The start of any digital strategy initiative is critical. It is the time when teams align on goals, scope, expectations, priorities, timing, and start to gather the inputs required to develop a strategy recommendation. This part of the process is generally referred to as the Discovery Phase, and typically involves a mix of stakeholder meetings, interviews, and research activities. It is also the part of of the process when you have the most questions (and granted forgiveness for those questions that start with “this might be a dumb thing to ask, but…”) To make the most of this precious time, it is important to have a firm grasp of the most pertinent questions to ask and data to review. While the right mix of questions will ultimately depend on a number of variables (e.g. familiarity with the subject and project team, nature and scope of the initiative, personal role and mandate), there are core areas that always need to be considered.
The dense-looking framework below is my attempt to provide a starting point for helping to plan Discovery Phase activities. Depending on the nature of your initiative you may need to cover all or some of these areas, in varying levels of depth (and ideally not in a single meeting!). The Digital Strategy Discovery Guide is designed to be used from:
- Left-to-Right: Understanding general business and marketing context before exploring how digital marketing may add value.
- Top-to-Bottom: Understanding strategic background and direction before exploring potential tactics and delivery.
If you have any feedback or would like to discuss, please reach out. Remember, there is no such thing as a dumb question.