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Are You “On The Line?”

Hello my name is Carl. Can I ask you a question? – Are you “on the line”? … “On the line” I am borrowing the phrase from that famous gift to our culture, Mama Mia.

Sorry for the slight joke while asking such a very important question. Is there an online (we could extend this to digital) strategy as part of your business strategy? If you have a website, but do not know why, then you are not “on the line”.

Let’s have a chat about that. By being online I am able to chat with you with no barrier in time or geography. I can chat with you when you want me to, if you want me to. But if you don’t I am still chatting with…well you, over there, as well.

Being online means you have many other channels to communicate with who you want to communicate. Your potential audience can be so much larger than almost any other form of communication, at a far lower cost than, say, TV advertising during the Superbowl, the FA Cup or, for those of us at that age, “who shot JR”.

It can be that large, but you can actually decide who “walks into your shop”. Effective selection and use of the many channels available to a digital strategy can provide this focus.
And pound for pound or dollar for dollar, the return can be so much greater than from any other avenue.

You cannot just expect people to visit your website, find your telephone number and call to place an order. Digital means two way communication is vital, through whichever channels (website, web app, search engine optimisation, facebook, twitter, blog, smartphone app…) you choose. Digital means you can improve awareness and conversion.

Your digital strategy can be simple or complex. I like to see it as a living beast, whose evolution can be controlled and improved to achieve the best. Each business can decide on the number of “limbs” their strategy has.

So you want to be “on the line” What should you do? Well, step back, look at your business. Think about the areas where you think it can be improved and how you can use digital. Then implement and, importantly, assess and improve.
So plan, build, use and measure. Starting with a little common sense being “on the line” can improve or even become your business. It does not take a rocket scientist to know:

• 24 year old athletes are not the primary market for mobility scooters
• Double glazing should not be aimed at college students
• More visitors are needed to a website selling socks than mobile homes
• You do not want to sell 20 in a month, if you can only make 5

Simple starting points can lead to an effective digital strategy. But, remember, as in building a house or attacking at football. It isn’t worth anything without finishing. Each channel or sub channel in your digital strategy will have measurable results. Are these results leading to the ultimate in making your digital strategy work for your business?

Or are you suffering from the 20:80 rule. 20% of your strategy is giving you 80% of your return. By “finishing” the digital strategy and measuring the results for each channel you use (including that less productive 80%), you then have the ability to improve or remove.

Having a digital strategy and being “on the line” is a continual, dynamic process. Fine tuning can be quick and easy with rapid results.