digital strategy definition

Contributor(s): Emily McLaughlin

A digital strategy is a blueprint for managing customer-facing information technology (IT) initiatives.

In some companies, the CIO is in charge of both customer-facing initiatives and the back-end infrastructure that support them. In other companies, however, a Chief Digital Officer (CDO) may be appointed to create and execute strategies that will grow brand loyalty on social networks, help the company keep up with the latest consumer trends and provide management with data that demonstrates how digital initiatives are adding value to the company.

Either way, a digital strategy should be customer-focused and address ways to improve the company's social media footprint, organic search results, customer engagement and brand recognition. It should also include strategies for reputation management.

While traditional business strategies focus on long-term road maps and budget forecasts that extend years into the future, digital strategists tend to rely on short-term, month-to-month road maps that establish actionable and measurable objectives. Useful digital tools for evaluating the success of a digital strategy include Cognos, Compete, Alexa, Google Analytics, Facebook analytics and SproutSocial.

This was first published in April 2014

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