Have you been wondering why in spite of investing in digital channels like mobile, social, Internet, and analytics your business hasn’t gained any noticeable competitive advantage?
The answer is simple. It’s because the need is to design a marketing strategy around the niche that your consumer prefers.
Digital transformation refers to the process of revamping business models, competencies, processes, and activities into encompassing the digital technologies so as to accrue benefit from the opportunities and changes arising from it as well as leveraging its impact on the populace in a prioritized and strategic way. Therefore, choosing the right technology to marry the process is crucial.
Remember, not only does it has to be focused on the consumer perspective, but it also has to encompass the core strategy of your business. Without this concentrated synergy, your company’s digital transformation would not be be complete or effective, nor would it earn you any advantage.
Start thinking like a designer
The use of digital mediums is taking over the physical aspect of our daily activities. We are integrating the technology in the completion of these tasks in such a manner that these seemingly separate processes transform into a single sustained experience. Designers frame these experiences by assigning ecosystem thinking to the whole process.
That is what you need to do!
But first: What is an ecosystem?
A set of people, services, and products functioning together in an interdependent manner based on common denomination factors for mutual benefits is called an ecosystem.
What should I, as a designer, do?
Your digital strategies have been failing because you have lost focus on providing solutions that add actual value to consumer needs. All too often, businesses are busy stressing more on integrating multiple functionalities into every available digital channel: SMS, Facebook, email, etc.
Singularly connecting every possible digital channel to launch a combination of services and products is not the way to go. You, as a designer, need to ascertain methods where ecosystems work together to service the organization’s business goals.
The first thing to do is to identify the components of the ecosystem and create a map to facilitate the shared vision. Maybe create a logo and appoint it to every component for convenience sake.
The next step is to use the ecosystem map to design the digital strategies. This involves fitting mediums that shape the purpose.
What forms the basis of an ecosystem?
It is made up of:
- The users
- Their operations
- The information being used and shared
- The people interacting
- Available services
- Devices being used
- The various communication channels
Consequences of designing the ecosystem
Adopt the ecosystem way of thinking! This will push you, the designer, to evaluate the user behavior at the junction of different inflection points.
The key is to evaluate and understand the participants in the ecosystem, possibly through a SWOT analysis. In this case, the focus is no longer on the individual product or services, but on the network.
Once you get the relevant data regarding the working components of the ecosystem, you should be able to convert it into actionable knowledge via the ecosystem maps, which are a diagrammatic representation of the network of relationships that have been identified under ecosystem thinking. The map is literally connected to other familiar designs, such as concept maps, experience maps, and service blueprints. The only difference between these graphs and ecosystem map is that the map is singularly focused on creating optimum digitized business strategies.
Mapping the ecosystem
Once the information collated from the ecosystem participants is mapped, it provides a useful insight into the perspectives, behavior, and needs of the user. Understand that the map in no way relays all the complexities attached to each component, but it does provides a simple contextual representation that allows for better understanding, and creates clear collaborative paths to foray into the digital maze.
Let us understand the ecosystem mapping process in detail. The process of mapping begins with research: analyzing the site statistics, questionnaires, observations, and interviews. These tell us the user’s target and the method adopted by them to achieve it.
The next step is to identify the devices and people in the process as actors and to place them on the map as they change their positions. This will give a clear understanding of activities performed by the user, in correlation to the medium, devices, services, and information used to fulfill these activities. Then, mark the variables clearly so you don’t lose sight of them, but do not be overwhelmed by them.
The last step is to identify the particular activity that would be supported by the digital campaign. Not all ecosystem activities can be digitized. Determining the one action that encompasses the goals of all the components, strategically, is the reason the ecosystem was created.
Designing the digital strategy
A neat digital strategy ensures that our ecosystem is profitable, and the user experience is similar to several touch points.
For that, we need to identify clearly:
- The objective and vision of the digital strategy
- The end audience
- Actions that will achieve the objectives
- Success metrics
- A clear understanding of individual responsibilities and roles
Analyze the ecosystem map from every angle to reach a cohesive, action-inducing, and profitable solution. All you need to do is think and act like a designer and design your digital strategy accordingly!
For more insight on creating a digital strategy, see The Art Of Opportunity And Innovation With Design Thinking.