Building a collaborative digital strategy (Pt 1)

Most people either elect to outsource their digital services to a third-party, or keep them entirely in-house. Both approaches have their pros and cons:

In-House GOOD

  • Lower cost
  • Faster deployment
  • Incremental learning
  • Better understanding

In-House BAD

  • Resource constraints
  • Skills limited
  • Limited experience
  • Fear of change
  • Slow to evolve
  • Best of breed

Third-party GOOD

  • New ideas
  • Unlimited resource & skills
  • Best of breed
  • Competitive knowledge
  • Scaleable
  • Changeable

3rd-party BAD

  • Expensive
  • Slower to deliver
  • Don’t get the vision
  • Multi-level relationships
  • Operationas vs strategic balance
  • Loss of internal learning

The challenge is to create a hybrid solution that meets the needs of your organisation, fits well with the digital agency and continue to motivate both to strive for improvement. Motivation is the important word here, suppliers can get a little lazy after a while and so can internal marketing departments. Both need to have clear goal, a game plan.

Start with a gameplan

Before you appoint your agency, before you assemble your marketing team you’ll have a gameplan. Except most of us are not in start-ups ,you might have acquired a working department with relationships, suppliers and processes. You’ll still need a game plan, though.

Publish what’s wanted and expected from digital services. Thats everything from customer acquisition through to service and product delivery, billing, management and reporting. Share this with staff, supplier, partners and customers alike; they’ll all have some nuggets of wisdom to add (and a fair amount of guff to ignore, true).

Everything from here on down hang from this gameplan. If it doesn’t further the gameplan then either don’t do it or chuck the gameplan and start again. This will avoid distractions, wasted resource and the temptation to buy into snake oil, or fairy dust.

The next article will cover off the basics of the hybrid model how and when to apply strategy and operational delivery.