5 mins read

Strategic digital planning: the basics for business growth

Strategy Director

Strategy Director
With over two decades of experience in digital, Sam (aka Sevs) brings a rich heritage in design and build to the table. His career is marked by collaborations with clients such as John Lewis, ASDA Living, and Transport for London (TfL), which paved the way for his transition into user experience and digital strategy. Sam has been at Rawnet now for 11 years and leads the Strategy team with a focus on brand and communication, product design, customer acquisition, and ongoing optimisation. His time here has seen him deliver projects for a diverse array of clients including ITV Studios, Hornby Hobbies, Office Team, Whistl, Strutt & Parker, Woodland Trust, and the Berkeley Group. Sam’s career has equipped him with a versatile expertise in both B2B and B2C across multiple industries, which positions him uniquely to deliver successful strategy plans, roadmaps and reporting frameworks to ensure impact on core business objectives.

Digital strategic planning is crucial for businesses.

It will establish a clear direction and focus, make informed decisions, and improve operational efficiency.

It involves assessing the digital landscape, identifying the target audience, setting clear objectives and outcomes, and developing a cohesive plan guiding all digital efforts towards a common goal. By relying on data-driven decision-making, businesses can minimise risk, maximise success, and stay ahead of the curve by continuously evaluating the digital landscape and adopting new technologies. Overall, if strategic digital planning isn’t in place, it will be challenging for businesses to achieve their goals efficiently and effectively and take them to the next level.

In this article, Sam will unpack the basics of strategic planning and why Rawnet is determined to ensure the strategic planning of projects is perfected before work begins.

Why strategic digital planning is a non-negotiable 

At Rawnet, we know the key to success is having a solid plan. With tech constantly changing, it's essential to have a clear roadmap that guides your organisation's digital initiatives. That's where digital strategic planning comes in.

Assessing the landscape, identifying your target audience, and pinpointing opportunities and challenges makes it easier to develop a plan that outlines clear goals and objectives to drive business growth. By ensuring these key research areas are completed first, you can ensure that all of your digital efforts work together towards a common goal, making the most out of available opportunities. If you skip these steps, you might get the job completed quicker but that does not mean it will leave you with the right final result or outcome.

Establishes a clear direction and focus 

Digital strategic planning aligns our clients’ digital initiatives with their overall business goals.  You can establish a clear direction and focus by setting clear objectives and outcomes. No more disjointed activities, just a cohesive plan taking steps towards that final goal. This means you can make better decisions, prioritise what's important and avoid wasting time and resources on things that simply don't matter.

Allows for better decision making

Data-driven decision-making is a key benefit of digital strategic planning. By having completed the research upfront, you can rely on data and measurable results. This enables informed decisions based on evidence, rather than intuition or guesswork. Taking a data-driven approach helps to minimise risk and maximise success. By understanding the current landscape you can begin to plan what your want the future to look like and by setting clear objectives based off of these from the start, progress can be tracked, ensuring we are heading in the right direction, and driving towards the overarching business goals.

Stay ahead of the competition

With digital constantly changing, and new trends and platforms always emerging it can be difficult to see a clear route to your end goals. With airtight planning, you can stay ahead of the curve, anticipate changes and take advantage of new opportunities. It also means that you won’t need to hop from trend to trend because you know you have a plan in place which is the most beneficial route for the business. By continuously evaluating the digital landscape and updating your strategies, you can ensure your business stays at the forefront of your industry.

Enhanced operational efficiency and resource allocation

It is also a huge factor in streamlining operations and can massively improve efficiencies. You can reduce costs and improve productivity by automating processes, leveraging data analytics, and optimising workflows. That means you can achieve your goals without wasting time or money - a win-win for any business looking to excel in digital.

Strategic Planning: How we redefined Bottomline’s digital strategy and achieved 87% site traffic growth.


Digital Strategic Planning in Action

Digital strategic planning is vital for businesses that want to stay ahead of the curve in the highly competitive digital world. We partnered with Bottomline in 2018 to help them restructure their website and streamline their on-site user journey. Since then, we have continued to work with them as strategic partners, developing strategies and solutions to optimise their digital presence.


How We Used Strategic Planning to Redesign Bottomline’s website


Step 1: Analysis of Current Digital Capabilities and Industry Trends

  • Our first step was to analyse Bottomline’s current digital capabilities and assess how their site compared with competitors and industry trends.  


Step 2: Set Digital Objectives

  • Based on the initial analysis, we then set digital objectives, outlining what we wanted to achieve. In the case of Bottomline, this was to restructure the website architecture to streamline user journeys. 


Step 3: Develop a Roadmap

We then developed a roadmap to achieve the set digital objectives. The roadmap included initiatives such as: 

  • Conduct discovery workshops to identify core customer types by industry and markets
  • Analyse search data to understand what customers were searching for
  • Review current organic positioning for all solutions and keywords driving traffic
  • Create a simplified user journeys and new online tools to automate conversations
  • Develop a simplified information architecture to the site, making the right content easily available to the right prospects


Step 4: Implement Strategies

  • Next, we implement the strategies outlined in the roadmap.


Step 5: Monitor and Evaluate the Results

  • After the new site has been launched, we then continuously monitored and evaluated it’s performance, analysing website traffic, conversion rates and operational metrics. By continuously monitoring its performance and adjusting tactics accordingly, we optimised Bottomline’s digital strategy and ensured they kept up with industry trends and their site remained effective over time. 


Read the full Bottomline partner journey


In conclusion, strategic planning is essential for businesses operating in the digital realm. It provides businesses with a clear direction and focus, better decision-making, enhanced operational efficiency and to stay ahead of competition. By taking a strategic approach to digital initiatives, businesses can leverage the potential of technology and achieve sustainable success.

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