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Twentysix Rules for Digital Success in 2017

Digital is all about change. Technology develops at lightning speed, and the way we communicate changes along with it. Brands need to evolve how they talk to their customers and build their engagement, making use of every channel available.

To help you meet this challenge, we’re sharing our twentysix rules for digital success in 2017.


1. Respect the power of the consumer

Empowered connected consumers have quickly taken power from businesses and brands. Customer experience is key – delight to thrive.


2. Be agile and adaptive

The best organisations in the world are changing their business structures to capitalise on technology and data to drive efficiency and growth.
Review your landscape, research new capabilities and be open to agility in 2017.


3. Have a plan

Set a clear digital marketing strategy with defined goals and defined outcomes. Have a plan, but be prepared to adapt it as you progress.


4. Know what you’re going to track

If you can’t measure something you should ask yourself why you’re doing it. Define a KPI measurement plan to outline core objectives and success measures so you never miss an opportunity to learn and improve.


5. Remember the 80:20 rule

Identify and focus on the 20% of your most profitable customers and effective channels – find out who they are and what they want, and build your marketing engine around them.


6. Make a connection

Great digital marketing is all about making a connection; it isn’t just about selling. You have to engage, interact, connect, surprise and delight.
Emerging social channel functionalities are a great example: Snapchat story-telling has been emulated across all major social platforms as brands and consumers tell their own stories via their personal content steams.


7. Think Mobile first, seriously

This isn’t just about best practice any more. Whether you receive more traffic from desktop or mobile, Google is moving towards ‘mobile first indexing’ by the end of 2017/start of 2018
Be aware of the coming change and review the mobile side of your digital platform. No more hiding content on mobile – your desktop site will be judged on your mobile site.


8. Prioritise site speed

Site speed is not only a direct ranking factor but it also plays a part in your PPC quality score as well as UX. Make speed central to any digital optimisation.


9. Prioritise but equalise

Put equal effort into your website content, blog articles, pay-per-click ads, and marketing email, but identify which perform is best for you and prioritise your investment.


10. Know what your links are saying about you

Are your links showing your brand in the best possible light? Take time to review and understand how your website is connected across the internet and put a strategy in place to maximise its authority.


11. Embrace Google Customer Reviews

Now available within your Merchant Centre, Google Customer Reviews allow you to receive and share customer feedback while earning seller ratings that will be visible within your ads.
Ensure that you are making use of Google Customer Reviews as part of your eCommerce strategy and you will reap future rewards.


12. Walk a mile in your users’ shoes

Have you used your website like a user? Do you receive your own promotional emails? Have you spoken to your customers directly? Have you observed your customers while they interact with your products or services?
Great insight can often be gleaned through empathy.


13. Base behaviour on actions, not inactions

Rather than assuming that a user has not performed a particular action, implement tracking to see exactly what they’re doing.


14. UX is not UI

Understand the difference and embrace it – otherwise you can end up devaluing both. User interface describes the system your users interact with. User experience is about is about the emotions it evokes.


15. Be consistent

Uncertainty in design and interaction will kill conversion and spoil the user experience.


16. Think, watch, learn, test, learn, repeat

Every single question you ask your stakeholders is valuable, unless the only question is “How do you like my finished design?”


17. Don’t assume users will make the best choices

In an ideal world, users would scan your entire page and find every piece of information they’re looking for. Unfortunately, this is not the case – they will choose the first somewhat reasonable choice that catches their eye. Never assume the optimal choice will be the most popular one.


18. Best practice comes from practising

It’s only best when you’ve practised, learnt and practised some more. Don’t let it become old practice – the world doesn’t stop and nor do your users.


19. Don’t design according to clichés

Like “All pages should be accessible in 3 clicks”. Contrary to popular belief, people don’t automatically leave your site if they’re unable to find what they want in 3 clicks.


20. Make it personal

Connect with your customers on a one-to-one level to generate real relationships and build long-term engagement.


21. Think beyond the screen

The boundaries of online are blurring. Our bodies, voices, cars and streets are some of the new interfaces for which we must be able to create good user experiences.


22. Design connected experiences

A vast ecosystem of devices and new location technologies mean that we can use data to actively engage users as they move between devices and channels, both online and offline.


23. Protect your customers’ privacy

2018 will see the introduction of an upgraded data protection act and make agencies more liable for client data.
If a customer has entrusted you with their data, it is a privilege, not a right. Make sure you’re prepared to use it carefully and protect it seriously. Google PECR and GDRP now!


24. Don’t underestimate voice search and control

Siri, Alexa and Google are proving that the world is ready to start talking to their computers.
“50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020” according to comscore


25. Utilise bots for your benefit

Bots have be shown to reduce the customer service cost of an organisation significantly (we’ve seen organisations save up to 30%).
People are impatient and have high expectations, give them what they want by deploying bots in a considered way, but remember to ensure that the customer experience is not negatively affected.


26. Be patient

Some of your digital activity will generate results right away but much more will require time to mature to fruition. Keep the faith!



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