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  • Digital Business Strategy Definition, Concepts, and Strategies

    16 min read

    Innovation

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    What is Digital Business Strategy?

    Digital business strategy is about using developments in technology to improve how companies bring value to 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. 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.

    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.

    eXtended Business Model Canvas
    The UNITE eXtended Business Model Canvas
    Designed by: Digital Leadership AG – Building on the work of Alexander Osterwalder, the Lean Canvas, and the thinking of Patrick Stahler

    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 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.

    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, and technology adoption.

    Digital Transformation Strategy
    Digital Transformation Strategy

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

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

    Related: Digital Transformation Strategy Framework, Tips & Examples

    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.

    Related: Incremental Innovation Definition, Examples & Goals

    Culture

    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.

    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 percent 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. In 2017,

    Etsy reported that over 97 percent of the business owners selling on their e-commerce platform ran their businesses from home, and over 75 percent 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

    How To Build A Successful Digital Transformation 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.

    Automate

    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 scene 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.

    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 those 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
    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.

    Related: How to measure Innovation? Innovation Metrics for Companies

    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 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 marketing channel, which is a type of direct marketing, as 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 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 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 menu. 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 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 Facebook, Instagram, or WhatsApp 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 out 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.

    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.

    In addition to this view on digital strategy, we have a variety of other ground-breaking tools and models. Register for the pre-launch of our book “How to Create Innovation”

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    1. Why digital marketing is important for any business growth strategy?

      Because digital marketing connects businesses with customers online, it is essential. It is applicable to all industries, through SEO, PPC, social media marketing, and email marketing, it connects businesses to their ideal customers.

    2. How do you create a digital business strategy?

      Here's a Digital Marketing Strategy Framework:

      1. Explore the Landscape, Market Research & Analyze your Findings.
      2. Plan your strategy.
      3. Define your target audience & Understand their unmet Needs.
      4. Content Strategy Mapping.
      5. Establish benchmarks and KPIs.
      6. Use best practices.
      7. Analyze and optimize.


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