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Sapient's Little Black Book of Digital Strategy 2014


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You know digital is important, but what exactly is digital strategy? To ignite your exploration, Sapient's Nonprofit Practice brought together key concepts about digital strategy into one convenient Little Black Book.

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Sapient's Little Black Book of Digital Strategy 2014

  1. 1. The Little Black Book of Digital Strategy
  2. 2. 2 “The visionary starts with a clean sheet of paper and reimagines the world.” — Malcolm Gladwell Keynote at Sapient iEX, Idea Exchange 2013 ABOUT THIS BOOK You are here. You picked up this book. You know digital is important, but what exactly is digital strategy? To ignite your exploration, we have brought together key concepts about digital strategy into one convenient little black book. At Sapient, nothing excites us more than enabling curious people like you to reimagine the digital world.
  3. 3. 3 DIGITAL: POWER TO IMPACT THE WORLD We live in an always-on world where constant connectivity transforms how we access information, shapes and deepens our conversations, and changes how we unite with other human beings. From the desk of a global CEO, to the couch of a college undergrad, to the kitchen of a busy parent, digital gives us all the power to impact the world. A digital strategy helps you harness this power and is vital for your organization to connect with people. A digital strategy defines the organizational benefits of digital initiatives and provides a path for how to achieve those outcomes.
  4. 4. 4 DIGITAL STRATEGY CREATION It’s easy to get lost in all the hype. Take these steps into consideration before you dive into digital: ALIGN ORGANIZATIONAL OBJECTIVES Be clear from the beginning how a digital strategy will help you meet organizational objectives. SET CLEAR METRICS Two typical metrics for digital include Return on Investment (ROI) – the revenue you are getting back for the cost your putting in - and Return on Engagement (ROE) – the human engagement you are getting back for the cost your putting in. UNDERSTAND YOUR AUDIENCE Remember to keep your audiences’ needs, particularly unmet needs, and expectations as the main driving force of your digital strategy. User Experience (UX) is critical; if your audience can’t easily navigate your website or use your mobile app, they will go elsewhere… or worse… complain loudly to their 7,546 followers on Twitter. Yikes. PRIORITIZE Digital strategies happen in iterations; Use your audiences’ needs and your budget to prioritize what happens first and don’t worry about the rest just yet – you’ll get there. FUTURE PROOF Anticipate future developments to keep up with the constant changing nature of digital technology. Plan ahead to seize opportunities and mitigate potential issues.
  5. 5. 5 POLICIES AND STANDARDS There are many policies and standards needed to build, execute, and maintain an effective digital strategy. A few of them include: DIGITAL GOVERNANCE Sets the policies, standards, and operating procedures to create, execute, and manage the digital strategy. DEVELOPMENT STANDARDS Helps your developers operate more efficiently and makes the most of your technology by outlining highly technical things like network and server infrastructure to less technical things like file naming conventions. SOCIAL MEDIA POLICIES Establishes how to maintain your organ-ization’s brand, interact with your online audiences, and moderate your social media profiles. CONTENT GOVERNANCE Part of a content strategy, content governance keeps your content streamlined by setting the rules and regulations for creating, implement-ing and managing your content. DESIGN STYLE GUIDES Keeps you “on brand” (and out of your designer’s dog house) by setting guidelines for brand colors, typography, logo position and usage, photography, and other art assets. WRITING STYLE GUIDES Establishes the personality of your brand through an outlined tone and voice by creating the set standard for writing copy across all platforms and channels.
  6. 6. 6 DIGITAL STRATEGY TEAM Creating and implementing a digital strategy takes a team. Some of the team players fall into the categories below and the more of them you get involved from the beginning, the better. Just remember that your audience is a central part of this team. USER EXPERIENCE PROFESSIONALS Ensure your digital initiatives meet audience expectations and needs • Information Architects • Visual Designers • Interaction Designers • Usability Testers COMMUNICATORS Define, create and share content that connects with audiences • Social Media Specialists • Copywriters • Communication Specialists TECHNOLOGISTS Create, build, and test solutions that are stable and usable • Front End Developers • Back End Developers • Platform Specialists • Quality Assurance Tester STRATEGISTS Answer questions like why do you need a digital strategy? What will the digital strategy do? Who is the digital strategy for? • Business Strategists • Digital Strategists • Content Strategists • User Researchers ENGAGE YOUR AUDIENCE EARLY AND OFTEN
  7. 7. “Accelerating and innovating to match the pace of digital requires a clear vision, a focus on the audience and a team of diverse skillsets, perspectives and experiences. Today, the question is not if organizations should adopt a digital strategy, but if they have the right team to create and execute one.” — Nathan Brewer, Vice President Sapient Nonprofit Practice Leader
  8. 8. 8 A FRAMEWORK FOR DIGITAL The following framework is a simplified model to think about digital from information creation to information presentation to the audience. By separating digital into layers, we gain a clearer understanding of the importance of each layer and how they support one another. A more complex cyclical model would include audience research and an analytics framework to operationalize data-driven decision making. INFORMATION LAYER Your digital information • Data • Content (Text, Video, Audio) PLATFORM LAYER How you manage your information • Web and Enterprise Content Management Systems (CMS) • Application Program Interface (API) • Customer Relationship Management Systems (CRM) • Databases PRESENTATION LAYER How you present your information • Web • Digital Displays • Mobile • Social Media
