of your brand, products and services on other websites and in offline media in order to build traffic by driving visits to different web presences like your main site, microsites or social media pages. It involves maximizing reach over time to create multiple interactions using different paid, owned and earned media touchpoints.
  • Act. Act is short for Interact. It’s a separate stage from conversion since encouraging interactions on websites and in social media. For most businesses, the main aim of Act is to generate online leads. So, it’s about persuading site visitors or prospects take the next step, the next Action on their customer journey when they initially reach your site or social network presence. It may mean finding out more about a company or its products, searching to find a product or reading a blog post. You should define these actions as top-level goals of the funnel in analytics. Goals can include “Viewed product”, “Added to Basket”, “Registered as member” or “Signed up for an e-newsletter. Act is also about encouraging participation. This can be the sharing of content via social media or customer reviews (strictly, part of Engage).
  • Convert. This is simply conversion to sale, online or offline. It involves getting your audience to take that vital next step which turns them into paying customers whether the payment is taken through online e-commerce transaction, or offline channels.
  • Engage. This is long-term customer engagement and communications that is, developing a long-term relationship with first-time buyers to build customer loyalty as repeat purchases using communications on your site, social presence, email and direct interactions to boost customer lifetime value. It can be measured by repeat actions such as repeat sale and sharing content through social media. We also need to measure percentage of active customers (or email subscribers) and customer satisfaction and recommendation using other systems.

Our RACE Framework is a popular marketing structure framework for Startups, SMEs, and international corporations, since it can scale up or down according to your short-term and long-term digital transformation objectives.

Simply put, RACE guides marketers through a 5-step digital transformation process of plan, reach, act, convert, and engage, to acquire and retain more customers. Using customer insights and data to build a digital transformation strategy that wins you more customers.

The  Smart Insights Multichannel Marketing Growth Wheel  infographic gives a visual view of key planning activities that are needed as part of the process of producing an integrated digital marketing plan.

A solid digital transformation plan has:

  • Clear, realistic goals  which you can be confident of hitting
  • The best strategy  to achieve these goals against your competition
  • Sufficient details of the tactics and actions  needed to translate the strategy into action
  • A method to check  you are on track with your plans

Which type of business is digital transformation suited for?

A digital marketing plan can be a valuable asset to any organization.  Regardless of what you sell, a digital marketing plan will enable you to:

  • Develop customer personas
  • Establish customer needs
  • Craft valuable online content

How your digital marketing plan is implemented will differ, depending on whether you are a Business to Business (B2B) or Business to Consumer (B2C) organization, for example:

Online lead generation tends to be the goal of  B2B organizations , so the focus of your marketing plan will be attracting and converting quality leads via your website and digital channels for your sales teams.

Providing an enhanced customer journey tends to be the focus of  B2C organizations , so the focus of your marketing plan will be attracting prospective online customers and converting them, without the input of a sales team.

How does digital transformation relate to other plans?

Digital marketing activities work best when integrated with traditional marketing and response channels. Organizations should, therefore, have a separate digital marketing plan, which is integrated into an overall marketing plan. As recognized in  10 reasons you need a digital marketing strategy , this ensures that digital marketing is fully aligned and becomes part of business as usual.

Dave Chaffey , co-founder and Content Director of Smart Insights, notes that the creation of digital plans often occurs in two stages:

“First, a separate digital marketing plan is created. This is useful to get agreement and buy-in by showing the opportunities and problems and map out a path through setting goals and specific strategies for digital including how you integrated digital marketing into other business activities. Second, digital becomes integrated into marketing strategy, it’s a core activity, “business-as-usual”, but doesn’t warrant separate planning, except for the tactics.”

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By Sarah Lindley

Thanks to Sarah Lindley for sharing their advice and opinion in this post. Sarah, Managing Director at The Yorkshire Marketing Agency, is an award-winning Chartered Marketer. Sarah holds over 10 years’ experience in implementing results-driven marketing and communications strategies, plans and campaigns. You can connect with her on LinkedIn .

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What Is a Digital Marketing Plan? (Steps to Create One + Examples)

Learn how to create an effective digital marketing plan in 7 steps. What to include and view examples to guide your strategy for success.

Alex Chris

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What Is A Digital Marketing Plan?

Why do you need a marketing plan, 7 steps to create a digital marketing plan, example of a digital marketing plan, learn more about digital marketing.

In today’s world, Digital marketing is the only way to increase your visibility on Google and social media networks and get valuable leads and clients for your business.

To make this happen, you must have a good and effective digital marketing plan that will account for all important aspects of online marketing, and this is exactly what you’ll learn in this post.

A digital marketing plan is a document that describes in detail how to promote a company’s products or services online. It outlines what techniques to use to connect with your target audience and which digital marketing channels to utilize to drive online traffic and increase conversions.

Here is a quick example to help you understand this better. John owns a SAAS company selling accounting software to B2B companies.

A digital marketing plan for his case will include things like:

  • How to identify his target audience
  • How to set SMART digital marketing goals
  • An analysis of competitor’s marketing strategies
  • What channels to use to reach his audience
  • What kind of content to publish on his website
  • Which keywords to target with SEO
  • Email campaigns to nurture and engage with potential customers

And other marketing tactics to help him achieve his business objectives.

A digital marketing plan will outline the strategy, focus on the most important actions, and help you use your marketing efforts and money wisely. It will also ensure that your company can quickly adapt to any changes and stay ahead of the competition.

Digital Marketing Training

I always tell my clients and students that without a solid plan, it’s like driving with your eyes closed. Don’t underestimate the importance of creating a plan before starting your campaigns.

Let’s see the steps to follow to make a good plan.

  • Set Your Digital Marketing Goals and Objectives
  • Define Your Target Audience and Build Buyer Personas
  • Analyze Your Competitor’s Strategies
  • Choose Your Digital Marketing Channels
  • Define Your Marketing Budget
  • Create a Marketing Calendar & Execute Your Plan
  • Monitor Results & Adjust Your Strategy

1. Set Your Digital Marketing Goals and Objectives

Before you do anything else, you should set long-term and short-term goals for what you want to achieve with digital marketing .

Any goal you define should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) and align with your business objectives.

For example, if your goal is to get more traffic to your website, you can set a long-term goal of increasing your traffic by 20% in 2 years. To achieve this goal, you should set short-term goals to increase your traffic by 5% in the next 6 months.

SMART Digital Marketing Goal

To align marketing goals with business objectives, think about what it takes to grow your business and set one or more goals to achieve that.

For example, if your business objective is to increase monthly revenue, you can translate that into the following marketing goals:

  • Get more traffic from Google by ranking higher for these transactional [create a list] keywords.
  • Optimize landing pages to increase conversion rate by 0.5%.

When setting goals, always look at your current performance and set challenging but realistic goals.

For more information, read: How to set digital marketing goals for long-term success .

2. Define Your Target Audience and Build Buyer Personas

The next step in crafting a winning plan is to define, in as many details as possible, who your target market is. I know from experience that this is a step many companies leave behind, believing they know their customers well.

Creating detailed buyer personas will help you uncover the unique characteristics of the different types of customers you should target in your campaigns.

For example, creating campaigns for young women with children differs from targeting single men. That’s the beauty of digital marketing. You can use your buyer personas to set up sales funnels for each group and market them based on their interests and needs.

When creating buyer personas, you should gather information about your customers, including:

  • Personal Information
  • Professional Information
  • Goals and Challenges
  • Ways of Learning
  • Purchasing Behavior

You can use our template below to get started.

Buyer Persona Template

3. Analyze Your Competitor’s Strategies

When creating your digital marketing plan, you should closely examine your competitor’s strategies, particularly SEO techniques and paid ads campaigns. The reason is simple: your digital marketing campaigns don’t have to be perfect, but they need to be better than your competition’s because this is how you’ll win customers.

For example, to rank higher for a keyword in SEO, you don’t have to create superb content—you just have to create better content than your top competitors.

Find out who your main competitors are, examine their market share, promotional strategies, and, in general, their online presence. Don’t copy them, but get ideas and look for gaps in their marketing that you can exploit.

You can use the guides below to perform a competitor analysis.

  • How To Find Your Competitor’s Ads
  • How To Find Competitor’s Keywords
  • How To Do An SEO Competitor Analysis

4. Choose Your Digital Marketing Channels

The next step is to specify which digital marketing channels you’ll use in your campaigns. As mentioned above, you can set multiple goals (long-term and short-term) involving one or more marketing channels.

Effective Digital Marketing Channels

The most common types of digital marketing to use in your plan are:

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)
  • Content Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Influencer Marketing
  • Video Marketing

For each channel, you should set SMART goals and assign ownership to those responsible for the implementation. For example, if you work in a company with an in-house digital marketing team, you can agree with the SEO manager about the goals of SEO for next year and how these can be achieved.

5. Define Your Marketing Budget

When setting your marketing budget, it’s important to consider various factors. Digital marketing packages cost a few hundred to several thousand per month if you outsource all your marketing.

Follow these tips to utilize your budget efficiently:

Allocate a portion of income on marketing: The first thing to decide is how much to spend on marketing. A higher percentage might be necessary for startups and businesses looking to grow aggressively, while a lower percentage for established businesses aiming for steady growth might be more appropriate.

Choose which services to outsource and what to do in-house: Outsourcing all your marketing to an agency will incur a higher cost than following a hybrid model. Some tasks (like posting content on your social media pages) don’t require expertise. To save money, it’s better to handle these tasks in-house and hire an agency or consultant for the tasks that require expert knowledge, such as ongoing SEO work and PPC management.

Allocate your budget to the channels that generate the highest ROI: In an ideal world, you could use all marketing channels to promote your business, but that’s not the best approach. Run pilot campaigns on different channels to see what’s working best, and then allocate your budget to the most profitable channels. From experience, these are likely to be SEO and Google Ads.

Start with a low budget and gradually increase it: Even if you can afford to spend more on particular campaigns, starting with a low budget is highly recommended. As a rule of thumb, you should keep spending money on a campaign as long as it generates a positive ROI. When you reach top performance, move your budget to other channels.

This is usually the case with Google and Facebook Ads. Allocate a low budget to give the system time to optimize your campaigns, and then gradually increase it until the CPA (cost per acquisition) is at acceptable levels. When the cost to get a lead or make a sale exceeds a certain threshold, it’s time to spend money on other campaigns or channels.

6. Create a Marketing Calendar & Execute Your Plan

Once you gather all the information in your document, it’s time to create a marketing calendar and set a date for each important task or campaign. Normally, you won’t execute all actions at once. As noted above, your plan should include both short-term and long-term goals.

To stay organized, create a calendar and decide who will execute a task and when. Your plan should include specific dates to review your progress and adjust your strategy.

