In need of a digital strategy consultant? 7 traits you should look for

It happens almost all the time. 

Whenever we tell people that we offer top-of-the-line digital strategy consulting services, most of the time, they ask, 

“What in the world is a digital strategy consultant?” 

And, more importantly, “why do I even need one?” 

We usually answer with a full-stack explanation of what we do, how we have been doing it, and a cheerful, “yeah, you most definitely need one!” 

The truth is that the digital transformation is already full-blown upon us. If you do not plan accordingly with a crisp digital strategy, you will not be able to claim a leadership spot in your industry.  

Lucky for you, you landed here, and we will not only tell you what you must know about digital strategy but the seven most important characteristics you should be looking at when hunting for your next digital strategy consultant. 

What is Digital Strategy?

A digital strategy refers to the application of technological innovations to businesses to increase their capabilities. Today, most of a business strategy is a digital strategy. You can hardly think of an innovative business process that does not involve digital skills. 

The main focus of a digital strategy is to improve a business’s performance by levering technology. It maps out the direction to take and the organization to follow to create effective and competitive capabilities. 

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

In many cases, this process involves changing the business model, especially when technology allows applying previously unavailable methods. 

Speaking of the past, whenever a company plans to become the hottest thing in town, the real question is no longer “What is your IT strategy?” but instead it’s “What is your digital strategy?”

So, What is a Digital Strategy Consultant Anyway?

A digital strategy consultant is a leader that will bring to the table all their expertise in leading a digital transformation. It is a strategist that will build and specify the tactics needed to achieve changes. 

In our case, whenever we either start building a store from the ground up or optimize an already built one, we create the best digital strategy to follow up. Nothing is done haphazardly. We plan everything carefully, taking into consideration current status, resources, and goals.  

What Exactly Does a Digital Strategy Consultant do?

Photo by Mikael Blomkvist from Pexels

Business leaders and incumbents recognize the potential of digital technology, but they usually find it overwhelming. They realize the need for an influential business advisor that will not rush into implementing something just to meet a trend. 

This is where a digital strategy consultant comes in. 

We have broken down into bits some of the functions of an expert digital strategist. 

  • Help determine the correct order and priorities for a proper path towards an organization’s success.
  • Plan and assess the effects of such plans on the enterprise and its goals. 
  • Analyze the full impact of a digital strategy during the early stages of planning.
  • Execute the plan.
  • Measure the effects of the strategy and take actionable steps. 
  • Ensure that the organization has all the insights and strategies to keep up with digital trends. 
  • Assesses digital capabilities, hardware, and operating costs to help the company save money across the board. 

Does your Business Need a Digital Strategy Consultant?

We answered this question very briefly at the beginning. So to this point, the question is, “why do you need digital consulting services?”

Digital strategy consultants are an essential resource to carry out your strategy entirely or as a supplement to your in-house skillset. 

A digital strategy consultancy will help you plan and organize ideas, develop and carry out strategies, and set your plan’s stages in motion. A strategist will help a business position itself as a leader in the digital space through a process that involves evaluation, optimization, and development of solutions. 

Types of Digital Strategies

Not all businesses are made the same, and a strategy that works for one might not work for the other. Harvard Business Review identifies six types of digital strategy and classifies them into offensive and defensive.

7 Traits of a Good Digital Strategy Consultant

1. Treats digital as a tool, not a goal

There are so many trends out there that sometimes companies go crazy about them. They feel they need to implement them as they come out sizzling so that business does not fall behind.

This practice only has the effect of turning technology into the goal. A digital strategy consultant understands that although it might provide some short-term publicity, such an approach will fail in the long run if it is not backed up by a strong business strategy. 

Note how your candidate emphasizes your business strategy and how digital can help enhance it. If they put human performance as the most important determinant of success, they probably are on the right path.

2. Asks the right questions

To make things easier for you to assess, here are some critical questions a strategist should be asking:

  • What is your position in your industry right now?
  • Where do you want to go?
  • What challenges is your company facing to get where you want it to go?
  • What resources do you have to help you get there?

Note how they are all entry-level questions about knowing what your business’s position in the market is. Benchmarking against the competition is the only way to see where a company stands against competitors and within the business ecosystem. 

Once a company has a clear knowledge of its digital position, a good strategist will start planning from there.  

3. Has the proper skillset

Technically, this applies to jobs of all kinds. 

It is important to understand that the success of a digital strategy depends on the skills of the team involved. You may have the most remarkable plan, but it will not work if the wrong people execute it. 

So, you see, it is not only about planning but effectively executing. 

The following are vital technologies that a skilled team should be able to apply. They are extending at a fast pace to accommodate the high demands of digital transformation.

  • Artificial Intelligence. More and more businesses are making decisions based on AI. The sooner you get into this trend, the faster you will be able to claim your position in your industry.
  • Big Data Analytics. Being able to read and analyze data and transform it into an actionable strategy to meet customers’ needs is a must-have skill for a strategist. 
  • The Internet of Things (IoT). Think of all the electric devices connected to the internet. Statista estimates that 30.9 billion units will be connected to the Internet by 2025. 

4. Backs up expertise with past results

The level of experience of a strategist can determine the level of success or failure. Therefore, make sure that your candidate can clearly refer to jobs from the past that attest to their effectiveness in planning and executing strategies. 

Organized strategists usually have a portfolio of past jobs to showcase their experience. Feel free to ask for one and discuss particularities and how they plan to apply this experience to your company. 

5. Has a clear vision and understanding of present and future trends

A good strategist is aware of their current technical aptitude and recognizes that new technologies emerge around the corner. They commit to applying what they know and stay open to new trends. 

6. Strives to stay in the cutting edge

Make sure that your candidate is constantly upskilling themselves to stay on top of new technologies and processes. In summary, your strategist must enable your company to support a long-term approach. 

The best team of strategists will keep an eye on future trends and constantly update the core of their skill set. Ask your candidate if they can provide ongoing opportunities to expand into uncharted areas by growing in their career path. 

7. Has powerful data analysis skills

We expand a little bit here on the ability to analyze data. All of the aspects discussed above will not be efficient unless we know how to measure the success and failure of our business. 

Collecting and analyzing data requires an online dashboard that provides insights to monitor progress and make adjustments. 

Contra Collective – Your Elite Squad of Digital Strategy Consultants

Our elite squad of digital marketing strategy consultants is ready to bring down the table actionable and efficient solutions. We take advantage of digital to plan, execute, measure, and adjust the most effective strategy for your business. 

Give us a call, and we will take care of you.