Businesses of all shapes and sizes need to adapt, to change to the ever-changing landscape they work in. We are no different. The challenge is that change is painful, people often resist it. It's easier to do what you’ve always done before. I bet that Blockbuster wish they’d changed.
We recently celebrated our 18th birthday. That’s quite a milestone. It's hard to think back to those early days in a student bedroom and how we had to scrap around for pennies to pay the bills while we shared a single dial-up connection between three computers accessing the internet, the sales phone and the fax line! How times have changed.
The Market Has Changed
We’ve been paying careful attention to our market over the last couple of years and have noticed relatively seismic shifts. It's a lot easier to create websites yourself for example. The advent of WordPress, Wix and Squarespace have seen to that. This means that at the bottom end of the market, prices have been driven down as that space becomes commoditised. Within the digital marketing world, the big change has been that many of our clients now employ at least one person with digital marketing skills in-house. That simply didn’t happen 3-5 years ago.
A good business always looks around at these changes and plans a route forward which takes advantage of them. Too many owners I speak to see the change in their industries as a huge problem and just moan about it constantly. All misspent energy they could put into working out how to ride the waves, not how to sit there waiting for them to crash on their heads. I bet Woolworths wished they’d ridden the waves.
So we’re making some exciting changes at Optix and wanted to share them with you. Last year we worked hard on our brand and ‘grew up’ a bit. The plastic duck In our logo flew the nest (see what I did there) and were replaced with adult, real ducks. We incorporated a new strapline of ‘digital excellence’ into our material so the whole team knew that's what we are striving for. We came up with new core values – Delight, Engage & Support. These apply internally just as much as externally. They run through everything we do, including areas you might not realise, such as appraisals and our recruitment process.
One of the biggest changes we are making is to a digital strategy first approach. Rather than just being a company where you can buy a website or some search engine optimisation help, we want to question why. Why do you need those services? What’s your digital strategy? Who are you targeting and how are you going to reach them? Let us help you create this all first before spending your hard-earned cash on something you might not even need. We are going to be putting digital strategy at the heart of everything we do with our clients. In fact, if you just want a website and don’t want to talk about how to make it work then we might not be for you any longer, businesses need to adapt. It's a move that we’re able to make partly due to the length of time we’ve been around and the amazing expertise we have in the business. It’s hard to wear the hat of a strategist if you’ve only been going a few years. In that time I barely knew our own strategy let alone being able to write anyone else’s!
We’ve been an avid follower of Dave Chaffney and his company Smart Insights for many years now and our digital strategy work is no different. If you want to know more about creating this sort of document for your business they have some very good templates on their site. If however, you need external help creating this then that's where we can come in. Now don’t get me wrong, we’re not stopping web design projects or search engine marketing or content creation. They are all merely tools in the chest, allowing our clients to set objectives, work out ways to measure them and then go after them in a planned manner.
Over the last couple of years we’ve created Digital Strategies for all sorts of businesses including Stags Estate Agents, Ascent Professional Services (Recruitment Headhunters, London), LED Leisure (Leisure Centres) & Lightfoot (driver behaviour product) to name but a few. We have a team of very experienced strategists who will take our clients under their wing and help them get the most from their online presence.
Our Digital Strategy is a sizeable piece of work but one that we feel drives real tangible value for our clients. We start with a session where we get under the skin of our client’s business and the complexities of the marketplace they operate in. Once we’re confident we know what they’re looking to achieve and what they’ve done to date we kick off the research phase. The final document presents our analysis and an outline of the key areas to focus on (and which to park for now) so that we can collaboratively plan out what we’re looking to achieve in the forthcoming years.
We’re very excited about this re-positioning, it feels right. It will mean that our very talented team can really show off their skills and knowledge, all for the benefit of our clients and maybe you….if any of the above rings true why not call us and let's chat about how we can transform and support your businesses digital space at a strategic and tactical level.