Remember to account for holidays and the time needed to prepare the necessary material for each campaign. This includes time-consuming tasks like creating content (blog posts and videos), researching, etc.

Once your calendar is ready, you’ve completed the first step in executing your digital marketing plan, but you should not stop there. It may sound unnecessary to stress this, but we’ve seen many companies fail to execute their plan.

The most common reasons were setting unrealistic goals and overestimating the return from paid campaigns, resulting in running out of budget faster than expected.

7. Monitor Results & Adjust Your Strategy

No marketing plan can be executed from start to finish without changes. I’ve been doing this for 20+ years and have never seen a campaign perform as originally planned. This means monitoring your campaigns regularly is crucial to your success.

You must track the right metrics and KPIs to monitor a campaign effectively. Each channel has its own set of important metrics you should track. For instance:

For SEO campaigns – you should track keyword rankings, website traffic, impressions, and organic CTR .

For PPC campaigns – you should track ad CTR, keyword quality score, impressions, and cost-per-click (CPC).

The above is just a small example. Read our digital marketing metrics post for a complete list of all KPIs and instructions on measuring them.

Here is a pro tip for you: To make data-driven decisions, you should try to gather all data in a single place, and Google Looker Studio (Free) is a great tool for this. Looker Studio can connect to several sources, including Google Search Console, Google Ads, and Google Analytics, and you can combine the data into meaningful reports and dashboards.

View the gallery of ready-made report templates to get started.

Marketing Templates

Here is a short overview of how the above tips can be transformed into an actionable plan for a website selling dog food.

Step 1: Set Your Digital Marketing Goals and Objectives

  • Improve website traffic, enhance brand visibility, and optimize conversion rates to increase online dog food sales by 30% within the next two years.
  • Short-term objective: Increase website traffic by 15% through SEO and content marketing.

Step 2: Define Your Target Audience and Build Buyer Personas

  • Buyer Persona: Dog Owners
  • Personal Information: Pet owners aged 25-45. They value the health and well-being of their pets.
  • Professional Information: Middle to upper-income professionals or families.
  • Goals and Challenges: Looking for nutritious, convenient dog food options. Challenges include finding affordable, high-quality dog food.
  • Ways of Learning: Social media, blogs, online reviews.
  • Purchasing Behavior: Prefers shopping online, responsive to recommendations and loyalty programs.

Step 3: Analyze Your Competitor’s Strategies

  • SEO Analysis: Identify the top three competitors with strong organic visibility for high-value keywords such as “organic dog food” and “best dog food brands.”
  • Content Gaps: Lack of comprehensive guides on dog nutrition and health which can be an opportunity to create value-added content.
  • Social Media Presence: Competitors have moderate engagement rates, so there is an opportunity to create a more engaging, community-focused social media strategy.

Step 4: Choose Your Digital Marketing Channels

  • SEO: Focus on content creation around high-value keywords and on-page SEO improvements.
  • Content Marketing: Write pillar content on dog health and nutrition.
  • Social Media Marketing: Post regularly on Instagram and Facebook, showcasing customer stories and behind-the-scenes videos on how our products are produced.
  • Email Marketing: Monthly newsletters featuring exclusive promotions, nutritional tips, and new product launches.

Step 5: Define Your Marketing Budget

  • Allocate 40% of the marketing budget to content creation and SEO optimization.
  • 30% to social media advertising and influencer partnerships.
  • 20% for email marketing tools and campaigns.
  • 10% reserved for unforeseen opportunities and marketing tools.

Step 6: Create a Marketing Calendar & Execute Your Plan

  • SEO: Publish bi-weekly blog posts. Begin on-page optimizations.
  • Social Media: Host monthly live Q&A sessions with a veterinarian.
  • Email Marketing: Send a weekly newsletter sharing new blog posts and exclusive discounts for subscribers.
  • Content Marketing: Release a free eBook on dog nutrition.
  • Social Media: Partner with dog influencers for product reviews.

Step 7: Monitor Results & Adjust Your Strategy

  • SEO: Monitor keyword rankings and website traffic using Google Analytics.
  • Social Media: Track engagement rates and follower growth.
  • Email Marketing: Analyze open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates.

Remember, success in digital marketing doesn’t happen overnight. It requires constant monitoring, tweaking, and a deep understanding of your audience. Making a digital marketing plan is just the beginning.

  • How to Create Digital Marketing Campaigns
  • Examples of Successful Digital Marketing From Known Brands
  • How To Design An Effective Digital Marketing Strategy
  • Best Digital Marketing Certificate Programs

Alex Chris

Alex Chris is a digital marketing consultant, author, and instructor. He has more than 18 years of practical experience with SEO and digital marketing. Alex holds an MSc Degree in eCommerce and has consulted with Fortune 500 companies in different industries. He blogs regularly about SEO and Digital marketing, and his work has been referenced by leading marketing websites. Connect with Alex on Twitter and LinkedIn .

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What is digital transformation?

A digitally generated image of green and beige colored data server discs organized into a twisted looped circular pattern against a light blue background

Digital transformation is the fundamental rewiring of how an organization operates. The goal of a digital transformation, as outlined in the new McKinsey book Rewired: A McKinsey Guide to Outcompeting in the Age of Digital and AI (Wiley, June 20, 2023), should be to build a competitive advantage by continuously deploying tech at scale to improve customer experience and lower costs.

Get to know and directly engage with senior McKinsey experts on digital transformation.

Simon Blackburn is a senior partner in McKinsey’s Sydney office; Jeff Galvin is a senior partner in the Tokyo office; Kia Javanmardian , Naufal Khan , and Vik Sohoni are senior partners in the Chicago office; Eric Lamarre is a senior partner in the Boston office; Harry Robinson is a senior partner in the Southern California office; Richard Sellschop is a senior partner in the Stamford office; Kate Smaje is a senior partner in the London office; Lareina Yee is a senior partner in the Bay Area office; and Rodney Zemmel is a senior partner in the New York office.

Like many commonly used phrases, “digital transformation” has devolved into a catchall term that means different things to different people. That’s a problem. Digital transformation is critical for organizations to not only compete but survive. If leaders can’t be clear about what a digital transformation is—and align their organization around a specific program—they can’t expect to be successful.

Digital transformations are different from regular business transformations , in both small and big ways. For one thing, business transformations usually end once a new behavior has been achieved. Digital transformations, on the other hand, are long-term efforts to rewire how an organization continuously improves and changes (and that means really long term; most executives will be on this journey for the rest of their careers). That’s because technology is not only becoming further integrated in business but also constantly evolving. For example, given the growing importance of AI in generating business insights and enabling decision-making  logic, any digital transformation should also be an AI transformation.

As we’ll show, successful digital transformations hinge less on how companies use digital and more on how they become digital.

Learn more about McKinsey Digital .

What capabilities are needed to move the needle on digital transformation?

Successful digital transformation requires a variety of coordinated actions. Rewired lays out six capabilities critical for successful digital transformation:

  • The ability to craft a clear strategy  focused on business value. Companies should focus their transformations on specific domains (customer journeys, processes, or functions) that generate significant value for the business. The transformation should be guided by a road map, which details the solutions and resources needed to deliver change to prioritized domains.
  • A strong talent bench  with in-house engineers. No company can outsource its way to digital excellence. Being digital means having your own bench of digital talent working side by side with your business colleagues. The best digital talent programs go way beyond hiring: they should include employee value propositions that attract and retain the best talent; agile and digital HR processes to find, manage, and train talent; and a healthy environment where the best talent thrives .
  • An operating model that can scale. Digital transformations depend on cross-functional teams that bring together people from across the company. Most companies already have a handful of these teams, but scaling to support hundreds or thousands of them requires a new operating model. There are three primary operating models to consider: the digital factory , the product and platform model , and the enterprise-wide agility model .
  • Distributed technology  that allows teams to innovate independently. Technology in an organization should make it easier for teams to continually develop and release digital innovations to users. To make this happen, organizations should foster a distributed technology environment where every team can access the data, applications, and software development tools they need. Recent technology advances can help create this distributed environment—these include the thoughtful use of APIs  to disengage applications, the availability of developer tooling, the selective migration of high-value workloads to the cloud , and the automation of infrastructure provisioning.
  • Access to data  that teams can use as needed. Reliable, current data are crucial to successful digital transformations. Data architecture should produce data that are easily accessible by teams across an organization, and should be continually assessed and updated. Strong governance  is required to enable this capability. The core element is the data product, which structures various pieces of data into a coherent unit that can be easily consumed by a range of teams and applications.
  • Strong adoption and change management. In the past, the technology adoption cycle was a linear process of gathering requirements, developing solutions, testing, and then training the end user. This process often resulted in low adoption rates and ultimately low business value. Digital transformations follow a far more iterative process of designing, prototyping, collecting feedback, and improving the solution so it can capture the full value potential. As a rule of thumb, for every dollar you spend on developing a digital solution, plan to spend at least another dollar on implementing process changes, user training, and change-management initiatives. Companies should think about adoption and scaling at the beginning of their transformation so they can build in the resources needed to deliver the change.

No digital transformation can be successful without coordinated action across all these areas.

What is a domain and why does it matter?

Digital transformations have a much improved probability for success when teams focus on changing entire domains (for example, a customer journey, process, or functional area) rather than only on use cases (a single step within the domain, such as answering a customer-service call). A focus on domains is conducive to effective change because it encompasses all related activities to deliver a complete solution. So instead of focusing on just one step of a process—such as creating the process for a customer to open a bank account through an app—the domain would also include all the other activities (account setup, verification, workflow automation, etcetera) required to open the account. Reckoning with all those other activities is what allows a solution to deliver its value. A domain should be large enough to be valuable and noticeable to the company but small enough to be transformed without relying too much on other parts of the business. Managing the interconnectivity of use cases and solutions within a domain is one of the keys to transformation success.

Circular, white maze filled with white semicircles.

Introducing McKinsey Explainers : Direct answers to complex questions

What role can ai play in a digital transformation.

AI , and particularly generative AI , is upending how companies operate and build value, presenting huge opportunities including content generation, new discoveries (particularly in fields such as pharmaceuticals and chemicals), and coding.

But it can be easy to get distracted by shiny new toys. The lessons of past technology innovations still apply: value comes from having a clear understanding of business goals and how technology can help meet them. It’s important to experiment and learn rapidly, but it’s also critical to resist the temptation to develop use cases with exciting new technology that doesn’t end up creating value for the business.

Building value with generative AI requires the same strong competencies needed for a successful digital transformation, including a clear strategy, an in-house digital talent pool, and a responsive and scalable operating model. And it’s not just a one-and-done: companies that wish to incorporate gen AI into their value propositions will need to continually revisit their digital transformation road maps and review prioritized solutions to determine how new iterations of generative AI models can support their goals.

What are the key leadership roles in a digital transformation?

