What is Digital Strategy?

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  • 0:03 Digital Media
  • 1:24 Digital Strategy
  • 2:23 Content
  • 3:15 Benefits
  • 3:57 SMART Plan Goals
  • 6:08 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Ronald Price

Ron has held a variety of positions in higher ed and business, including 25+ years as an instructor and 20+ years as a corporate senior manager, and consultant.

In this video, we'll explore a new concept in business planning: digital strategy. We'll look at why businesses should develop a digital strategy and what the digital strategy should include.

Digital Media

Joe owns and operates Baked Stuff, a small specialty bakery that currently caters to walk-in customers. Joe wants to expand his business, but because he doesn't have much in the way of a budget for a full-blown marketing campaign, he wants to explore using digital media to implement his strategy.

Angela is the vice president of sales and marketing for Big Batch Bakery, a large regional baked goods corporation. Angela has the challenge of increasing sales of the company's main core products, which have lost market share over the past few months. The company has a relatively medium-sized advertising and marketing budget that is spent mostly on print and broadcast media advertising. Angela sees digital media as the best means available to increase market share and improve the company's competitive position.

What do these two individuals (and companies) have in common, besides baked goods? They both wish to use digital media to increase their sales, market share, and competitive position. So, regardless of their obvious differences, Joe and Angela are at the same starting point: the need to develop a digital strategy.

Digital Strategy

Fairly new in business planning, a digital strategy, or a digital media strategy, generally consists of a set of specific core elements:

  • A definition or description of each strategic goal and objective
  • A detailed plan for implementing the identified technologies, applications, and methodologies
  • An explanation of the measurements that will be used to determine a plan's success or failure

The contents of a digital strategy often vary with the business type. In addition to the elements we just mentioned, a digital strategy should include the following, at minimum:

  • Details of the product, product group, or service
  • Identification of the target market
  • Specification of the desired outcomes
  • Primary message of the digital strategy
  • Description or outline of the content (such as the art and message) found in the plan's media component


The purpose of a digital strategy, which is a part of an overall marketing strategy, is to help a business improve its competitive advantage by increasing its sales, customer base, or exposure. A digital strategy defines the content, methods, technologies, and measurable outcomes of a business' digital media activities, such as use of the Internet, telephony, and more.

A digital strategy does not stand on its own; it is only one part of a business' overall marketing strategy and plan. A digital strategy should not be confused with an online strategy. In fact, an online strategy, or how a business uses web pages and other interactive tools, is, at most, only one part of an overall digital strategy.


There are two primary benefits provided by a formal digital strategy. The first is that a digital strategy can help a business keep its digital media activities and goals consistent and aligned to its objectives. Secondly, a digital strategy can provide a framework within which a business can keep its focus on track in the ever-changing digital environment. A digital strategy can provide several other benefits, such as becoming or remaining competitive, improving or enhancing customer service, increasing the customer base, and extending sales operations in terms of both hours available and geographical coverage.

SMART Plan Goals

The goals of a digital strategy should be expressed with clear, measurable outcomes in specific time frames. These goals should be SMART goals. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound.

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