digital business strategy

Digital Business Strategy Demystified. In 7 Steps.

ashin November 20th, 2013

As discussed in the last blog, a digital business strategy is a necessity for associations. The following 7 step evaluation process can determine where an association is in terms of starting, executing or evaluating its current digital business strategy:

1. Assess where you are.

a. Determine your place in the market:

b. Market Analysis – opportunity

c. Member needs- perceptions

d. Competitive analysis – positioning

e. Reach – are you visible or invisible?

f. Evaluate the return you are getting fro your current technology

assets – infrastructure, architecture (website and email)

2. Build a data driven plan.

a. Determine your business priorities based on association

goals – short term and long term

b. Determine timing – will you use a phased approach or will you invest

in an all-out approach to bring your association more visibility faster?

c. Evaluate technology investments needed to achieve goals

d. Leverage best practices and industry standards at every step

e. Develop a budget

3. Develop strategies to build revenues (dues and non-dues).

a. New members

b. Member renewals

c. Advertising and sponsorships

d. Digital buyer’s guide

e. Certification

f. Education

g. Registrations (online and live events)

4. Recognize that content is king.

a. Give your audience content and value that they cannot find

anywhere else, that meets their business needs.

b. Develop a strategy that provides content across multiple platforms

and allows you to communicate with your members in every way

that they want to be communicated with (online, social, print or email)

5. Reach more members, and potential members, with specific audience

development strategies.

a. Harness the power of search through SEO and SEM

b. Improve your authority and reach through linking and syndication

c. Increase publishing frequency to drive usage, engagement

d. Drive traffic to create more page views (inventory) to better

serve advertisers & sponsors

f. Create funnels to convert audience (site traffic) to membership

6. Develop email best practices (e-newsletters, feeds etc.) to support your

audience development plan.

a. Ensure deliverability

b. Manage, segment and tag your lists effectively

c. Develop content and subject lines that increase open rates

d. Manage your email reputation (sender scores)

7. Measure performance.

a. Develop key performance indicators that relate directly to your

goals, allowing you to make data driven decisions daily,

weekly and monthly

b. Use analysis to find and deliver incremental opportunities as you go

c. Constant analysis leads to learning – Test and adapt quickly

Based on our experience working with association clients, this process re-energizes internal teams, discovers hidden talent, and builds focus and excitement for the future.


Find out how your digital business strategy differs from your IT department.

Content management strategies for associations.