A successful digital transformation touches a broad range of an organization’s functions so they can work together in new ways. This requires large-scale and coordinated investments. The only person who can make that level of sustained change  happen is the CEO. One of the CEO’s crucial jobs  is to ensure alignment, commitment, and accountability among the leadership team. Without any of these, progress on digital transformations can rapidly stall.

Leaders at the C-suite and business unit level have crucial tasks as well. When it comes to tech, the chief information officer typically focuses on improving the inner workings of the company with technology . The chief technology officer usually works on improving customer offerings with technology. Chief digital officers, in many cases, act as coleaders of the transformation  and typically work with digital and AI technologies to create new digital experiences for users. The chief human resources officer plays a crucial role early in the transformation to secure digital talent  and to put in place the talent management  practices that will develop and retain digital talent, while the CFO oversees the transformation business case and the tracking of the value realization. Finally, the chief risk officer needs to direct the integration of risk checks into the development process, and understand how to respond to new risks, such as data privacy and cybersecurity , that a digital and AI transformation  may generate.

How do you know if a digital transformation is working?

It can be surprisingly difficult to know how a digital transformation is going. Without properly tracking and measuring outcomes, leaders will struggle to manage performance and ensure that the changes happening are creating value.

Knowing what to measure is half the battle. In digital transformations, key performance indicators (KPIs) usually fall into three categories:

  • Value creation. Digital solutions typically target one or a few operational KPIs that can usually be translated into financial benefits.
  • Team health. Many digital transformations progress more slowly than initially planned because their teams are understaffed, they did not adopt modern ways of working such as agile, or they lack critical capabilities such as product management and user-experience design. In our experience, high-performing teams can be five times more productive than low-performing teams.
  • Change-management progress. These metrics measure the progress in building new capabilities and the health of the transformation itself. Are we mobilizing teams as planned? Are people engaged? Are we building capabilities and talent? Are people seamlessly using the technology, tools, and products being developed? In our experience, the perfect is the enemy of good when managing change.

What companies are doing this well?

To be digital, every company needs to rewire how it works. Once upon a time, Amazon was just another start-up: it had to invest in its technology, data, performance management, and talent practices over years to become an industry leader. The good news is that successful digital transformations aren’t just the purview of the tech titans. Established companies of all kinds can be successful on their digital transformation journeys. Here are three examples:

  • The copper-mining giant Freeport-McMoRan unlocked next-level performance  by building and deploying an AI model at an ore-concentrating mill in Bagdad, Arizona. Leadership set the aspiration to increase the site’s copper output without a massive injection of capital. The company pulled together cross-functional teams to build, test, and iterate on the AI model, shifting the culture to focus on rapid iterations and continuous improvement. Freeport-McMoRan put a senior product manager in charge to help coordinate teams and improve allocations across working teams, assigned a finance director to manage impact tracking and reporting, and instituted a quarterly planning system (similar to quarterly business reviews) in which top leaders from the company came together to set objectives and key results and to focus resources on high-priority areas.
  • Vistra , one of the largest power producers in the United States, built a multilayered neural network  model to improve overall efficiency, improve reliability, and reduce emissions. The model combed through two years’ worth of data at the plant and learned which combination of factors would optimize a plant’s efficiency at any given time, converting them into an AI-powered engine that generates recommendations every 30 minutes for operators to improve the plant’s heat-rate efficiency while extending asset life. Key to the success of this approach was building a capability to scale the solutions (for example, a machine-learning-operations infrastructure to standardize and maintain models) so they could be easily applied and tailored to each of the stations in Vistra’s network. A cross-functional team including plant operators, data scientists, analytics translators, and power process experts ensured rapid development, high-quality models, and adoption of the models.
  • An AI bot helped Emirates Team New Zealand win its fourth America’s Cup  in 2021. Using deep reinforcement learning, the bot learned how to become a professional sailor. This happened by bringing together sailors and data scientists to develop and train the bots so that they could learn dynamically and gain greater accuracy through continuous feedback. The team put extensive time into figuring out the right learning models, how best to coach the bot, and the right guardrails to put into place. To enable the scale of computation required, the team hosted many of the bots and applications on the cloud.

Learn more about McKinsey Digital , and learn about digital transformation–related job opportunities if you’re interested in working at McKinsey.

Articles referenced:

  • “ Beyond the anecdote: True drivers of digital-delivery performance ,” March 15, 2023, Santiago Comella-Dorda , Dan Gardner, Lauren McCoy, and Vik Sohoni
  • “ Generative AI is here: How tools like ChatGPT could change your business ,” December 20, 2022, Michael Chui , Roger Roberts , and Lareina Yee
  • “ Digital transformation on the CEO agenda ,” May 12, 2022, Kate Smaje  and Rodney Zemmel
  • “ Three new mandates for capturing a digital transformation’s full value ,” June 15, 2022, Laura LaBerge, Kate Smaje , and Rodney Zemmel
  • “ The digital-value guardian: CEOs and digital transformations ,” December 20, 2021, Eric Lamarre , Kate Smaje , and Rodney Zemmel
  • “ Scaling AI like a tech native: The CEO’s role ,” October 13, 2021, Jacomo Corbo, David Harvey, Nicolas Hohn, Kia Javanmardian , and Nayur Khan
  • “ Strategy for a digital world ,” McKinsey Quarterly , October 8, 2021, Simon Blackburn , Jeff Galvin , Laura LaBerge, and Evan Williams
  • “ CHRO perspectives on leading agile change ,” August 30, 2021, Jason Inacio , Dávid Kincsem, and Dániel Róna
  • “ How CIOs and CTOs can accelerate digital transformations through cloud platforms ,” September 15, 2020, Jayne Giemzo, Mark Gu, James Kaplan , and Lars Vinter
  • “ Welcome to the Digital Factory: The answer to how to scale your digital transformation ,” May 14, 2020, Somesh Khanna , Nadiya Konstantynova, Eric Lamarre , and Vik Sohoni
  • “ Products and platforms: Is your technology operating model ready? ,” February 28, 2020, Ross Frazier, Naufal Khan , Gautam Lunawat , and Amit Rahul
  • “ Inside a mining company’s AI transformation ,” February 5, 2020, Red Conger, Harry Robinson , and Richard Sellschop
  • “ Unlocking success in digital transformations ,” October 29, 2018, Hortense de la Boutetière, Alberto Montagner, and Angelika Reich
  • “ ‘Transformer in chief’: The new chief digital officer ,” September 1, 2015, Tuck Rickards, Kate Smaje , and Vik Sohoni

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January 16, 2023

What Is Digital Planning & How to Get Started: 2023 Guide

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Table of Contents

Tired of paperwork?

In today's fast-paced business world, staying organized, on top of tasks and projects, and effectively communicating with team members is essential. That's where digital planning comes in. With the help of digital tools, software and templates, digital planning allows businesses to streamline their operations and improve productivity, communication, and collaboration. 

A great starting point for those new to digital planning are free digital planning templates. These templates provide a cost-effective solution for businesses to get familiar with the concept of digital planning and how it can be beneficial for the company's operations. A digital plan is a comprehensive plan that encompasses all the aspects of the business that can be planned and managed digitally. It is a digital representation of how the business operates, manages tasks and events, and helps to achieve their goals.

What is digital planning?

Digital planning refers to the process of using technology to develop and execute plans for business operations and strategies. Digital planning tools, such as software and online platforms, can be used to collect and analyze data, create and share documents, and collaborate with team members. These softwares and platforms are available on nearly all devices, which allows for digital planning on macbook, digital planning on windows and even digital planning on iphone, making accessibility that much more functional. 

The goal of digital planning is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the planning process and make it easier to make data-driven decisions. This can be achieved by automating repetitive tasks, providing real-time access to data, and allowing for better collaboration and communication within teams.

How does digital planning work?

Digital planning involves using a digital device, such as a tablet or a smartphone, to organize and plan out tasks, events, and notes. There are many different apps and software that can be used for digital planning, such as calendar apps, to-do list apps, and note-taking apps. These apps typically allow you to create and edit notes, set reminders, and schedule events. 

Top digital planners also offer advanced features such as the ability to collaborate with others or integrate with other tools and services. Additionally, some apps are specifically designed for digital planning, and have features that mimic the physical experience of planning, such as the ability to add stickers, change colors, and create digital checklists. 

The advantage of digital planning is that it is highly versatile, accessible, and easy to share the information with others and also it is digital, which means it can be easily backed up or synced across multiple devices.

4 benefits of digital planning for companies

Digital planning is a powerful tool for organizing and managing business tasks, schedules, and notes which increases productivity, streamlines operations and improves communication and collaboration among team members. Using free digital planning templates is a great way to quickly set up your planner and adapt it to your specific business needs. Benefits of digital planning for companies include:

Digital planning allows for easy organization and scheduling of tasks and appointments, reducing the need for paper-based systems and helping to streamline operations. In addition, all staff members can have one central location for their daily tasks, which will minimize misunderstandings and boost productivity.

Easiness of sharing and granting access

Companies can easily share and grant access to digital plans among team members, ensuring that everyone is on the same page and able to work together more effectively. You can also create projects and teams with employees, assigning different permissions to individual users across the organization.

Portability and convenience

Digital plans can be accessed from any device, allowing team members to stay productive and on top of tasks even when away from the office. In addition, if you forget, misplace or lose your physical planner, then you would not be able to access required data, but as long as your digital planner is backed up onto cloud storage, it can be accessed on mostly all devices. 

Sustainability

Digital planning is an environmentally friendly option, reducing the need for paper and saving resources. In addition, it also enables for remote communication and collaboration, which can also save on travel and other resources.

What are digital planning tools?

What is a digital planner? A digital planner is a type of software or application that allows users to organize and manage tasks, schedules, notes, and other information electronically. It typically includes features such as a calendar, task list, notes, and contacts. 

Can you do digital planning on macbook? Digital planners can be accessed on various devices such as smartphones, tablets, or computers and they can be synced with other apps like Google calendar and others. They are often used as a replacement for traditional paper-based planners, which provide many benefits such as the ability to share with team members, and also it is more eco-friendly. Now that it is understood what a digital planner is, it's important to focus on how to use a digital planner.

To use a digital planner, you will first need to download and install the planner software on your device. Once you have the planner open, you can start by creating new tasks and events, setting reminders, and organizing your schedule. You can also customize the layout and design of your planner to suit your needs. Additionally, many digital planners offer features such as syncing with other calendar apps and the ability to share your schedule with others.

How to get started on digital planning for your business in 6 steps

"How do you do digital planning" is an important question to consider when getting started with organizing your business. Digital planning allows you to stay on top of tasks and deadlines, increase productivity and efficiency while also improving communication and collaboration among team members. 

