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How Digital Transformation Affects Your Strategic Planning

Part of our November series on strategic planning for 2018 from industry thought leaders.

The digital world we live in is changing everything. Some experts even refer to this as the Digital Transformation. Whether it is the Internet of Things, self-driving cars, voice activated technology, artificial intelligence, or biometric banking, our society is changing.

But is your strategic plan or planning process changing? Here are four ways digital transformation should also be transforming your strategy:

  • Study the trends—Consumers are reading on average 19 minutes per day (including e-mails and texts) yet as a society we are watching over 1 billion hours of YouTube every day. That is an example of just one trend that will greatly impact your strategy (for example, stop printing brochures and start producing videos when promoting loans). Executives and board members should regularly read CUNA’s E-Scan, tap into Synergent’s Learning Center and hire a facilitator who is well versed in what is happening in our industry.
  • Ask digital questions during planning process—Effective strategic plans involve asking tough questions. Conduct a pre-session survey to help participants prepare for strategic thinking. Potential digital questions you should ask as part of your planning cycle include, “How easy is it to do business with our credit union digitally?” “What is our omni-channel strategy?” “How many taps on a cell phone does it take to get a loan approved at our credit union?” and “How is our website generating leads?
  • Devote budget dollars to digital—The “real” strategic planning often doesn’t just happen during the session but rather during the budgeting process. That is when you determine how to allocate your precious resources. As you review your overall marketing budget, how much of it is devoted to your digital efforts (SEO, SEM, mobile, etc.)? It is often recommended that 35% of your overall marketing budget should be on digital efforts.
  • Shorten the planning cycle—The days of a five-year or ten-year strategic plan are long gone. Things are changing way too fast in our industry now. While 12 months is too short (your strategic becomes plan more operational), 36 months is too long (your strategic plan becomes more of a guess than a strategy), 18 months is just right.

The digital world is changing. And if your credit union’s strategic plan doesn’t change with it then you risk becoming irrelevant.

Guest blogger: Mark Arnold, CCUE, is an acclaimed speaker, brand expert and strategic planner. He is also founder of On the Mark Strategies, a consulting firm specializing in branding and strategic planning. His web address and blog is www.markarnold.com.