How Digital Strategy is changing

It’s been a whirlwind visit to the Marketing Week live! event at London’s Olympia but there’s been enough time to see enough speakers to help crystallise some thoughts about how digital strategy for business is changing.

I’ve been working with digital for 15 years now. I started out as a web designer and am now in my second position as a digital strategy director in Brighton. I’ve seen a lot of change, notably in the last 3 years with the advent of social media.



A common misconception of the social media revolution is that it is all about marketing. Having worked for a full service digital marketing agency for 9 years I can see why. Social media was an obvious logical part of a content distribution plan, and content as the old adage goes ‘is king’. Or rather it was. Then came context, and I believe it is the context of what we call social media that has changed everything.

Now it is starting to be realised that social media touches on all parts of business and is not a specific discipline but a new way in which business has to be conducted in a social context and that this transition is what is facilitated by a digital strategy – it has to be holistic and it has to be all-consuming.

13 smart guys by Will Lion

13 smart guys by Will Lion

So that’s quite a big ask right? I mean how many people are there out there who could honestly say that they are best suited to this task? Ask me and I’d have to tell you that I am well placed, but the reality is that I haven’t worked in customer service, I haven’t worked directly in PR, I haven’t worked in product development and I haven’t worked with loyalty programmes or run CRM systems, but it is all of these critical business facilities that are touched on by Social Media.

This is why I enjoyed the panel this morning. On it were directors of the top UK agencies in this space – Mindshare, Razorfish, Headstream, and Made by Many. There was a fair amount of grey hair amongst them, but it wasn’t so much the marketing driven members of the panel that won over but the creative types. This is important as I believe that the way to make this all work for business to survive in the social web is to ensure the transition is one that embraces creative ideas. The way that business will survive in the future is by allowing everyone to be able to do all of those core business functions listed above (in a way that is easy to adopt from a technological point of view), but one that is ultimately creative.

It’s creativity that will bring change and herald a new era of collaboration within the strategic phase, and indeed strategy itself that will change to be more of an iterative process, involving all internal parties as well as the client, in permanent beta from day one, and with a constantly evolving solution.

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Not in the least bit copyrighted by Tim Aldiss 2012