Step 1: Identify your planning needs 

When identifying planning needs, it is important to consider the specific goals and tasks that need to be accomplished. This can include things like deadlines for projects, appointments, or meetings, as well as ongoing tasks or responsibilities. It may also be helpful to consider how different tasks or events are related to one another and how they fit into overall goals or priorities.

Once these needs have been identified, it is possible to select or create a digital planner that can best support them, such as by selecting a planner with specific features or integrations that are needed.

Step 2: Research digital planning tools

Look into different software and apps that are available to support your planning needs. Consider whether the digital planning tools you are observing can integrate with other tools, applications and services you are already using such as email, cloud storage, etc. 

The user interface chosen should be intuitive and easy to navigate as some tools might have a steeper learning curve than others. Observe whether the digital planner offers customer support or a knowledge base to help you troubleshoot issues and get the most out of the tool. Are there online communities or tutorials available for learning how to use the tool effectively?

Step 3: Assess the feasibility of each option

Assess the digital planner and whether it has specific features that you are looking for, for example if you need a tool that can handle multiple calendars, to-do lists, or project management. It is also important to consider costs as digital planning tools can range from free to quite expensive, therefore take into account what you're willing to spend and what you're getting for your money. 

Lastly, identify what type of device you will be using to access the planner as some tools might have a web version and an app, choose what best suits you.

Step 4: Choose a tool and set it up

Once you have selected a tool that best fits your needs, take the time to set it up and customize it to fit your business’s needs. You can set it up by creating an account and inputting your personal and/or business information. Depending on the tool, you may be able to customize settings like time zone, notifications, and color schemes. Next, existing data must be imported, some tools allow you to import data from other calendars or task lists. Then follows sharing with others and dependent on the tool, you may be able to share your calendar or task list with others, so they can see when you are available or when tasks are due.

Once you have set up the digital planner, it is time to start using it! It's important to get in the habit of regularly adding new events and tasks, updating progress, and checking the calendar. This will help you stay organized and on top of deadlines. Most digital planners also have tutorials or help centers available to help you navigate the tool and its features.

Step 5: Introduce to the team

Provide training and support for your team members to learn how to use the new digital planning tool effectively. Ensure to communicate the benefits by clearly explaining how the digital planner will benefit the team. 

Offer training and resources to help team members learn how to use the digital planner effectively. This could include tutorials, videos, or written instructions. By making the digital planning tool mandatory, it will allow team members to stay on the same page, avoid confusion and duplicate work. Most importantly, be available for support and give time to adjust, as change can be difficult for some people until they see the benefits and are accustomed to the new tool.

Step 6: Monitor and optimize

Keep track of how the digital planning tool is being used and make adjustments as needed to optimize its effectiveness for your business. This can help to identify any issues with adoption or usage. Throughout the initial implementation phase it is crucial to monitor progress on tasks, projects, and deadlines to ensure that they are on track and that the digital planner is being used effectively to manage them. 

Gathering feedback from team members on their experience using the digital planner could also be beneficial as this can help to identify any issues or areas for improvement. 

Observe analytic data such as usage statistics, task completion rates, and user feedback to identify patterns and areas for improvement and make adjustments accordingly.

Final points on digital planning for entrepreneurs

Digital planning is a vital tool for businesses and entrepreneurs to improve productivity, communication, and collaboration. Utilizing digital tools, software and templates, companies can streamline operations and achieve better results. 

To fully reap the benefits of digital planning, it is crucial to identify the right software that suits the specific needs of the company and its processes. Choosing the right digital planning software and having a collective understanding of how to use it, can lead to improved efficiency and performance within the company.

What do you need for digital planning for a business?

In order to implement the best digital planners system within a business, several key elements are required, such as: Office computers, or any other suitable digital devices, to access the digital planning software that caters to the team's and business needs. 

Security measures are also needed to protect sensitive business information. Integration capability is essential when working  with other tools and software that the business is already using such as email, cloud storage, CRM.

What iPad do I need for digital planning for my company?

To perform digital planning on an iPad, you'll need an iPad running on iOS 13 or later, with enough storage and RAM to run your chosen digital planning software and store any necessary data. Consult the software's system requirements for specific requirements.

What is the best tablet for digital planning?

The best tablet for digital planning depends on individual preferences and needs, popular options include iPad Pro and Microsoft Surface Pro, both have large screens and stylus compatibility. Other factors to consider include performance, software, and app availability. Digital planning on ipad mini has also been considered compatible because of the size of the ipad, making it easy and compact for transport.

Is digital planning expensive to introduce?

The cost of introducing digital planning can vary, depending on tools and devices used. Some options may be inexpensive, while others like specialized software or hardware can be costly. It may also involve costs for employee training and software subscriptions, with scope and scale of implementation affecting the overall cost.

What to do when digital planner hyperlinks aren't working?

1) Check your internet connection

2) Make sure the hyperlink is typed correctly

3) Restart the device or app

4) Clear the cache and cookies on your device or browser

5) Reinstall the app or update it to the latest version. If the problem persists, contact the developer or technical support for assistance.

Do I really need an Apple pencil for digital planning?

Having an Apple Pencil or any other digital stylus can enhance the experience of digital planning, making it more similar to traditional paper planning. However, it is not necessary as you can still plan digitally by using the text feature in the app to add notes.

How to master neat handwriting on iPad?

To master neat handwriting on an iPad, consider using a stylus and practicing regularly. Adjust the settings in the note-taking app to find the right pen thickness and font size and play around with different handwriting styles. Use lined paper as background and make sure to hold the stylus at the right angle. 

How can I make a digital planner?

To make a digital planner, use a note-taking app, spreadsheet, or design software. Create pages for sections like calendar, tasks, and notes. Add hyperlinks, images, and diagrams. Use free digital planning templates or premade layouts to find what works best for you. Experiment with different designs and functionalities.

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How to Create a Digital Marketing Plan: 4 Steps

A business professional seated at a table with a laptop on it with the words "Marketing Strategy" and several icons.

  • 08 Feb 2024

Digital marketing is essential; it helps you connect with customers via online channels and enhance brand awareness. To ensure your campaigns succeed, you need an effective digital marketing plan and strategy.

Not all businesses understand strategic planning's importance. According to a Smart Insights report , only 17 percent clearly define their digital marketing strategies.

If you want to create a digital marketing plan, here’s an overview of what it needs and four steps to take.

Access your free e-book today.

What Is a Digital Marketing Plan & Why Is It Important?

Technology has revolutionized business, but that doesn’t mean traditional marketing tactics are obsolete.

“There are certain aspects of marketing that remain true no matter how technology changes,” says Harvard Business School Professor Sunil Gupta, who teaches the course Digital Marketing Strategy . “One of these aspects is the importance of developing a plan to effectively use your marketing resources.”

A digital marketing plan is a comprehensive strategy outlining how your company will use digital channels to promote its products and services. Unlike traditional marketing tactics, it focuses on identifying your target audience and connecting with consumers via online platforms and channels.

Your plan’s significance can’t be overstated. It provides a strategic focus while optimizing your marketing efforts and budget. More importantly, it ensures your company remains agile and responsive to market dynamics and maintains a competitive edge.

Adaptability is particularly crucial in times of uncertainty. According to HubSpot , 20 percent of marketers pivoted their established marketing plans last year due to the potential for a recession.

To help craft your digital marketing plan, here are four steps to ensuring it’s comprehensive and can weather market challenges.

A graphic with text and icons displaying 4 steps to creating a digital marketing plan: set goals and objectives, identify your target audience, define your value proposition, and establish metrics.

4 Steps to Creating a Digital Marketing Plan

1. set goals & objectives.

The first step to creating your digital marketing plan is understanding what goals and objectives are essential to succeed.

“Companies often have multiple objectives, and you’ll need to prioritize and balance these goals,” Gupta says in Digital Marketing Strategy . “Often these goals are tied to the overall strategy of the company.”

For example, if you don’t work at a big-name company, you may want to focus on brand awareness. If you’re a market leader, you may want to expand your target audience by highlighting a new or revised product or service.

The best way to determine your company’s objectives is by identifying its challenges and opportunities throughout the customer journey , which has three stages:

  • Awareness: Introducing customers to your brand or product to address a problem they have
  • Consideration: Making customers aware of your brand or product while they evaluate alternatives
  • Decision: Using information gathered during the previous stages to influence consumers’ purchasing decisions

“Which stage of the funnel you focus on and how you allocate your budget across different stages depends on the specific context of your brand and where you feel is the greatest barrier for your growth,” Gupta says in Digital Marketing Strategy .

Your company's strategic decisions hinge on which customer journey stage they pertain to. For example, to increase conversion rates at the consideration stage, you could allocate more resources to producing targeted, personalized content.

2. Identify Your Target Audience

Your digital marketing strategy is only effective if you know who you’re trying to attract. That’s why identifying your target audience —the consumers most likely interested in your products or services—is the next step to crafting your digital marketing plan.

To determine your target audience, collect data related to:

  • Demographics: General information like age, gender, and occupation that help you make implicit assumptions about customers
  • Customer behavior: Behavior patterns related to your products or services, such as purchasing history and website interactions
  • Consumer motivations: Primary motivations when making purchases, such as convenience, value, or status

You can use your insights to employ tactics like segmentation —organizing your customers into groups.

“While you can try and market a product to everyone, consumers have different needs and preferences,” Gupta says in Digital Marketing Strategy . “What appeals to one group of consumers may not appeal to another.”

By segmenting your customers, you can provide personalized experiences—even when their needs or market conditions shift.

Related: 3 Most Common Types of Customer Needs to Be Aware Of

3. Define Your Value Proposition

Once you know who to target, you can communicate your value proposition .

“If you want to convince consumers to buy your product, you need to give them a compelling reason to purchase your brand instead of a competing brand,” Gupta says in Digital Marketing Strategy .

To start, you need to know your:

  • Target audience
  • Unique value
  • Competitive set
  • Justifications for brand value

You can then combine these components into a value positioning statement:

For [target market] , [Brand X] is the only brand that offers [unique value claim] among all [competitive set] because [reason to believe] .

Digital Marketing Strategy | Develop digital marketing strategies that reach and retain customers | Learn More

According to Digital Marketing Strategy , you can analyze your value claim’s validity and potency using the three C’s of brand positioning:

  • Consumer analysis: Understanding your target audience’s behaviors, needs, preferences, and motivations.
  • Competitor analysis: Evaluating your competitors' strengths, weaknesses, and market position to enhance your strategy.
  • Company analysis: Assessing your value proposition, capabilities, resources, and performance to identify areas for strategic improvement.

Effective brand positioning requires being faithful to your value claim and ensuring it’s feasible and favorable.

“As you work to create a value proposition, remember: A brand’s position is not just defined by the brand itself,” Gupta says in the course. “A brand co-creates its position with its consumers as they interact with each other and react to emerging cultural trends.”

