Chris Farrance – Digital Business Strategy Consultant

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As a Digital Business Strategy Consultant and Founder of Frontier Digital Business Consulting, my passion lies in helping businesses deliver superior performance by unlocking the potential of their people, products and processes in the Digital space.

The ‘Digital’ space is huge spanning the activities of digital marketing consultancy, website design, social media marketing, search engine optimisation (SEO), blog posting and the use of analytics tools like Google. All have a major impact on how your brand is perceived and are hugely influenced by the customer experience and journey.

Start Ups and early stage businesses like App developers have been born digital and are the ‘digital natives’. Others, like web developers, understand the impact of digital and have their radar tuned to mobile technology, social media and the impact it has particularly on the way customers now seek and validate information through friends, for example, as part of their buying journey.

Many established businesses, however, have been slow or reluctant – or perhaps a combination of both – to recognise the impact digital technology and social media can have on performance. To dismiss the more familiar elements of social media – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram etc. – as trivial and irrelevant to the serious world of business – is to miss the point. Social media can be viewed as a sort of a ‘marmite’ test – love it or hate it.

But, truth be told it’s not as binary as that. Like it or not social media – and its big brother ‘Digital Technology’ – are here to stay.

It’s really difficult for businesses in this space and the somewhat dismissive label ‘digital immigrant’ is not particularly helpful.

Historically successful, these businesses have survived the recession but many find that their performance has now flat lined. It’s a challenge and no real help to be told – as in the Irish joke – ‘I wouldn’t have started from here!’ Attitudes to social media are often thought to be age related – it’s a very strong perception but not necessarily true. It does demand, however, a mindset shift, acceptance of change and a willingness to learn.

It’s not about technology or indeed necessarily understanding how it works – it’s what you can do with it and probably what your customers and staff are already doing with it.

What might you expect to see if you’re a fully ‘Digital’ Business?

More cost effective and focused marketing attracting and retaining the right customers for your business. An integrated customer experience addressing their needs at each stage of the buying journey.

Staff who are free to use their own devices at work to share knowledge, capabilities and experience. Internal processes that are fully joined up and deliver tangible efficiencies and cost savings.

And last, but not least, a shift in the mindset of the business leaders and managers who recognise that change, uncertainty and ambiguity are the new way of doing business.

I like to work with clients and help them manage the relationships with their customers, staff and agencies. It’s a matter of fact that there is no ‘magic bullet’ – it’s a bit like the Robert Bruce spider legend ‘try, try and try again!