Our habits of consumption and interacting with what matter to us are changing rapidly. People and businesses that were successful only a few years ago are finding themselves redundant when they fail to adapt to the new reality.

What got you here won’t get you there! And according to experts, 70% of the jobs that will be needed in 10 years do not exist yet. So how can you prepare to face these changes?

Executives, business owners and other professionals need current skills to compete in the marketplace and a key part of these are digital skills of all nature. The good news is that, with a little strategy and a lot of patience, anyone can get them. I have selected 9 keywords to focus on in 2016 to get in the game.

  1. Content

Expectations are high and our patience so low. To get people to visit your website you need to give them a compelling reason. Producing engaging content is an art and a science that business owners and professionals who want to be positioned as experts in their field should master.

Have you created a content strategy and a content calendar for the year in which your own and industry events, campaigns and offers are scheduled in alongside rich informative news?  Or do you rely on a last minute improvisation that frustrates and overwhelms you?

  1. Experience

What people are looking for today is an easy experience. How are you adapting to this new reality? Have you integrated a solid user experience throughout all your channels? If not your content efforts will be largely dismissed and never lead to complete the sales cycle.

You need to make it easy to reach you and have a frictionless process to buy from you. Don’t add tons of layers between you and the customer who wants to access you, especially after the sale is made. Think through the customer’s journey and simplify your process on all the platforms.

  1. Global

If you are an international company, you may have found that in some countries people would rather buy from a marketplace like Amazon, Ebay, Rakuten, Snapdeal, Flipkart that they trust rather than buying directly on a company website. Have you integrated that dimension?

Customers in their countries search online in their native language which means that if your content is only published in English and you have potential customers in other countries they won’t be able to find you. You might want to consider implementing a multilingual site strategy as well as a strategy to contextualise your content which goes beyond a simple translation to adapt to the local culture. Is it necessary to explain how different doing business in London is different than doing business in Accra?

  1. Integrated

In a multi-channel world, integrated marketing strategy is what works best.  Smart businesses have online and offline strategies, use their own and earned media, and generate leads through organic reach and paid advertising.

How well have you thought through these six avenues to increase your results?

Your need all the pieces of the puzzle to work together seamlessly and offer the same quality to your customers throughout your channels.

  1. Mobile

This goes beyond having a responsive website which I hope that by now, yours is compliant.

Can people start and complete all the transactions you offer on their mobile phone or do they have to go to their desktop to complete the process and therefore increase the chance of losing them? If you are not sure, do the test now and type your company website on your mobile and see if you can seamlessly order from there. A true mobile experience needs to be smooth and complete.

  1. Optimisation

Most of our life decisions increasingly begin online, with search. We go online for our relationship, for health, wealth, education, holidays, where we want to live, etc.

The consumer has a lot of choice and face with a plethora of specialised and general sites which one will he or she go for? The one that is memorable and associate with the problem they want to solve.

To achieve that association, you need to transform your offer into the solution that your customers are already searching for by knowing the lingo they use and where they go to find answers. This will then enable you to optimise your content to be easily found by your desired clients.

Optimisation needs to go beyond SEO and become a constant focus of the business.

  1. Personal

What works today is personal style, stripped down design that tells the story straightaway. Don’t clutter your digital assets and keep this in mind when communicating online. This means that you have initially defined your tone of voice and authentic brand.

  1. Social

Are you selling via social media on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Wechat, etc?

If not how can you master the art of social selling which is different than the traditional methods but works nevertheless. This should be part of the integrated strategy previously described.

  1. Tracking

Tracking the performance of all your efforts should be at the forefront of your strategy this year.  You need to track everything and set up a monitoring system. All your data should be analysed through your analytics: your website with Google analytics, email analytics and social media analytics to get better insights into your activities and how they could be leveraged to improve your performance.

Everyday something is changing in the marketplace but you don’t have to follow blindly, as your trusted partner, I am here to help you in selecting what will really make a difference in your business and what you should just let go.

If you want to learn the essential tools to master this year to boost your digital capabilities and increase your results, you can apply to join my next Digital Acceleration Online Program which starts Tuesday 15/03. There is an application process to assess the fit and level you are at, to determine if this program is right for you. There is no obligation at this point.

To apply go to http://www.mydigitalpal.com/2016course . Alternatively, you can book a complimentary strategic call to discuss your objectives for the year.

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