Connecting the Dots
Many clients who I have had the opportunity to meet are looking for a quick and easy way to dabble in social media by creating a Facebook fan page and / or Twitter account without fully understanding how social media can impact their business. Creating a Facebook fan page and Twitter account are free, require minimum effort and gives them a false sense of security of having a competitive advantage. Similarly many companies want a ‘mobile application’ and the reason if asked could be as basic as “our competitors have one”. Moreover finding people claiming to be ‘iphone developers’ or ‘ social strategists’ are plentiful which makes it easier for companies to spend a relatively small amount of money and get an iphone application built, a Facebook fanpage created or a Twitter account created.
The typical end result of the scenario described above is that the Facebook fanpage and Twitter account may get only a few followers (mostly people from the company and not true customers / users). With no strategy on how to leverage these social channels and without having the right people in place to manage the communication on these channels, they are not able to engage users in a conversation and very soon interest in the channel dies out. Another characteristic which is frequently seen is that the team gets mired in lengthy discussions on ROI calculations to justify investment in social media. Similarly the iphone application which probably took only a couple of developers and a few months to build gets only a few downloads and poor user reviews because of limited / not well thought out functionality and process flows. Given this end result it is not surprising that the company quickly gets disillusioned with social media and decides that there is no compelling reason for them to invest in social media and a new way of doing business.
Some of the glaring issues in the scenario described above are listed below :
- A holistic and integrateddigital strategy which ties back to business goals had not been defined
- Social media goals and objectives had not been defined
- The company had not made the cultural shift to adopt social media
- The company had not identified champions to monitor and manage the social content
- Mobile presence was not considered a core customer interaction channel and not made an integral part of the business strategy
At Blue Saphyre we have created a framework of documents which we refer to as the ‘Web 2.0 Strategy Framework’. It is a holistic approach to understand a clients business functions and goals (across multiple channels) as well as their current and desired web 2.0 maturity levels. The framework is based on using analytics (to derive customer insights), competitive analysis, stakeholder interviews, and research on current trends in the industry.
The framework helps to identify the gap between the current and desired web 2.0 maturity levels, prioritize capabilities across several dimensions such as risk, business benefit and implementation complexity to close this gap and finally create a customized implementation roadmap for the client.
The Web 2.0 Strategy Framework consists of the following list of deliverables:
- Web 2.0 Maturity Model
The web 2.0 maturity model provides a framework and an objective criteria to assess an organization’s web 2.0 maturity level. The framework consists of 5 distinct maturity levels and multiple web 2.0 dimensions such as mobility, business intelligence and analytics and user experience with key practices defined to each capability across all the maturity levels.
The maturity model helps to provide a common language and shared vision for prioritizing tasks and capturing the as-is and desired maturity level for an organization.
- Web 2.0 Questionnaire
The web 2.0 questionnaire lists key questions for stakeholder interviews to help drive-out the current as well as desired web 2.0 maturity levels of an organization with-respect-to key practices identified across multiple web 2.0 capabilities.
- Web 2.0 Prioritization Matrix
The web 2.0 prioritization matrix provides a template to prioritize web 2.0 capabilities across several dimensions including risk, business benefit and implementation complexity.
- Web 2.0 Implementation Roadmap
Based on gaps identified between the current and desired state of an organization, a roadmap is created with a focus on ‘incrementally’ deploying web 2.0 capabilities within an organization based on capabilities identified and prioritized in the prioritization matrix.
The framework has proved to be an effective tool to guide conversations with clients and drive home the point that web 2.0 is not a single technology rather it is a combination of technologies and tools which impact each other and need to play well together. Your thoughts and comments are always welcome.
Next up is ‘Creating an Integrated Digital Strategy” – stay tuned.