The conversations I have with tech-enabled leaders and small business owners in Indianapolis have changed over the last few weeks. They’ve gone from “I’m looking at digital as an opportunity for my business in the next few years” to “I need a digital strategy, now.”

Why? With a dramatic decrease in person-to-person interaction, finding new digital revenue streams for your business can help keep the lights on.

But, how? This is where the difficulty lies. Knowing what digital strategy is best for your business and how to deploy it is no small feat.

Find Your Relevancy

Start with your existing market and existing customer base. Everyone’s world has drastically changed in the last few weeks. What’s on your customer’s mind and what they care about today is different than what you’ve always known. Put yourself in their shoes. What are their goals, pains, wants and needs? Not sure? Ask them. You need to understand how their day-to-day has changed, and position yourself to be relevant in their new world.

Ideate on Digital Strategy

Once you have a well-rounded understanding of your customer’s world it’s time to dive headfirst into developing a digital strategy. Start by brainstorming with your leadership team and have the conversation be fueled by the new learnings. Some questions to consider:

  • Is there a new market you can serve?
  • What are the unmet needs of your customers?
  • How should your existing business adapt?
  • What digital touchpoints should you take advantage of?

Two things to Consider

Don’t Jump to Building an App

The hardest digital strategy and the one you shouldn’t jump to immediately is to build software. I’ve heard it time and time again: “I think we need an app.” It is a natural progression — a company sees an opportunity, and so the knee-jerk solution is to build an app “that will take their business to the next level.” But how do you know that an expensive, labor-intensive app is actually what your company needs?

Adding a software component to your business is like adding a whole new business to support. It requires a different set of skills, vision and leadership. Building an app for the sake of building an app is not an adequate digital strategy. Focus the digital strategy on your customers, not on a shiny object.

The Stakes in a Digital Experience

Customer expectations are at an all-time high as it is, but one thing that has become clear in the last few weeks is that customer experience is the great differentiator in times of crisis. This directly translates to digital and should impact the strategy you put together. Each digital touchpoint should be executed flawlessly as to leave a positive impression on your customers. Navigate this correctly and you could snag a customer for life.

Digital is more important now than ever before, and having a digital strategy can lead to new sources of revenue for your business. You just have to figure out where it fits within your business strategy.

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