How to guide: Business planning

31 October 2015

Why your business needs a digital strategy and how you can start developing and implementing it in your business planning

What is a digital strategy?

Small to medium businesses in Australia are increasingly embracing elements of digital strategy to connect with their customers and boost their growth.

In fact, increasing your business’s digital presence should be a top business priority, and for 47 per cent of Australian businesses it is, according to the Sensis Business Index – Small and Medium Enterprises (March 2013).

More than just a marketing tool, a holistic digital business strategy should be a roadmap of activity and initiatives specific to your business.

Why do I need a digital business strategy?  

A UQ Business School study found businesses that adopt digital strategies are more likely to see increased productivity, profit and revenue gains.

If you’re not investigating how digital can be applied to improve your business, you are missing opportunities and risking outside competition stealing your market share.

Small businesses that are digitally engaged are twice as likely to be growing, and earn twice as much revenue per employee than those who aren’t engaged with digital.

Elements of a digital strategy

A digital strategy is not a one-size-fits-all answer for your business, it is a plan that adds value to your business through the use of digital technology.

A business with a strong digital strategy might incorporate a few or a lot of the following elements:

  • Use a website to sell products or services.
  • Use a smartphone to take bookings and communicate with customers online.
  • Use digital marketing to attract and communicate with customers through activities like social media, search engine optimisation and online advertising.
  • Use digital within its internal operations.
  • Use cloud computing to store data.
  • Use technology to capture customer intelligence.
  • Use digital to assist with governance, employee and network engagement and enterprise integration.

Implementing a digital business strategy:

When starting your digital strategy, the following are useful considerations

  • My business needs a website.
  • My business uses email to communicate externally and internally.
  • My business uses email, and also has a website and uses some social media for marketing.
  • My business actively uses its website and social media to reach new customers and also uses online advertising.
  • My business uses digital technologies to communicate with existing customers, reach new ones and sell products/services.
  • My business uses digital technology internally to improve systems and store data.
  • My business makes use of technologies including search engine optimisation and search engine marketing. 

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