Monitoring and strategic planning: a summary
It was on March 26 that I gave a conference at Infopresse on monitoring and strategic planning, so here is a summary.
I have divided the different times that make up the monitoring and strategic planning process according to very logical and easy-to-remember axes. The necessary philosophy that makes these processes possible requires moving away from the model of complete overhauls every 2-3 years to give way to a model of continuous evolution.
DON'T FALL INTO THE TRAP
It is Abraham Maslow, the father of the pyramid of needs, who first suggests that we not focus on a tool but rather on the problem to be solved:
“If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail”
It's a phrase that says a lot in the web context where many decisions are made on the spur of the moment on technological whims. “We have such a content manager and we have to work with that”, “we have to do this business on Twitter”, etc.
All these concepts tempt managers, but they must always contextualize these tools and practices to their strategy.
Because a Web project is highly multidisciplinary, dozens of different professions must contribute, we must present a clear and detailed vision in a unifying document, a specification, which will allow all disciplines to meet at the same point. The resulting web presence is usually more relevant, and more on schedule as well.
Planning therefore allows:
- to avoid improvisation, that programmers make marketing decisions (with which they are not comfortable),
- to focus on the needs of the customer (via a greater adoption of the site which will also allow the organization to achieve its objectives),
- to reflect and take a step back (we don't do this enough with the current speed of things)
- allocate necessary and available resources
- determine performance measures (indicators or KPIs)
- optimize web presence along the way
TO KNOW ITSELF
It's time to tell each other the real things, not to pretend that we are the best. To do this, we must carry out the good old SWOT (or business diagnosis, strengths + weaknesses + threats + opportunities) and also determine our strategic assets, that is to say the assets, ways of doing things, skills and others elements that allow an organization to offer a unique value, a distinctive advantage.
Several ingredients are available and must be listened to in order to get the strategic planning work off to a good start:
- search trends: who is looking for what, when and in what volume in search engines. The best demand indicator marketing has ever seen.
- strategic intelligence: monitoring the positioning of an organization and its competition, market developments, current and future consumer trends and changes in the clientele.
- calibration or benchmarking : comparing its performance, its content, its functionalities to the best in the industry, to its competitors and substitutes and to companies in other industries from which one can draw inspiration.
A good way to understand the decision-making process of a clientele is to break it down into personas, each of which has very different objectives that translate into very different browsing intentions and objectives on a Web presence. Listening to these needs aligns the objectives of the clientele with those of the organization.
The art of combining all these elements requires real web expertise (a web strategist!) and a deep understanding of the business. To be taken seriously before issuing strategic recommendations.
The strategic planning stage would be nothing without clear and quantified objectives. It is important to define these objectives upstream of the process of creating a site so that it is these objectives which lead the reflection and also so that the technical implementation makes it possible to follow the defined objectives.
TO GIVE DETAIL
When the strategic axes are well defined, it is time to detail, to make the architect's plan of the future Web site. A specification, a functional document, a production book, call it what you want, but we want to have a clear tree structure, a content strategy, models and several clear technical specifications that will facilitate the creation of the site. This document will also facilitate the choice of a supplier. Ask for it even if the site and the strategy are created by the same firm.
MONITORING, MEASUREMENT, TESTING AND CONTINUOUS ADJUSTMENTS
To develop a site, it is important to leave room for continuous processes supported by human resources, budgets and tools. Monitoring and measurement make it possible to be on the lookout for what is happening internally (achievement of performance indicators) and externally (market, technologies, etc.). The tests allow continuous optimization and the adjustments allow to make concrete the learning brought by the rest.
Finally, I present the Trueroots case where we are proud to present the concrete result brought by this type of process: revenues multiplied by 48 and a customer acquisition cost reduced by 91% over a period of less than a year.
For all this to be possible, free yourself from technological slavery!