Saturday, April 29, 2017

Consultants: 3 Action Items on How to Incorporate Digital Strategy in Client Projects


As a consultant, it is becoming increasingly important to be well-versed on digital strategy. As a student at Northwestern University studying Learning and Organizational Change and Integrated Marketing Communications, I have found two articles on creating digital strategies that you will find interesting and informative.

In the LinkedIn article, “How to win the digital race by coming in second, and other (often surprising) ways to reinvent for the digital world,” McKinsey & Company consultant Jacques Bughin discusses how digital disruption has impacted incumbent companies. Bughin explains that new companies entering the industry have business models that go against those of incumbents, giving these younger companies advantage in the market. In order to stay competitive, Bughin suggests that these long-standing companies revamp their digital strategies to meet and exceed the success of their younger counterparts. Their new approaches should center on proactivity, seeking to lead advances in digital, instead of following current trends. Furthermore, it is critical to invest in the resources to spearhead these digital developments, so companies need to allocate talent and tools to these advances. 

Image Source: Third Team Media 

In his Accenture Strategy article, "What is a digital strategy?” consultant Mark McDonald emphasizes the importance of understanding the direction in which digital strategy is moving. McDonald explains that following past and current digital trends is not a guaranteed recipe for success, so it is important for companies to constantly search for new functionality to reinvent their digital strategy. With this knowledge, companies can change their digital approaches before their competitors, in order to have first mover advantage in the eyes of consumers. McDonald also explains that digital strategy must be the core of the larger business strategy, in order to stay relevant for consumes and translate into revenue.

Based on my review of these two articles and my studies in marketing and organizational development at Northwestern, I have created three action items that you should consider when building a digital strategy for your clients:
  • Be digitally offensive - You need to be proactive, not reactive, with digital strategies, in order to have first mover advantage in the industry.
  • Invest for success - You must invest in tools and employee training programs to improve digital capabilities within a company.
  • Expand traditional playbook - You must go beyond your current digital strategy by expanding the company’s current approach to include new functions and processes.
When working on your next project, make sure to consider these ways to enhance the digital strategies you are recommending to your client.


About the Author: Hello, I’m McKenna Kulish. I am currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Learning and Organizational Change with a certificate in Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University, and I am graduating in June 2017. You can follow me on Twitter @McKenna_Kulish or find me on LinkedIn.

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