Strategy, tactics and change management in the digital environment

Monday, March 29, 2010
Nasser Sahlool

It’s a challenge for any digital agency – a client hires you to complete a specific task and deliver on a tactical goal. Nothing unusual in that. The difficulty develops around the achievement of that goal – simply put, the more tactical the goal, the greater the chances of disappointing the client. Examples can include setting goals around links, organic traffic volumes, cost per click goals, and so on.

The digital environment is a perpetually moving target – not a day goes by without a minor algorithmic change on Google. It’s getting more competitive by the day and client expectations are rising continuously. New platforms are flashing into and fading out of existence. Try wandering over to Google Labs to get a sense of the volume of new stuff being released at any one time. In this environment, how can a tactical goal set 12 months ago still be valid, even if it is achieved? How do you get ahead of this? By staying strategic – set realistic goals that are designed to achieve business goals. Keep the metrics global and you are provided with the opportunity to align a number of tactics that in combination are designed to achieve the strategic goal.

Finally, learn to say no – sometimes it is better for everyone to walk away from a project due to the limited nature of the scope.

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