9 Signs of a Failing Online Strategy
Whether you work for a huge enterprise or run a small business, growing your business online comes down to a winning online strategy. To be successful — by making sales, capturing leads, supporting customers, and growing your online reputation — you must create and execute a comprehensive plan that connects all of the many moving parts of the modern web. This includes design and branding, web and mobile development, and digital marketing efforts.
How can you tell if your strategy is a winner, or destined to fail?
We’ve put together a list of 9 signs and symptoms of a failing online strategy to watch out for in your plan and your team.
This List is Based on our Company's Nearly Two Decades of Experience Helping Businesses Maximize Their Online Potential
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It’s the existential question we’ve all asked ourselves at some point: Why are we here? What are your company’s most fundamental beliefs? Your mission and values aren’t just some fluffy content for your website’s About Us page. They are the compass that guides every decision you make.
Speaking of direction, does it sometimes feel like your business is “all over the place”? This often stems from a strategy lacking vision, direction, and focus. Failure to define a clear path forward for each component of your business results in management making on-the-fly, trend-following decisions that are not always consistent with your core capabilities and business objectives. These kinds of “audible calls” may or may not get documented or communicated across the organization, which can result in any number of additional problems, many of which are covered in this article.
It is common for a business to map out a strategy for external forces and upward/outward growth, but to overlook its fundamentals. Imagine if Blayzer had stopped nurturing our core competency of web development over the years. We could have missed the boat on the mobile responsive design or let our programmers become dinosaurs. But we didn’t, because we have a plan in place for keeping up with the latest technologies. This is what a strategy should do.
Duplication of work and resources is a major problem that costs companies a lot of time and money. Many common workflow and business process efficiency issues can be easily avoided by having a unified strategy in place. This is especially true in marketing, where a campaign can almost always benefit from cross-channel integration.
Is your strategy based on assumptions, or real data? Managers, team members, partners, and investors are all less energized by unsupported business decisions. Take the time to do your essential research, and you will gain confidence to be agile and bold.
Consider this example: A business may know that they want to increase traffic to their sales website, but they don’t state how or plan out how to track where the traffic is coming from. They may want to get more customers, but not know how many they need or how many contacts are currently in an active marketing channel. They may know they want to “do Facebook”, but they don’t outline specifics like campaigns, features, policies, marketing voice, and more. Without specific goals and guidelines, it’s hard to know exactly what you need to do, and it is difficult to quantify success along the way.
Many companies may have created a strategy, but do not follow it. Across the board failure to follow the path you’ve outlined might signal an issue with management and personnel, but it also indicates that there are critical problems within the underlying plan. A proper strategy describes how you will measure success and hold business areas accountable for results.
Lack of clear direction and misunderstanding of each other’s goals and challenges can create a whole host of problems with your team. Uncertainty, miscommunication, finger pointing, oversights, and other negative experiences can result in declining team morale as employees lack confidence in the future for themselves and the business itself.
Your strategy may have worked when you first mapped it out 5 years ago, but is that same plan still working for you today? Just think about all that has happened on the web since 2010. Chances are, it’s time to step it up and get with the times. Not only do some tactics grow stale and produce fewer results over time, but you may be missing out on valuable opportunities to gain market share and increase profits.
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