What to consider when preparing the coming year's digital approach
We've got end of financial year on our minds at Precedent, so if you're planning goals and projects for the new financial year and considering how best to allocate your digital budget, read on for the key things you need to consider.
How do your digital objectives deliver to your overarching organisational goals?
Whether your organisational objectives for the new financial year are related to improving your customer experience, increasing sales or membership applications, or something else, consider how your digital projects will contribute towards success in achieving them.
Establishing a clear digital strategy will really help to align your goals with clear actions to achieve them. This could include projects like a website re-design, digital marketing campaigns, app creation, intranet and staff resource improvements and more. They could be standalone, or work in tandem to achieve your goals.
If your digital projects aren’t clearly aligned with (and helping achieve) your overarching business goals, you need to consider why you’re really undertaking the project.
How are you going to achieve those objectives?
It’s important to determine the various factors that will impact the chances of achieving your business goals. This encompasses:
Who will make up your project team? Will your existing staff members will be able to service the project plan, or do you need to look at hiring new employees or engaging contractors to ensure the success of your objectives.
Consider the likely impact of projects on your team’s workflow to minimise the risk of disruptions to efficiency.
Budget and technology
The turn of the financial year is all about budgets and costs – that’s why it’s a prime time to organise new projects. Establishing a long-term plan to make progress towards your organisational goals allows you to determine the required budget over a number of years.
Calculating the budget you need achieve the different milestones associated with your goals from the outset lessens the risk of unforeseen costs and subsequently, compromised results.
Likewise, consider whether your existing technology will support you through the coming year’s projects and beyond.
Content is infamous for delaying even the best laid plans – particularly where liaising with various stakeholders is involved. Who will be responsible for creating and/or coordinating content, and how will stakeholders be kept accountable for providing information and signing off on content on time?
What are the key dates in your organisation or industry’s calendar, and how will your plans accommodate those? Considering seasonal factors like enrolment dates (and the corresponding marketing lead time), or a drive to encourage charitable donations before end of financial year will help you determine where your key milestones lie in the calendar.
What’s your current digital presence like?
Ahead of making any concrete plans for the financial year ahead, take a health check of your current digital products. Are there any gaps in your overall customer experience – spanning websites, apps, social media and content marketing – that will be detrimental to your efforts in achieving your goals?
A professional UX review of your digital presence (whether it’s your website only, or a greater ecosystem of digital products) can really help give clarity. It can be tempting to skip this step if you’re on a limited budget, but the insights from a UX review can help you prioritise and allocate budget more effectively, and ultimately lead to a greater return on investment (as well as a better experience for your customers).
How will you prioritise your goals?
There are possibly hundreds of effective projects you could undertake – if only you lived in an ideal world where budget and resources weren’t an issue. The reality is that you will likely need to identify which of your digital objectives are the most important to achieve.
The question that should ultimately guide this process is: what will bring the greatest returns to the organisation? A digital strategy can help here, especially if it includes an analysis of the likely returns of different digital channels, projects and marketing activities.
How will you track and measure your achievements?
There’s no room for guesswork when it comes to tracking and measuring the success of your projects. Measuring progress along the way will help determine whether your approach is still the best way forward, or whether you need to take stock and pivot to achieve greater results – saving time and money in the greater scheme of things.
Project accountability will determine whether your efforts paid off, and clearly indicate the link between your digital strategy and overall business success.
Planning a new digital strategy or program of work in your organisation? Our team of digital strategists are experienced in guiding businesses to digital success across education, health, membership, non-profit and finance and can assist you at any step of the process. Get in touch to learn more today.