5 Reasons Why Digital Marketing Strategies Often Fail

James Devonshire / Marketing

The power of digital can be seen all around us, enhancing our lives on a daily basis. Whether it’s an app on our smartphones that enables us to book a hotel room at the drop of a hat or cloud-based solutions on our home computers that ensure all our precious files are safe, the impact of digital is immense.

But while we’re constantly looking to take full advantage of the latest digital innovations in our personal lives, it sometimes seems as though we don’t get the same opportunities in our professional ones.

However, it is understandable. Organizations can’t just go implementing the latest app across the board because there is a want for it among end users. The security implications alone are enough to prevent such an approach.

Nevertheless, when it comes to digital transformation and the introduction of new technologies into the workforce, some enterprises are getting it more right than others.

It begs the question, why do digital strategies often fail?

Here are five common reasons why:

1. No Clear Definitions

Talk to the different members of your organization’s C-suite about what digital transformation means to them and you’ll likely get a mixture of answers. Some will cite digital marketing, while others will focus on the benefits afforded by nascent technologies such as the Internet of Things, 5g network connections, and cloud-based IT solutions.

With no clear definition of what digital means for the individual organization, it is almost impossible to implement technologies that will drive the transformation forward. That’s why establishing a universal definition and vision is absolutely crucial before you even begin.

2. Misinformed Views On Expenditure

It wasn’t that long ago that if a business needed a new piece of hardware, they would purchase it, install it and manage it. Today, however, with the multitude of managed services providers out there, businesses have got far more options than they’ve ever had.

Suddenly, what was once a large capital expenditure can be budgeted for and taken advantage of virtually immediately using operating expenses. This reality means that one of the biggest barriers to digital adoption is no longer applicable.

3. Resistance To Change

The old adage, ‘people don’t like change’ is one that has plagued IT departments worldwide for years. And few places are more resistant to change than the C-suite. These are individuals who have spent their whole lives forging careers off the back of what they know, which is why new solutions and new technologies are often met with resistance.

In fact, resistance to change was the top factor cited by 43% of CEOs polled for the 2017 Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO survey when it comes to impeding digital strategies.

4. Lack Of Focus

Any digital transformation strategy must be led and championed from the very top of an organization, with definitive focus placed on successfully delivering all the elements it encompasses.

However, focusing on too many different aspects at once can lead to efforts being diluted and the entire strategy losing pace. That’s why an organization’s CEO must grab the digital bull by the horns and drive things forward from start to finish.

5. Skills Gaps

Digital transformations inevitably require new skills and knowledge to successfully implement and leverage them for maximum return. While an organization can look to train internal resources to help achieve its digital goals, this is often too lengthy and too costly.

The alternative is to outsource the implementation, but that’s a decision which needs to be thought about carefully. After all, unless you are going to have all the new digital solutions managed externally in the future, there’s a good chance your internal resources will be demoralized by your decision to outsource – unless they can play a decisive role during the entire process and continue to be a key figure post-implementation.