4. Establish Metrics

Metrics are critical to your marketing plan. Without key performance indicators (KPIs) , it can be difficult to tell whether it’s effective.

Common marketing KPIs include:

  • Impressions
  • Click through rate
  • Conversion rate

“At the simplest level, you need to measure what you set out to achieve with your marketing objectives,” Gupta says in Digital Marketing Strategy . “And certain metrics will be more relevant for specific stages of the funnel.”

For example, you can focus on metrics like impressions —the number of times your brand-specific content was displayed—to determine your strategy’s effectiveness at the awareness stage.

With a well-crafted digital marketing plan, you can use metrics to optimize your strategy as priorities shift throughout the customer journey.

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Create Your Own Digital Marketing Plan

If you want to be a more strategic marketer, you need a digital marketing plan. With one, you can solidify your company’s position, enhance your digital marketing skills , and satisfy customers.

“Determining your marketing goals, who you’re reaching, understanding the uniqueness of what you have to offer them, and how you’ll measure the value of your marketing efforts isn’t always easy,” Gupta says in Digital Marketing Strategy . “However, as you clarify these components and create your plan, you’ll have a much clearer path ahead toward identifying, acquiring, and retaining customers.”

One of the most effective ways to learn how to craft a plan is by enrolling in an online marketing course, such as Digital Marketing Strategy . Through real-world case studies and interactive exercises, you can understand how to position your brand for success.

Do you want to create a digital marketing plan? Explore Digital Marketing Strategy to discover how. If you’re interested in exploring online education but aren’t sure where to start, download our free guide to online learning success .

what is a digital business plan

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what is a digital business plan

How to create a successful digital business plan in 2024 (the full guide)

isaac-smith marketing

With the digital transformation speed being 5x the pace of a traditional business, it has become a crucial need of the hour to weave digital reformation into the fabric of their businesses . Digitization is continually snapping away at the heels of the customer base that you want to appeal to. Therefore, through the business plan, you aim to turn all visitors to leads! Want to know more? Keep reading.

What is a digital business plan

Creating a business plan is not just a side document, but one that you will feel the need to keep on top of your pile to make your business relevant in today’s digital age. After determining your business needs and objectives, you should create a customized digital business plan for you where each detail will focus on achieving and aligning with your business objectives. Customer acquisition begins when a visitor first starts to look at your business, whether that be through an ad or in their friend’s Snapchat story.

Why does it need to be done in your business?

The business plan is aimed towards the empowered consumers 2.0 who are much more informed and are looking for the brand rather than the other way around. This is due to the digital transformation that has hit our global village from 360 degrees. Did you know that 92% of business leaders are, as we speak, developing sophisticated digital transformation strategies, and for you to stay relevant and on top of your game , commonsense dictates that you should too!

Digital business plan topics, how can you build it?

The critical elements of the plan will include different strategies to  achieve your KPI  benchmarks through digital channels, action and development programs, and a detailed choreographically road-map. The digital strategy works through your customers' data metrics, and so, it is an ongoing effort . You should analyze what your customers want and integrate data-based insights into your company’s culture through the business plan!

Company name

What is a digital marketing plan?

  • A digital marketing plan can be defined as a strategy that can help any company or business in promoting their services through various digital marketing campaigns.
  • This strategy can be set to achieve a certain goal at the digital level .
  • Several actions and development plans are made to promote the business through different channels.
  • A budget is set up to execute these digital plans for the marketing of a business.
  • A digital marketing plan is significant for companies as it will help them in convincing their customers to purchase their products or services .

Step by step - How to do a digital marketing plan?

We shall now discuss our step by step procedure when making a digital marketing plan.

  • Step 1: The first thing we do when developing a digital marketing plan for our clients, is analyzing the internal and external factors of the client’s firm, which is also known as the SWOT analysis. This analysis helps us to learn about all the strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities of the firm. In this way, we get familiarized with how the company has been running and what it lacks.
  • Step 2: Secondly, we help our clients in developing SMART goals: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely goals. These goals will help us in getting an idea about the actions that are required to be taken to achieve these goals.
  • Step 3: Once the business objectives or goals have been identified, it is important to decide what the firm is going to do in order to achieve those goals. It is incredibly crucial for a digital marketing plan to be completely personalized for a specific business. To do this, it is essential to know the target audience, why the customers should choose your business over your competitors, and your content strategy.

Digital marketing plan

  • Step 4: Next, we talk about digital strategies and tactics. Based on the firm’s objectives, we will start carrying out different digital strategies and tactics. There are some reliable marketing automation tools that we will use for automating the marketing campaigns.
  • Step 5: The journey towards success doesn’t stop after you’ve completely designed and executed the digital marketing plan. We will measure the results by using KPIs in order to determine whether we have been able to get our client’s firm to earn the required ROI. An effective real-time data visualization system will help in doing so.

Tactics you should perform

Now we shall go over the different tactics that we perform to run a successful digital marketing plan for our clients.

When it comes to digital marketing plans, nothing can be more important than focusing on SEO. Search Engine Optimization depends on Google’s algorithms. We have our SEO experts who will be managing SEO and posting such content on your website that will help in boosting its inbound traffic.

Search engine marketing:

Another way to increase your SERPS is through paid advertising methods. Our experts will be using Google ads to do so.

Local search marketing:

You can easily turn up your listings through Google My Business. Google will help in updating your listing, so nothing becomes irrelevant. Online reviews also help in building social reputations, so we will take care of them too.

Content marketing:

Content marketing helps in attracting more audiences. By posting relevant content and getting help from SEO tactics, we will be able to bring more audience to your website.

Social media marketing:

By sharing your firm’s content on several social media platforms, your business will get popular among the public, and more people will get to know about it.

We would like to have an analysis call with you, contact us!

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what is a digital business plan

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What is a digital business strategy?

A digital business strategy is a plan for how a company will use digital technologies to achieve its business goals. According to Foundry, it is becoming increasingly important – 89% of all companies have already adopted or plan to adopt a digital-first business strategy .

Companies must ensure their strategy is aligned with overall business plans, considering the organization’s unique strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

What is a digital business strategy

Furthermore, digital business strategies should be flexible and adaptable, as the digital landscape constantly changes. Companies should regularly review them to ensure they are aligned with their overall business goals to take advantage of the latest technologies.

According to Foundry, it is becoming increasingly important

Types of digital business strategy

There are two main types of digital business strategy: offensive and defensive.

Types of digital business strategy

Offensive strategy

Offensive digital business strategies are designed to help companies grow and expand their market share.

They involve using digital technologies to create new products and services, enter new markets, or change how the company delivers its products and services to customers.

Here are some examples of such strategies:

Platform play

Developing a digital platform that other businesses can use to build their own products and services.

Amazon started out as an online bookseller, but it has since expanded into a wide range of other markets, including cloud computing, logistics, and streaming video.

Amazon’s platform provides businesses with a way to sell their products and services to Amazon’s customers, and it also provides customers with a convenient way to shop for a wide range of products and services.

New marginal supply

Creating new products and services that are not possible or efficient to produce using traditional methods.

Netflix allows customers to watch movies and TV shows on demand. Previously, people would have had to rent or buy DVDs, but thanks to the internet and technologies such as compression, they can now access a huge range of titles on the platform.

Digitally enabled products and services

Improving existing products and services to create new digital versions of them.

Spotify saw an opportunity to improve music streaming by providing a digital subscription service that unlocks millions of songs to everyone with a laptop or smartphone and an internet connection.

Previously, people had to buy CDs or records; then, they had to purchase tracks and albums individually on platforms such as iTunes.

Defensive strategy

Defensive digital business strategies help companies protect their existing business from digital disruption.

They involve using digital technologies to improve the customer experience , operational efficiency, and cost-effectiveness.

Defensive strategies include the following:

Customizing and repackaging

A company uses digital technologies to customize and repackage its existing products and services to meet the needs of different customer segments.

Nike’s website allows customers to customize their own Nike shoes with different colors, materials, and designs.

The company also offers a variety of digital fitness products and services, such as the Nike Training Club app.

Digital distribution channels

A company uses digital channels to distribute its products and services to customers.

Walmart sells its products through its website and mobile app, offering curbside pickup and delivery services.

These digital distribution channels make it easier for customers to shop with the brand.

Cost efficiency

A company uses digital technologies to automate tasks, streamline processes, and reduce costs.

Amazon uses robots to automate its fulfillment process and artificial intelligence to improve its customer service and product recommendations.

These technologies help the company to keep its costs low and offer competitive prices to its customers.

Defensive strategies include the following

Combining strategies

Companies can also adopt a combination of offensive and defensive digital business strategies.

For example, a company might develop a new digital product or service (offensive strategy) while also using digital technologies to improve the efficiency of its existing operations (defensive strategy).

How are digital business strategy and digital transformation connected?

Digital business strategies and digital transformation are closely linked concepts, and one often drives the other.

Digital business strategies set the direction and goals for how a company leverages digital technologies to achieve its objectives.

Digital transformation is implementing these strategies, involving changes in technology, culture, processes, and capabilities to realize the desired outcomes.

They are interdependent and work together to enable organizations to thrive digitally.

How to create a digital business strategy

Define your goals.

What do you want to achieve with your digital business strategy? Do you want to increase brand awareness, generate leads, drive sales, or improve customer satisfaction? Once you know your goals, you can develop strategies to achieve them.

Understand your audience

Who are you trying to reach with your digital business strategy? What are their needs and wants? What digital channels do they use? Once you understand your audience, you can tailor your strategy to reach them effectively.

Analyze your competition

What are your competitors doing well in terms of digital marketing? What could they be doing better? Analyzing your competition can help you to identify opportunities and develop a strategy that gives you a competitive advantage.

Choose the right digital channels

Many different digital channels are available, such as social media, search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, and email marketing. You need to choose the channels that are most relevant to your audience, which will help you achieve your goals.

Develop a content strategy

Content is essential for any digital business strategy. You need to create high-quality content that is relevant to your audience and will help you achieve your goals. Your content strategy should include a variety of content formats, such as blog posts, articles, videos, and infographics.

Measure your results

It’s important to track your results to see what’s working and what’s not. This will help you to refine your strategy over time. You can use various tools to track your results, such as Google Analytics and social media analytics tools.

How to create a digital business strategy

Updated: November 16, 2023

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What is a Business Plan? Definition, Tips, and Templates

AJ Beltis

Published: June 28, 2024

Years ago, I had an idea to launch a line of region-specific board games. I knew there was a market for games that celebrated local culture and heritage. I was so excited about the concept and couldn't wait to get started.

Business plan graphic with business owner, lightbulb, and pens to symbolize coming up with ideas and writing a business plan.

