“If you’re not confused, you’re not paying attention.”
― Tom Peters, Thriving on Chaos
In a world where everything is digitally connected, and which is witnessing changes at an unprecedented pace, the pressure to deliver results is greater than ever before. We live and work in a complex ecosystem in which businesses have no alternative but to adapt and excel in the digital world if they want to remain competitive.
In this environment, creating and executing a digital strategy provides a uniquely complex challenge that’s quite different to those faced by businesses in the past:
Creating a digital strategy requires a company to identify its strengths and weaknesses, to monitor and evaluate the competition and the industry they work in and to use digital technologies to tie it back to their strategic objectives. Executing a digital strategy calls for the company to take that strategy and to execute it seamlessly across each function of the business, sometimes in areas where its employees don’t have the right skills or expertise.
In order to achieve the above, companies must embrace complexity, continuous change and innovation and they must understand and execute in the areas where true value lies.
“The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change”
Complexity is caused by the continuous evolution of technology. We are witnessing the ongoing growth of the ability to process information in combination with the overwhelming abundance of data generated in a digitally connected ecosystem. The digital world is evolving at a frantic pace and new digital tools are coming out almost every day. On top of that, individuals are quick to pick up new technologies while companies usually lag behind. This new environment affects the way that people communicate, where they dedicate their time and their attention and their expectations towards the brands they interact with.
As a by-product of the constant innovation, there are too many digital tools, communication and social media platforms (Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, blogs, podcasts, etc). Each medium or platform serves a purpose and comes with its own unique audience and share of consumer attention. In this sea of newfound buzzwords, it’s almost impossible for a marketing manager to understand and master everything.
These days, there are a million touchpoints in the consumer decision journey. A consumer can interact with a brand online or offline, in a store or on a mobile/tablet, on social media or on Netflix. All these consumer touchpoints make the job of a marketing manager even more difficult, as it’s challenging to understand how to add value through each one of them while maintaining brand consistency and equivalent levels of customer experience.
This reality has made the John Wanamaker’s famous quote [“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half”] even more relevant. It’s common for a marketing manager to find it difficult to evaluate and decide whether to outsource or hire, or whether their in-house digital team or the agency that they hired is living up to expectations. And since marketing managers are always under pressure to deliver results, any ambiguity in digital performance only makes their job more stressful. A wrong choice of personnel or a wrong choice when selecting a digital agency means in most cases that the marketing manager will have to get personally involved, spend time and waste resources in a situation that is already complex enough and out of their comfort zone.
How to reduce Complexity
“Great things in business are never done by one person; they’re done by a team of people.”
– Steve Jobs
Find The Right Partner
The first step of solving any issue is to realize that it exists. And the quest is not how to become an omni-super-marketing manager rather than to accept the fact that the pace of change is huge and the skills required are ever evolving. In light of this realization, the single best way to reduce complexity is to find a partner that its sole focus and objective is to help marketing managers and companies navigate through this complex ecosystem.
This is what Base Element is. Our mission is to – BE the foundational ingredient, the Base Element – in our clients’ pursuit of excellence.
We have the expertise to handle the evolution of technology. We live and breathe digital and we can understand the strategic business objectives of our clients.
Review The Fundamentals Of Your Business In A Digital Context
We focus on understanding our clients’ businesses and their consumers’ behaviours and then use our expertise and technological readiness to design engaging cross channel and cross device experiences that fit our clients’ strategic objectives.
We provide tailor-made solutions and make sure that our client is always using the cutting edge technology they need without having to worry about the execution and the operations. In this way, we help our clients to compete in a hyper-connected digital world in an effortless way that guarantees results.
Our team of strategists, creatives, digital marketers, data specialists and technologists work seamlessly to help our clients to take advantage of digital technologies to transform their business. We tread the fine line between sensitivity to our clients’ comfort zones and the need to push them towards a more comprehensive digital strategy.
Remember that strategy needs to come first. That’s why we work closely with our clients to develop a digital strategy that ties in directly with the company’s business objectives and minimises their overall complexity. We put measurable results first and carry out a progressive change instead of overwhelming employees – and their managers – with too much too soon.
Break It Down Into Smaller Pieces.
Looking at a digital strategy can be intimidating and daunting. In a lot of cases just looking at it brings up that overwhelming feeling of complexity. However, if we break it into smaller, simpler and more scalable projects its perceived complexity is enormously reduced.
These projects can be sizeable and therefore easier to plan, manage and finance. They also mean that business will continue running smoothly without turbulences usually caused by big scale projects.
Putting together these projects will lead to revealing the big picture your strategy is set to achieve.
Blend Internal Resources With Strong Agency Project Leadership
The level of execution of the various projects under the digital strategy is decisive. We tend to follow an approach which keeps all parties involved, engaged and committed and delivers the best possible results across all clients and projects.
We form modular teams that mix both our own experts and our clients’ employees. That helps to bring together a variety of skills and experience and to create a team that’s working together towards a common goal.
We typically start by carrying out brainstorms before moving on to ideation, prototyping, design and ultimately implementation. The aim is to build the perfect team with the knowledge they need and a strong project leader in place to guide them in the right direction.
A project leader is assigned from within our own staff to keep the project on track and on budget. The project leader also makes it a priority to gather ongoing feedback from the client while also tracking results and key metrics.
The combined expertise of the modular team and the defining role of the agency project leader ensures that there’s an alignment between the company’s business objectives and the work that needs to be done. It also makes sure that there’s a clear roadmap of tasks to be executed and processes to be implemented and updated on the way to the project’s completion. Experience and leadership are our main weapons in the effort to reduce complexity and to bring clarity to our clients’ organisations.
Embrace The Complexity And Use It To Your Advantage
In our experience, this is the most effective way to deal with complexity, build internal engagement and make digital an indispensable element of your everyday business efforts. The concepts behind the approach are simple but getting it right requires expertise, versatility and patience. The end result is the achievement of your business objectives by bringing people and technology together to reduce complexity, minimise risk and to promote success.
It is a complex world and it is not getting any simpler especially in terms of business and communication. However, it doesn’t have to be complicated. Embrace the complexity and build the right partnerships that will work with you towards common goals and objectives.