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Five Steps for Digital Marketing Fitness in 2015

First of all, I would like to wish you a very happy, healthy, and successful year 2015!

As the new year begins, like millions of people across the country, health and physical fitness is probably on top of your mind outside of work. Typically, it’s considered to be a good time to get a health checkup or consultation with a physician, set/reaffirm health goals, adjust diet plans, revisit your fitness program with a health coach/trainer (if you have one) at the gym—and most importantly, commit to take concrete actions and periodic progress reviews to achieve better health and wellness.

In fact, not only is it a good time to get in better physical shape, but it’s also a great time of year to get your digital marketing program into shape! If results from your digital marketing have been feeling kind of flabby lately, here are five high-impact activities that your brand and/or organization can do to achieve maximum “Digital Health and Wellness” in 2015:

1). Get a Digital Marketing Fitness coach: We all know importance of having an experienced fitness coach on our side. Identify an experienced internal or external digital fitness coach who can co-design and help you prioritize various digital initiatives in tune with your brand strategy, help select the right partners, processes and tools, work with you throughout the process, monitor the progress and help make course corrections, bring insights from your industry as well as best practices from other industries—and last, but not least—keep you motivated to get through ups and downs.

2). Get a thorough Digital Health checkup: There is no doubt about the need and importance of regular health check-ups. As the good old saying goes, “You can’t control what you can’t (or don’t) measure,” it is critical to get a thorough evaluation of your current digital health. It may include areas such as your current digital capability maturity, benchmarking against industry peers, state of digital platforms and processes, global-local synergies, internal talent and skillsets, current vendors/partners and their relative capabilities, target customers and markets, competitor landscapes and any disruptive innovations/trends in your industry. You may want to perform this assessment either leveraging internal resources or an external digital consulting partner, or a combination. Whatever approach you choose, it is critical that you identify any major red flags and tactical gaps that may pose a threat or constraint in advancing your brand objectives through digital.

3). Set Digital Fitness goals: Set a few S.M.A.R.T (aka Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time-boxed) goals for your brand/franchise or business unit, depending on your span of control. Like every individual, your organization’s needs, objectives, and priorities are unique. There are no one-size-fits-all goals that will guarantee success. Set goals based on your current state digital maturity, market and competitor landscape, your differentiators/USP, and any larger organizational initiatives underway to build step-up digital capabilities. While you apply the SMART test on goals, ensure that the goals directly contribute to help you compete and win in digital.

4). Design a comprehensive Digital Fitness program: Like you work with your fitness coach to develop custom exercises and a diet plan, work with your digital fitness coach to design a comprehensive tailored plan. It may include specific initiatives and projects across categories such as Multi-channel Strategy and Execution, Talent, Processes, and Digital Platforms. Do include periodic review/checkpoints to assess progress, quantitative as well as qualitative outcomes, and strategic alignment. Your digital fitness program can serve as a guiding post and reference for your staff to take ownership of specific programs/initiatives and set SMART goals.

5). Commit and take concrete actions: No fitness assessment and program is effective unless you take concrete actions and consistently follow through. No doubt there will be ups and downs, slippages, and moments of frustration in this journey but patience and consistency is important get back on track. Set aside time—say, at least once every month—to review your progress you’re your digital fitness coach and your staff. Share any constraints, setbacks, or challenges in executing digital initiatives and make course corrections. Seek executive support as necessary to remove roadblocks, and be flexible to shuffle priorities in response to market dynamics and internal business changes.

In summary: Think and treat your brand/organization’s “Digital Fitness” the same way you think and treat your personal health and fitness. Live long and prosper in Digital!

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Prasad Adavadkar
Prasad Adavadkar is a Digital Marketing evangelist and Client Engagement Director at Cognizant Life Sciences Digital/Cadient. He helps progressive bio-pharma and medical devices brands achieve business results through digital strategy, digital agency services, marketing operations & platform-as-a-service solutions. As a trusted client partner and collaborator, his passion is to spark, co-innovate, pilot and scale digital business transformation ideas and initiatives. He may be reached at prasad.adavadkar@cognizant.com or (+1) 201.923.6405.

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