But my idea never took off. Why? Because I didn‘t have a plan. I lacked direction, missed opportunities, and ultimately, the venture never got off the ground.

→ Download Now: Free Business Plan Template

And that’s exactly why a business plan is important. It cements your vision, gives you clarity, and outlines your next step.

In this post, I‘ll explain what a business plan is, the reasons why you’d need one, identify different types of business plans, and what you should include in yours.

Table of Contents

What is a business plan?

What is a business plan used for.

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Purposes of a Business Plan

What does a business plan need to include, types of business plans.

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A business plan is a comprehensive document that outlines a company's goals, strategies, and financial projections. It provides a detailed description of the business, including its products or services, target market, competitive landscape, and marketing and sales strategies. The plan also includes a financial section that forecasts revenue, expenses, and cash flow, as well as a funding request if the business is seeking investment.

The business plan is an undeniably critical component to getting any company off the ground. It's key to securing financing, documenting your business model, outlining your financial projections, and turning that nugget of a business idea into a reality.

The purpose of a business plan is three-fold: It summarizes the organization’s strategy in order to execute it long term, secures financing from investors, and helps forecast future business demands.

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  • What is a digital marketing plan?

What goes into an effective digital marketing plan?

Digital marketing has become one of the most effective ways to communicate because you can connect with your customers in their preferred channels. A digital marketing plan defines the goals you will accomplish in a given time frame and how you will measure your efforts.

When creating a digital marketing plan, it is important to remember that marketing is still about communicating the benefits of your product or service in a way that resonates with customers. So your plan should focus on the marketing tactics that will help your company engage your target audience with a cohesive experience.

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Explore any of the sections below:

The importance of digital marketing

Components of a digital marketing plan, how to create a digital marketing plan.

Every marketing plan today includes a digital strategy. This is because marketing goals usually put a focus on how the business can reach more potential customers, retain existing customers, and increase sales. And today, your customers are online.

But the broad range of digital marketing options can make it overwhelming to know where to focus. Organizations that want to set themselves apart in the market understand that effectively reaching and engaging with potential customers matters most. This means using creative ways to connect with the right people in the right place and delivering a compelling message that helps them decide if a product might meet their needs.

One of the benefits of digital marketing is that you can test different approaches and quickly adjust your plan based on what is working and what is not. There are many different areas that often get umbrellaed under the term “digital marketing.”

A strategic goals matrix in Aha! software with a marketing team's goals mapped out

From marketing automation and research to tactical activities such as pay-per-click ads, there are many different components to a digital marketing plan.

Advertising

Online advertising involves bidding and buying relevant ad units on third-party sites, such as display ads on blogs, forums, and other relevant websites. Types of ads include images, text, pop-ups, banners, and video. Retargeting is an important aspect of online advertising. Retargeting requires code that adds an anonymous browser cookie to track new visitors to your site. Then, as that visitor goes to other sites, you can serve them ads for your product or service. This focuses your advertising efforts on people who have already shown interest in your company.

Content marketing

Content marketing is an important strategy for attracting potential customers. Publishing a regular cadence of high-quality, relevant content online will help establish thought leadership. It can educate target customers about the problems your product can help them resolve, as well as boost SEO rankings. Content can include blog posts, case studies, whitepapers, and other materials that provide value to your target audience. These digital content assets can then be used to acquire customers through organic and paid efforts.

Email marketing

Email is a direct marketing method that involves sending promotional messages to a segmented group of prospects or customers. Email marketing continues to be an effective approach for sending personalized messages that target customers’ needs and interests. It is most popular for e-commerce business as a way of staying top of mind for consumers.

Mobile marketing

Mobile marketing is the promotion of products or services specifically via mobile phones and devices. This includes mobile advertising through text messages or advertising in downloaded apps. However, a comprehensive mobile marketing approach also includes optimizing websites, landing pages, emails, and content for an optimal experience on mobile devices.

Paid search

Paid search increases search engine visibility by allowing companies to bid for certain keywords and purchase advertising space in the search engine results. Ads are only shown to users who are actively searching for the keywords you have selected. There are two main types of paid search advertising — pay per click (PPC) and cost per mille (CPM). With PPC, you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. With CPM, you pay based on the number of impressions. Google Adwords is the most widely used paid search advertising platform; however, other search engines like Bing also have paid programs.

Programmatic advertising

Programmatic advertising is an automated way of bidding for digital advertising. Each time someone visits a web page, profile data is used to auction the ad impression to competing advertisers. Programmatic advertising provides greater control over what sites your advertisements are displayed on and who is seeing them so you can better target your campaigns.

Reputation marketing

Reputation marketing focuses on gathering and promoting positive online reviews. Reading online reviews can influence customer buying decisions and is an important component of your overall brand and product reputation. An online reputation marketing strategy encourages customers to leave positive reviews on sites where potential customers search for reviews. Many of these review sites also offer native advertising that allows companies to place ads on competitor profiles.

Search engine optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization (SEO) focuses on improving organic traffic to your website. SEO activities encompass technical and creative tactics to improve rankings and increase awareness in search engines. The most widely used search engines include Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Digital marketing managers focus on optimizing levers — such as keywords, crosslinks, backlinks, and original content — to maintain a strong ranking.

Social media marketing

Social media marketing is a key component of digital marketing. Platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and even YouTube provide digital marketing managers with paid opportunities to reach and interact with potential customers. Digital marketing campaigns often combine organic efforts with sponsored content and paid advertising promotions on key social media channels to reach a larger audience and increase brand lift.

Video marketing

Video marketing enables companies to connect with customers in a more visually engaging and interactive way. You can showcase product launches, events, and special announcements, as well as provide educational content and testimonies. YouTube and Vimeo are the most commonly used platforms for sharing and advertising videos. Pre-roll ads (which are shown for the first 5–10 seconds before a video) are another way digital marketing managers can reach audiences on video platforms.

Web analytics

Analytics allow marketing managers to track online user activity. Capturing and analyzing this data is foundational to digital marketing because it gives companies insights into online customer behavior and their preferences. The most widely used tool for analyzing website traffic is Google Analytics, however other tools include Adobe Analytics, Coremetrics, Crazy Egg, and more.

Webinars are virtual events that allow companies to interact with potential and existing customers no matter where they are located. Webinars are an effective way to present relevant content — such as a product demonstration or seminar — to a targeted audience in real time. Engaging directly with your audience in this way gives your company an opportunity to demonstrate deep subject matter expertise. Many companies leverage attendee lists in other marketing programs (email and retargeting advertisements) to generate new leads and strengthen existing relationships.

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Digital marketing methods provide a wide variety of ways for marketing managers to engage potential customers. However, it is important to invest in the channels and media that help you acquire, grow, and retain customers.

The following questions can help marketing teams understand the right digital activities to pursue:

What are your business and marketing goals?

What is your digital marketing budget?

Who are your target customers?

Can you describe your audience with discrete buyer personas?

Which online channels does your audience use?

What customer outcomes do you want to achieve?

What benefits are you going to promote?

What alternative solutions are your potential customers selecting?

What change is needed to improve the customer experience?

How would digital marketing methods improve the experience?

What data does your company need to better understand customer behavior and preferences?

How will success be measured?

Who do you need to share your plan with?

Use these marketing plan templates to help you define which digital marketing programs to invest in. As you learn more about where your customers go online and their digital preferences, you can incrementally adjust your plan to improve the results.

Build marketing plans like you always wanted. Sign up for a free 30-day trial of Aha! Roadmaps.

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What is digital transformation?

Digital transformation is the process by which companies embed technologies across their businesses to drive fundamental change. The benefits? Increased efficiency, greater business agility and, ultimately, the unlocking of new value for employees, customers and shareholders.

Many different paths lead to digital transformation and each organization’s journey will be unique. For example, a company might introduce AI or cloud computing to enhance its customer experience . Or it might redesign its supply chain to make better use of machine learning. A company can even make spot-on predictions about the products customers will want in a few months’ time, then shift production to meet demand.

In every case, though, starting a digital transformation journey requires a new mindset. It is a chance to reimagine how companies do things, often from the ground up.

Two concepts related to digital transformation are digitization and digitalization .

Digitization is the process of translating analog information and data into digital form—for example, scanning a photo or document and storing it on a computer.

Digitalization is the use of digital technologies to change business processes and projects—such as skilling employees to use new software platforms designed to help launch products faster. While digital transformation might include digitalization efforts, it goes beyond the project level and affects the entire organization.

For most companies, digital transformation requires a shift away from traditional thinking and toward a more collaborative, experimental approach. These new ways of approaching work reveal new solutions which, in turn, can improve customer experience, drive employee innovation and spur company growth at the fundamental level.

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Scaling breakthrough innovation

Cloud, AI and the metaverse are accelerating reinvention strategies. We show how to use them to scale breakthrough innovation.

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Creative AI, web3, permacrisis and human adaptability. Explore the evolving power dynamic between people and organizations.

Why is digital transformation important?

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, digital transformation largely focused on customer experience. Then, everything changed—and accelerated. Now, digital transformation is the centerpiece of operational efficiency and innovation across the organization.

Across industries, change is happening in shorter waves than ever before, and CEOs feel the pressure but recognize the opportunity for the entire organization. And, according to our most recent survey, accelerated digital transformation , including cloud and data, has become the number-one topic CEOs prioritize for the board since the pandemic hit. Our research "Make the Leap, Take the Lead" shows that leading companies in enterprise technology were growing two times faster than most companies, and by doubling down on their tech investments recently, they are now growing five times faster. Leaders harness key cloud technologies, including AI, to outpace their peers. They adopt innovative technology sooner and reinvest more frequently. And they direct their IT budgets toward innovation. The benefits are more revenue and more growth—and the ability to stay ahead of the curve.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the rate of tech adoption

Accenture research reveals how the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the rate of tech adoption from Emerging Tech, IT Infrastructure, AI & automation, IOT, Cloud and data in a 2019 versus 2021 survey comparison. Source Accenture Research.

The top priority for leading companies? Scaling innovation through digital transformation.

Digital transformation strategy

Driving big change in an organization is too difficult to pull off without a plan. There are five major areas companies must address, often in parallel.