  9. 9. 9 CONTENT GOVERNANCE What are the operational processes and mechanisms required to ensure the continued success of content? CONTENT DELIVERY What delivery model is necessary to acquire, create, maintain and optimize content? DIGITAL CONTENT CONTENT EXPERIENCE What is the content experience for the audience? What goes into a digital solution? To which user(s) is it targeted? Content is the life force behind your digital strategy – it’s what you use to connect with your audiences. Content strategy is a piece of digital strategy and is the systematic, thoughtful approach to creating the most relevant, effective, and appropriate content at the most opportune time, to the appropriate audience. We break down content strategy into three pillars: DON’T LET YOUR LIFE FORCE BECOME A DISEASE – AVOID THESE COMMON MISTAKES: • Outdated or missing content • Off-message, stale, inconsistent content • Inconsistent experiences across all audience touch points or platforms • Little to no personalization to the content • Lack of content ownership – no one is accountable • Lack of governance or oversight to control quality, accuracy and legality • Content that does not fulfill or meet audience needs • Inefficient use of powerful, and often expensive technology
  10. 10. 10 DIGITAL LINGO ANALYTICS Analytics includes data analysis, statistics, and insights. All of this information helps you make informed decisions on how to improve your digital presence. Common metrics include views, clicks, click through rate, number of downloads, number of users, unique visitors, and conversion/buy rate. API An Application Programming Interface is a set of tools (data libraries, etc.) that developers use to create new features for a digital platform, or connect one platform to another. For example, you can use Facebook’s API as your user name and password to login to other websites. APPS Short for applications, Apps are small, focused programs loaded onto your smartphone or tablet. Three types of apps include: web, native, and hybrid. CMS A Content Management System is a platform for organizing information, data, and user information for a website. It is the interface used by website owners to create and publish information. CRM Customer Relationship Management systems are used to create and manage user accounts for websites including maintaining your user preferences. DATABASE Databases store all kinds of information in an organized fashion. Databases can store structured data (i.e. numbers) or unstructured data (i.e. text, pictures, etc.) METATAGS Metatags provide information like what your webpage is about, who created it, how often its updated and keywords that describe the page’s content. MICROSITE Small, targeted websites, created for specific, often time-bound, purposes. Good uses of microsites include promoting an event, advertising promotions, etc. PLATFORM A way to organize digital information. Think of it as the foundation that your digital presence is built on ROE Return on Engagement. A key metric in social media and Digital. ROE measures online and digital traffic and transactions, measures it against dollars invested. Some metrics include likes, forwards, tweets, retweets, downloads, average time spent per user, etc. ROI Return on Investment. Similar to ROE, ROI measures dollars received versus dollars invested. This may be measured in raw currency, tracked by donations received, or by members gained. RSS Really Simple Syndication. Scans the Internet for content personalized to your preferences, and presents it in a simple, organized way. Want to read the headlines from all the major newspapers in the U.S. in less than hour? RSS to the rescue! SEO Search Engine Optimization helps your audience find your content easier by bringing your website or webpage to the top of search results like Google or Yahoo! WIDGETS Similar to apps, widgets are small, visually based applications on your smartphone, tablet, or internet browser that can be programmed for a different functions. Widgets can be music players, to calendars, to weather forecasters.
  11. 11. 11 Why do we exist? How do we do what we do today, but better? Where have we been, where are we going, and how are we going to get there? Our approach to working with nonprofits is not just about providing the answers but about understanding the questions in the first place. We work to optimize organizations by understanding your goals—and then recommending and implementing the means to achieve them. DIGITAL SOLUTIONS + By collaborating with your organization to assess, improve, integrate, or develop business processes and strategies, we can help nonprofits focus energies and dollars on their constituents, and modernize operations so you can maximize impact. From mobile solutions for fund-raising or public outreach, to technology platform solutions for member education or data capture and sharing, we understand the tools and software unique to nonprofits—and how they define the ways in which users experience your organization. Whether the challenge is increasing membership, increasing awareness, or increasing revenues, we help nonprofit organizations connect with the public, and engage and retain donors, members, volunteers and employees. We help nonprofits define, refine, understand the impact of, and analyze the relevance of your mission and vision, and we work with you to develop and document the plans behind those big ideas. BUSINESS MODEL & PROCESS MODERNIZATION TECH STRATEGIES & SOLUTIONS MARKETING, OUTREACH & COMMUNICATIONS ORGANIZATIONAL ASSESSMENT & PLANNING
  12. 12. We are Sapient, and we understand how a robust digital strategy can help give nonprofits the power to impact the world. A team of 11,000+ strategists, technologists and storytellers across the globe, we provide organizations the insights and tools to link digital solutions to overall strategic context. Our work reflects the diversity of nonprofit missions as well as their common objective: enabling positive social change. Nathan Brewer Vice President Ben Coit Director ENABLING POSITIVE SOCIAL CHANGE SHHH... Don’t tell anyone, but we made a little black book… just for you.