By Nina Rahmatallah, Director, Added Value

Digital: a space that is growing and changing so fast that it’s getting everyone in a spin.

There are many companies who believe they need a digital strategy, but they don’t know where to start. Whilst others who initially dived straight in now question what value their digital activity is having. So let’s start with this provocation: A digital strategy is not what we should be talking about. When it comes to digital marketing and communications, we don’t believe thinking about digital as a discrete or separate strategy is the right thing to do.

There isn’t a single channel that doesn’t come in digital format these days. Even the point of purchase is becoming more digital. The virtual world now enhances the real world. So digital is not a separate channel.

Likewise, digital no longer has a separate audience. All generations right across the world are following Generation Y’s lead in this new world.

So as small business owners you shouldn’t be thinking about a digital strategy as a discrete initiative. Instead you should be talking about brand strategy that better ‘mobilises’ your brand in the digital world. Or in other words, brand strategy that is Digi-Ready.

Mobile is arguably the most fundamental part of our everyday digital lives. Evolving far beyond the functions of a phone, the mobile has become our modern day Swiss-Army-Knife; our personal assistant, our coach, timekeeper, navigator and sidekick. It’s one of the last things we look at before we go to bed and the first thing we look at in the morning. It’s about our person all day, every day.

By 2020, experts predict there will be some 20 billion ‘things’ connected to the internet and most industries – health care, financial, leisure, retail etc – will have been transformed by the velocity of Moore’s law. Technology will drive the pace of innovation in every single industry. Jim Carroll, futurist, predicts that, “as this technological change occurs, it will be faster than ever before. And the winners will have been those who adjust their innovation engine to keep up with this new speed of change”.

How then is mobile still too often an afterthought for business owners and marketers? In truth, mobile being part of the mix just isn’t enough… It needs to be the first part of the mix – the first screen we think about. So when you’re planning your communications, don’t simply think “one size fits all” and adapt your content or message from a desktop environment onto mobile devices. By adopting a mobile first approach, it will force you to concentrate your brand behaviours and the experience you are giving your consumers.

A mobile first mind-set is one that encapsulates the three R’s; real-time, rich and relevant. The ability to act and react in a real-time manner is critical in today’s world. The reason consumers carry their mobiles around with them all the time is so that they can access whomever or whatever they want, whenever they want.
The content your business delivers needs to be rich. As with the wider digital world and the growing importance of design, content on mobile needs to be visually rich to engage best. But this doesn’t mean more content. The likes of LinkedIn have revamped their mobile apps with visually rich streaming and better navigation for just this reason.

A mobile mind-set is about ensuring that your content is delivered to the right audience at the right moment with the right message for the mind-set of your customer at that time. In other words it’s about ensuring that your content is relevant.

And a final word on the future of mobiles – whilst experts predict mobiles will be extinct by 2023, the mobile mind-set will remain.