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The POST method for Digital Strategy

September 22nd, 2009

postJosh Bernoff, one of the authors of Groundswell, posted a great article on another approach to creating a digital strategy. I posted earlier on the 6 Basic Pillars of your Digital Strategy. Josh sums it up in 4 pillars, which he calls POST. POST stands for People – Objectives – Strategy – Technology. From his post:

P is People. Don’t start a social strategy until you know the capabilities of your audience. If you’re targeting college students, use social networks. If you’re reaching out business travelers, consider ratings and reviews. Forrester has great data to help with this, but you can make some estimates on your own. Just don’t start without thinking about it.

O is objectives. Pick one. Are you starting an application to listen to your customers, or to talk with them? To support them, or to energize your best customers to evangelize others? Or are you trying to collaborate with them? Decide on your objective before you decide on a technology. Then figure out how you will measure it.

S is Strategy. Strategy here means figuring out what will be different after you’re done. Do you want a closer, two-way relationship with your best customers? Do you want to get people talking about your products? Do you want a permanent focus group for testing product ideas and generating new ones? Imagine you succeed. How will things be different afterwards? Imagine the endpoint and you’ll know where to begin.

T is Technology. A community. A wiki. A blog or a hundred blogs. Once you know your people, objectives, and strategy, then you can decide with confidence.

The interesting thing to note here is that he puts technology as the last part of your strategy. That’s the right place. The technology is just the tool to achieve your objective. It is not an objective in and of itself. I hear that quite often… ‘We need a blog,’ ‘We need a Twitter account,’ ‘How do we get a Facebook Fan Page?’

None of those matter unless you know what you want to do, who you want to reach and how you’re going to reach them. Putting the tool first is what Jeremiah Owyang calls “Fondling the Hammer.”

Start with the objectives, the audience, the assets and the metrics, then figure out how you’ll build it.

Categories: Strategy
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