  • Business strategy transformation Today, all companies are tech companies; all CEOs are tech CEOs. Digital transformation puts technology at the core of business strategy. This approach can reduce operating expenses and inefficiency. It could even change the course of your business. With a unified model across business and technology, it’s easier to achieve future ambitions. The technology path you choose now will determine, more decisively than ever, your company’s success.
  • Business operations realignment Transforming business processes and adopting new ways of working for agility and experimentation are crucial to success. What do your customers and employees need most, and how can digital processes help? Starting with these questions can create better processes across the board, whether that’s improving customer service through better data and analytics, moving key services to the cloud, or building sustainability across engineering, manufacturing and supply chain functions.
  • Adoption of new practices for agility and experimentation As customer expectations and the pace of change increase, it’s necessary to introduce new ways of working coupled with modern engineering capabilities. Most companies are making suboptimal decisions about how to direct their tech investments. It all comes down to embracing change and innovation. Successful digital transformation is a radically different approach—one that sees technology as accessible and people as adaptable.
  • A flexible technology core for sustainable change It’s important not to get locked into just one technology. By staying nimble and flexible, you can catalyze innovation in your company and more easily form ecosystem partnerships that drive speed and scale. A modular approach allows for fast and sustainable change, and staying focused on customer needs is key.
  • People change management Digital transformation affects all aspects of business. For it to work, the digital foundation, digital operations and a digitally skilled workforce collectively need the backing of leaders and a culture that is aligned on which new technologies to adopt and how best to integrate them into daily life. What should the future of work look like? How should roles and responsibilities evolve? In what ways can technology enable better knowledge sharing and collaboration? How can leaders be trained to communicate better, have greater empathy and earn trust in a remote-work environment? Technology introduces new challenges for workers, but it can also solve many of them. To create sustainable change, companies often need to build new skills as employees work in new ways .

Forrester ranked Accenture as a leader in digital transformation management , saying that leaders "bring a clear vision for how they execute transformation with evidence from clients that this successfully leads to positive business outcomes."

Being digitally fluent will be key to future survival and growth.

How to enable digital transformation

Companies know that digital transformation is essential. Questions we often hear include "How should I start?" "Where do I start?" and "How can I fund this transformation?" Here are six action steps that help answer those questions and make change possible:

  • View it as business transformation. Customers should be top of mind in any transformation. Companies should start by identifying the key friction points that customers may be facing—whether in equipment sales, parts, service or elsewhere. Companies across industries are embarking on large-scale transformations as dramatic market shifts drive reinvention.
  • Develop your strategy and organizational change. A clear vision, an integrated approach and a focus on value are key to any transformation. Having the right transformation strategy and workplace—typically called a transformation office—is critical for all stakeholders.
  • Break down barriers to change. Focusing on customer challenges enables the breakdown of functional silos. It generally takes multiple functions to share information and solve for a quality customer experience.
  • Cultivate your partner ecosystem. Our study in the high-tech and software segment found that 89% of partners are looking for new sources of growth and operational effectiveness.
  • Adopt an agile approach. Agility is the key to any transformation. Fostering it starts with creating a business culture in which experimentation is encouraged and innovative ideas can flourish.
  • Fund it as an investment. Funding digital transformation is a complex process that is best approached one step at a time. In the short term, start with an end-to-end view of digital opportunities and requirements across the customer journey. From there, choose a challenge that fits your desired investment and payoff opportunity. By doing these things, organizations can self-fund innovation, optimize technology investments and remove roadblocks to change.
Today, all companies are tech companies.

Case studies

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Embracing digital transformation to help end hunger

The Felix Project is growing toward its goal of providing 100M meals per year by 2024.

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Airbus soars with wearables

Wearable technology helps Airbus optimize aircraft assembly and strengthens its competitive advantage.

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Digital transformation through SAP SuccessFactors

Compañía MEGA implemented SAP SuccessFactors® on the cloud—modernizing and optimizing HR.

Frequently asked questions

What are the five main areas of digital transformation.

The five main ways to address digital transformation are: reimagine your growth strategy powered by technology, realign your organization to put technology at the heart, adopt new practices for agility and experimentation, create a flexible technology core for sustainable change and empower your people to innovate with technology.

What is an example of digital transformation?

Think of two, similar consumer product companies. One has undergone a digital transformation, the other hasn’t. The traditional company simply produces and sells products according to what customers order. The transformed company, however, uses a steady flow of real-time data and insights on which products are being consumed, where and how quickly inventory is depleting. This informs production to maximize efficiency in the here and now, but also helps the company predict what consumers will want months or even years into the future.

How do you fund digital transformation?

Funding digital transformation is a complex process that is best approached one step at a time. In the short term, start with an end-to-end view of digital opportunities and requirements across the customer journey.

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  • Digital Marketing

START Planning Steps To Develop Your Digital Marketing Success Plan – S For Strategy

Find out how to achieve ROI and business outcomes with a documented digital marketing success plan. Get tips from Corey Morris' new book.

what is a digital business plan

This excerpt is from The Digital Marketing Success Plan, the new book from SEJ VIP Contributor Corey Morris.

In what is the most distracted and disrupted era in digital marketing–especially SEO–history, we’re testing and trying things out faster than ever. While change is coming at us fast, it is critically important to still have a documented, actionable, and accountable plan for your digital marketing efforts .

In his new book, Corey Morris, details a five-step START Planning process to help brands arrive at their own digital marketing success plans to ensure ROI and business outcomes are at the heart of every effort while allowing plenty of room and agility for the rapid changes we’re experiencing in digital and search marketing.

Search Engine Journal has an exclusive feature of the first step in the START Planning process–”S for Strategy”–unpacking the four steps in this first and most critical phase.

Chapter 3: S For Strategy

The Strategy Phase is the most comprehensive part of the START planning process. The subsequent phases are all dependent on the work done and defined in this phase.

Strategy works through profiling, auditing, research, and goal setting. Knowing what marketing has been done in the past, where things stand currently, and—most importantly—where you want to go is critical at this juncture and overall for any digital marketing success plan.

The strategy phase has four steps, the first of which is profile. This could be considered a simple step, as we’re just gathering information and definitions.

However, it could also be misinterpreted, and it is challenging because it requires an expert to ask the right questions. That includes detailing the team involved in the effort and defining the product (services) we must sell, the brand, and the target audiences.

In short, we’re putting the details on the table about who we are, our resources, and our capabilities. We are identifying what we’re selling, what value it has, how we deliver it, and the pricing model. We also must know what our brand is in terms of positioning, differentiation, and equity that it holds.

And, as important as anything, we must know who our target audience personas are, their customer behaviors, and the funnels or journeys they take to buy.

Anyone can ramble off some demographics or targets. But, as companies grow, having a mutually agreed understanding of what the business sells, who it sells to, and the money it costs to do so is extremely hard.

I say all of this in hopes that you don’t get stuck here on some of the hard details, and also knowing that if it is easy, you might want to challenge some things and see if you can go deeper and ensure that you truly have the agreement and buy-in that you seem to.

The second step in the strategy phase is audit. We need to know what we’ve done in the past and are currently doing so we have a full picture of what has worked, what hasn’t, and why. Audits are important at this juncture, and this step might be one of the most time-consuming in the entire digital marketing success plan development journey.

As you obtain or create documentation of historical activities, you’ll need access to all the past and present networks and platforms. Then, you can deep dive into audits , including technical paid search , technical SEO , content SEO , web systems, email marketing systems , and more, based on what has been done in the past and what is available for you at this juncture.

The third step in the strategy phase is research. So far, the focus has been on who we are and what we’ve done leading up to where we currently stand with our efforts. This phase is where we get perspectives beyond our own data and understanding.

This is where we seek out internal perspectives from marketing, sales, ops, product, and other relevant teams and stakeholders—as well as from our customers or clients. Additionally, we’re doing external research to learn new insights or validate what we think when it comes to competitors, target audiences, and what the future opportunity forecasts or models out for us.

The final step in strategy is goals. With a thorough picture of who we are, where we stand, and what opportunities are out there for us, we can workshop to arrive at a realistic set of goals . Maybe we came into the process with our own goals, or maybe at this point, we’re starting from scratch.

Regardless, this step is critical to the rest of the process and arriving at a plan that can drive success. This is where we look at business goals and how marketing can affect them and ensure we set proper expectations before we move the strategy from ideas to action.

“WE HAVE A PROBLEM” Premium Roofing Manufacturer Story

A high-end roofing manufacturing company came to us with a unique problem. Marcy, their marketing manager, had a lot of past success with SEO, their website and email marketing, and extensive campaigns driving traffic to their websites for homeowners and contractors alike–fueling their sales operations.

Marcy had gone through several different agencies over the past few years. She had varying experiences with them, had a great one for a while, and then had a couple that didn’t value or know as much about SEO. She didn’t realize that, at the time, it was a line item to some of those agencies. It was getting done, and rankings and traffic were fine. Nothing was sticking out of the ordinary.

One day, Marcy noticed a problem in Google Analytics. Traffic is starting to drop overall. She dives in and, as she is very familiar with the reports and channels and diagnoses this as an SEO problem within a minute. SEO traffic is dropping, but she can’t tell why.

The agency says everything looks good on their end. Marcy can’t find any errors on the site. However, there’s this mysterious drop where she can see they’re not where they used to be in the Google rankings. Subsequent drops in traffic, conversions, and form submissions going through to their sales team validate it.

She remembered her work with me a few years prior at a different agency and reached out. She thought of me as someone she could trust to fix any SEO problem, which I take as high praise. I was at a conference in Silicon Valley, getting ready to take the stage to speak about SEO troubleshooting.

And so that was the ironic part of it to me. I gave my speech and immediately after had a longer conversation with Marcy over the phone. I could dive in and see the same things she saw, and I knew that we needed to do a full audit very quickly and understand what was going on.

I brought the rest of my team back home into the challenge. Within two days, we had diagnosed two very acute issues that were hidden and that most people wouldn’t see. We wouldn’t have found them unless we had gone through our analysis auditing process to get that deep.

We presented those findings to Marcy and her CEO, who both knew how big of a negative impact this would have on their business if they didn’t get this corrected.

We presented three options. One was to fix the issues technically within their current site. Still, being forward-thinking and ROI-driven, we didn’t want just to offer to patch the holes and wait for the next problem to come. So, we presented two other plans. They included a midrange plan and a long-range plan to build a new website and not only fix the issues but also strategically amplify some other things.

They opted to invest in the new website, and that turned into an ongoing relationship with us to monitor and amplify their SEO and take it to new heights, not just reclaiming what they had lost but making new ground. And I’m excited that we saw that all the way through. It played out exactly as we had projected and was validated by growth for them.

The company eventually sold for a record amount and won awards from our peers for that work. The moral of the story is not just to accept the status quo but to realize that not all professionals who have SEO in their title have an equal set of skills. Auditing is an important tool in getting to the root cause, not just for fixing an immediate problem but even more critically for long-term success.

“WE HAVE TO GET THIS RIGHT” Continuing Care Retirement Community Story

Jamaal found us through Google. He was the director of admissions and marketing for a high-end retirement facility that serves as a continuing care community. They had everything: independent living, dining in chef-inspired restaurants, activities, a pub, and anything that active senior living would want through the continuum of care, including assisted living and skilled nursing.

They have an excellent reputation in their city and are well known; however, that’s with the community at large. They needed help to reach their target audience, who could be potential residents or adult child influencers in their lives—the next generation down.

