Are you engaging a team of digital strategists or marketers to work on your business?
Many people think that if you are hiring marketing specialists then everything will be done for you. But your involvement in the process actually dictates the quality of the outcome. In this article, we will discuss why your involvement is important and what could happen if you are not involved. We will also cover the process of digital transformation so you will have some understanding of the process.
But first, what is a digital transformation?
Digital transformation is a long term process.
- It starts with a pre-strategy that defines clearly what your specific business needs are. Then we take those specific business needs and distil them down into an action plan.
- An action plan, which is what we would call a strategy document, has a number of key ingredients to ensure that the strategy that you're developing is going to be delivered on time, on budget, and is going to meet the business objective that you're trying to achieve.
- A Strategy can be built on and continue to be improved over the next 24 to 36 months.
What are the basic responsibilities of a marketing team?
Any good team that's handling digital transformation should start the whole process by explaining all the information to the customer. How does the timeline look like? What customer should expect during the whole process? What information is needed from the customer? Also, marketing team should provide all the tools and frameworks - a tool where a client can see the project’s timeline, where assets should be uploaded etc. Customer should be clear on what is needed, by when and why the team needs that information.
It may sound easy but it depends on having that clear and concise plan. Pre-strategy stage, strategy phase, all communication should be documented and approved by the client. You, as a client, should put a signature on all of the documents to confirm that this is exactly what the specific needs are, what you want and by when.
After this, workers that come onto the strategy should get some form of the briefing, it could be a document, a video about the company etc. This document should explain the context of the project, what the company's trying to achieve and how they will achieve that.
Production phase and timeline - what is included and why you need to be involved?
The production phase is the actual phase where all the deliverables are being created. It could include website development, video production, setting up social media channels, CRM platform etc. From the worker's side, everything should be done according to the contract and by the discussed deadline. Sometimes deadlines could be changed but it is important that all the changes will be discussed on both sides. If you, as a client, understand that providing needed information will take more time that you have expected - you need to let the team know. Workers should inform you about any missed or changed deadline so you know what to expect.
Tip: Unexpected things happen almost every time. The best practice is to add additional extra days or weeks to each of the deadlines. This way any delays won’t affect the project, nobody will be stressed during the process and as a result quality of the deliverables will be maintained.
Having the timeline removes a lot of anxiety and guessing. In terms of the project delivery, it will be much more likely to finish it on time because you're able to see the issues and challenges before they become a flashing red light. And if a light has gone red (meaning you are missing the deadlines), it doesn't mean that the strategy is going to fail, it just means that that area needs more focus.
Note: It is important to mention that most of the tasks include client’s approval and therefore workers are not able to go forward without it. Without your approval on the copywriting web developer won’t be able to start creating a website. Without your approval of the logo designer won’t be able to create draft of the web page etc.
- So first thing that you need to be involved in as a client is understanding of the timeline. You need to understand all the project’s deadlines and make sure that you know when your deadlines are - by what time and date you need to talk to your clients so they can provide testimonials to the video production crew when you need to send and approve certain things etc.
5 to do's for you as a client
To summarise discussed points, there are 5 to do's for you as a client:
- Sign off all of your strategy documents to make sure that you are committed to what has been put on paper and that you feel comfortable and clear on the whole project.
- It's important that you are very clear on what is included in the development of the strategy. Ask as many questions as you want and understand what is included in a price and what is not.
- You want to aim to have your turn arounds of your communication within 24 hours to keep the project moving at all time.
- You want to work with a group of people who use the correct task management platform, a 24/7 dashboard or some form of timeline tool that keeps track of the project day to day. This way you can talk about the performance of the project objectively rather than subjectively.
- You want to implement a weekly huddle, either internally with your team to talk about the timeline and the development of the project or externally with the group of people that are working on your project.
FREE Useful Resources that you can use:
- At Jobs Outsourced we always use markups before starting to create an actual draft. It helps to eliminate all of the unnecessary things beforehand and saves time. Some of the great tools we use for that are InvisionApp and LucidChart.
- Email is not a very inefficient means of communication. Is it a great tool for long summary emails that need client’s approval but there are plenty of platforms out there where communication is much easier. You can use Slack for quick messages, Loom for recording short explanatory videos, Google Hangouts for calls etc.
- Asana is a great tool for project management. You can add tasks, deadlines, assign people to the tasks and add comments.
- Google Docs is also one of the best tools you can use. It is just like Word, PowerPoint or Excel but online. You can share the documents, people can add comments or edits, the access to the documents are 24/7 - all you need is a link.
- Zoom is a tool for video conference. You can have your weekly huddle there by just sending the meeting link to everyone.
I hope you found this post useful. We look forward to hearing your feedback on what you found to be a really successful way of developing your digital strategy. Or if you've worked with people before and they've done things that have made the process more seamless and produce better results, reach out to us. We'd love to hear your feedback.