When something happens, and it’s time to look for this type of living situation, the people at that important step are less aware and less prepared for the conversations they must have with their loved ones in a critical phase of life. These people were supposed to be moving into research and action toward admission.

Also, while it was a wealthy, high-end property, it was nonprofit, very benevolent, and gave back so much. The margins were tight, and there wasn’t a large marketing budget, but they knew they needed to do something.

Jamaal’s challenge when he came to us was, “I know you can do everything. I know I probably need all the things under the digital marketing umbrella. I even need a new website, but I don’t have the budget.”

We said, “That’s not a problem. We start small with many of our clients and find the areas where we can have the greatest ROI and impact. Then, we build from there and create budgets, opening up dollars for investment in other opportunities.”

So, we came into the situation, and we analyzed their audience. They had a wealth of data. They knew their business inside and out, and it was fantastic for us to see that. Still, they needed help understanding digital marketing and couldn’t connect the dots.

They had talked to three or four other providers who gave them high-ticket products or service offerings and didn’t want to work with them to find the right solution or where they should get the most bang for their buck.

We returned to them and recommended, “You should start with SEO.”

Jamaal laughed because he said that was the opposite recommendation that several of the other agencies had made. They had said, “No, you should start with $100,000 a month in Google Ads.”

I said, “You should start on SEO at a fraction of that,” even though we knew the challenges were there with being unable to build a new website. We’d have to navigate their antiquated website and optimize what they had.

We knew that telling the story, getting the content right, and even optimizing a lousy website would get us further along in the long-term journey of driving new leads to the website. We knew we only needed a handful of people to find the site to understand what they did at the right moment, get the right story, and come through the doors and experience this wonderful place.

After building momentum, one lead at a time, we could start talking about a new website, activate additional marketing channels, and layer in aspects of the digital marketing success plan to see success in the long term.

Ultimately, they grew as a business and their marketing investment grew respectively. Eventually, they were acquired by a large hospital system, where everyone could flourish and get the mission and the word out.

The moral of the story is it’s always better to do something rather than nothing.

But if you’re on a limited budget, understand that the obvious answers or the expensive ones aren’t necessarily the best ones. Be willing to dig into the data, do the hard work, and see the opportunity to create new budgets.

By seeing small successes, one at a time, you can build toward bigger things.

To learn more about why digital marketing planning is so important, Corey’s START Planning process, and how to implement which he details in the full book (including more real stories and “how to” sections for each phase of the process), download the book now on Amazon .

For a limited time through July 17, the Kindle version is only 99 cents.

You can also find out more information and free resources at https://thedmsp.com

More resources:

  • The Importance Of Starting Your SEO Campaign With Strategy Development
  • The Top 10 Digital Marketing Certificate Programs To Enroll In
  • SEO Strategy: A Full Year Blueprint

Featured Image: nuruddean/Shutterstock

Corey is the owner and President/CEO of Voltage. He has spent nearly 20 years working in strategic and leadership roles ...

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How To Start A Business Plan: A Step-By-Step Guide

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Creating a business plan is a critical first step for any entrepreneur. Knowing how to start a business plan will help you create a roadmap, guiding your business from startup to growth and beyond. Whether you're looking for investment, trying to set clear goals, or simply organizing your thoughts, a solid business plan can make all the difference.

Here is a guide to help you get started on your business plan:

1. executive summary.

What It Is: This section summarizes your business plan as a whole and outlines your company profile and goals.

What to Include:

  • Business name and location
  • Products or services offered
  • Mission statement
  • The purpose of the plan (e.g., seeking funding, guiding the startup process)

Tip: Keep it concise. Although it's the first section, it's often best to write it last, after you’ve detailed everything else.

2. Company Description

What It Is: This section provides detailed information about your company, including who you are, what you do, and what markets you serve.

Ingrid Andress’ National Anthem At 2024 Home Run Derby Draws Criticism Online

Trump—with bandaged ear and misty eyes—appears at republican convention (photos), elon musk will give about $45 million a month to support trump, report says.

  • Your business structure (e.g., sole proprietorship, LLC, corporation)
  • The industry and marketplace needs your business meets
  • Your business’s objectives and how you stand out from competitors

Tip: Use this section to highlight your company’s strengths and what makes you unique.

3. Market Research

What It Is: Market research demonstrates your understanding of the industry and target market.

  • Market size and growth potential
  • Target customer demographics
  • Market trends and outlook
  • Competitive analysis, including strengths and weaknesses of competitors

Tip: Include data and statistics to back up your findings and show that you’ve done your homework.

4. Organization and Management

What It Is: This section outlines your business’s organizational structure and management team.

  • Organizational chart
  • Information about the ownership of the company
  • Backgrounds and qualifications of the management team
  • Roles and responsibilities within the company

Tip: Highlight the skills and experiences of your team that will help the business succeed.

5. Products or Services Line

What It Is: Here, you detail the products or services you offer or plan to offer.

  • A description of each product or service
  • The lifecycle of products or services
  • Research and development activities, if applicable
  • Intellectual property, such as patents or trademarks

Tip: Focus on the benefits your products or services bring to your customers.

6. Marketing and Sales Strategy

What It Is: This section explains how you will attract and retain customers.

  • Marketing strategies, including advertising, promotions, and public relations
  • Sales strategies, including sales processes, channels, and tactics
  • Pricing strategy and how it compares to competitors

Tip: Ensure your marketing and sales strategies are aligned with your market research findings.

7. Funding Request

What It Is: If you’re seeking funding , this section outlines your requirements.

  • Your current funding needs
  • Future funding requirements over the next five years
  • How you intend to use the funds
  • Potential future financial plans (e.g., selling the business, repaying debt)

Tip: Be specific and realistic about how much funding you need and how it will be used.

8. Financial Projections

What It Is: Financial projections provide a forecast of your business’s financial future.

  • Income statements
  • Cash flow statements
  • Balance sheets
  • Break-even analysis

Tip: Use realistic and conservative estimates. Consider hiring a financial professional to help with this section if needed.

9. Appendix

What It Is: The appendix includes any additional information that supports your business plan.

  • Resumes of key management team members
  • Permits and leases
  • Legal documents
  • Detailed market research data
  • Product photos

Tip: Only include essential information that adds value to your business plan.

Final Tips for Creating a Business Plan

Creating a business plan requires clarity and precision. First and foremost, keep your business plan clear and concise. Avoid using jargon or complex language that could make the plan difficult to read or understand. Your aim should be to communicate your ideas effectively and efficiently.

Next, be realistic in your approach. Ensure that your goals and financial projections are attainable based on your research and understanding of the market. Overly ambitious projections can undermine your credibility and potentially lead to unrealistic expectations.

It's also essential to remember that a business plan is a dynamic document. As your business grows and market conditions change, you should revisit and revise your plan regularly. This helps you stay aligned with your goals and adapt to new challenges and opportunities.

Finally, seek feedback from experienced business professionals. Having someone with business experience review your plan can provide valuable insights and help identify any potential issues or areas for improvement. Their feedback can enhance the overall quality and effectiveness of your business plan.

By following these tips, you'll be better equipped to create a robust and effective business plan that can guide your business towards success.

The bottom line is that starting a business plan may seem challenging, but with careful planning and attention to detail, you can create a comprehensive guide to steer your business toward success. Use this step-by-step guide to ensure that all essential components are covered, giving your business the best possible start.

Melissa Houston, CPA is the author of Cash Confident: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Creating a Profitable Business and the founder of She Means Profit . As a Business Strategist for small business owners, Melissa helps women making mid-career shifts, to launch their dream businesses, and I also guide established business owners to grow their businesses to more profitably.

The opinions expressed in this article are not intended to replace any professional or expert accounting and/or tax advice whatsoever.

Melissa Houston

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Thailand is set to roll out a controversial $13.8 billion handout plan in digital money to citizens

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Thailand’s Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, delivers his speech during the Soft Power Forum in Bangkok, Thailand, Monday, June 28, 2024. Thailand’s prime minister said Monday July 15, 2024 that eligible businesses and individuals can register from August for digital cash handouts, a controversial program that will cost billions of dollars and is meant to boost the lagging economy. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

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BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand’s prime minister said Monday that eligible businesses and individuals can register from August for digital cash handouts, a controversial program that will cost billions of dollars and is meant to boost the lagging economy.

The government announced in April the widely criticized ambitious plan, named the Digital Wallet, meant to give 10,000 baht (about $275) to 50 million citizens in digital money to spend at local businesses.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin posted on the social platform X, saying the registration will begin Aug. 1 and that he has given instructions to ensure the smooth implementation of the program.

The “Digital Wallet” was a major campaign promise of the ruling Srettha’s Pheu Thai party ahead of last year’s general election. The government says that this scheme will cause an “economic tornado,” and Srettha has said the stimulus and subsequent consumption are expected to boost gross domestic product growth by 1.2 to 1.6 percentage points.

However, economists have criticized the program, calling it an ineffective way to contribute to sustainable economic growth compared to other measures.

Image

In addition, its financing has faced several hurdles, delaying its planned implementation. At first, the government said the state Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives would cover some of the funding needed. However, after warnings by financial experts, it was announced that the project’s funding would come out of the 2024 and 2025 fiscal budgets.

Deputy Minister of Finance Julapan Amornvivat said at a news conference on Monday the budgetary funding became possible after the plan’s estimated cost dropped from 500 billion baht ($13.8 billion) to 450 billion baht ($12.4 billion), asserting that all estimated 50 million people will still be part of the program as only up to 90% of those eligible utilized them in previous handouts.

Julapan added that the Digital Wallet committee has agreed to exclude tens of thousands of shopowners and cash recipients who have a record of committing fraud in past programs.

The plan also has certain limitations, such as excluding certain goods that are yet to be decided, and earlier proposals suggested oil, services, and online purchases should be among them. Julapan said the Commerce Ministry would handle the exclusions set to be announced next week after the detailed plan is submitted to the Cabinet.

Thailand has in recent years suffered from a sluggish economy that appears to have deteriorated with no clear sign of growth. This month, the World Bank’s Thailand Economic Monitor projected GDP growth of 2.4% for the year 2024.

The ruling Pheu Thai party had initially suggested digital wallet payments for all Thais 16 and older, but later this was limited to only lower-income Thais, defined as people with yearly incomes not exceeding 840,000 baht (about $23,000) and savings in financial institutions not totaling more than 500,000 baht ($13,700).

what is a digital business plan

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  27. Thailand is set to roll out a controversial $13.8 billion handout plan

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  28. Thailand is set to roll out a controversial $13.8 billion handout plan

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  29. CNN chief Mark Thompson announces sweeping overhaul of news network

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  30. Habitat for Humanity of the Charlotte Region, Gaston merging

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