Paying the Guide: Why a Digital Strategist is a Smart Investment

As anyone born after 1980 will tell you, the computer game Oregon Trail is a cultural touchstone, and full of useful lessons. Only take what you need for the journey, don’t be afraid to look around and evaluate your options before making a big choice, keep an eye on your resources. But perhaps the best (and worst) lessons come via the most diabolical scenario in the game: The River Crossing. The game presents players with options for accomplishing this task.

River crossing options screen Oregon Trail computer game

Most players attempt the first option because there are many attractive reasons to do so, the promise of saving money and time among them. It's also the riskiest of the three.  

Lost crossing screen from Oregon Trail computer game

The lost supplies inevitably caused problems down the road, the cost of replacing everything lost matched or exceeded what it would have cost to pay for the ferry or guide in the first place and these difficulties had far reaching consequences.

Died of Dysentery screen Oregon Trail computer game

Running a business or leading a team is a lot like playing this game. Along the way there are crossroads, obstacles, and opportunities that require strategic thinking. These aren’t always easy situations, so having a trusted partner to help guide or navigate in critical moments is essential. 

A Digital Strategist's Role 

Strategy is the explicit act of making the best decisions with the resources and data at hand. Digital strategists are consultants who specialize in analytics, omnichannel communication, content marketing, search engine marketing, social media, and various marketing technologies. They use this background when discussing complex business problems and directing marketing strategies in a fast paced and constantly changing web environment. They guide clients toward their desired outcomes through better decision making. 

Reasons to work with a digital strategist:

 - They understand what data is important and how to make decisions using it.

 - They help align your strategic business and marketing goals to an executable road-map.

 - They draw from a variety of skill-sets, including specialties in technology platforms, user experience, and marketing campaign strategy and operations.

 - They provide an outside perspective and objective set of eyes.

Of course, the list of reasons above is not exhaustive. Hedgehog's digital strategy team approaches projects by helping clients evaluate their market position based not only on where they are currently, but on where they'd like to be. Because the goals of each client are different, so is our approach. From client base to market share to technology platform, each situation is unique; the needs and realities of the organization may not line up with those of individual departments. By clarifying the state of digital maturity, we create a data-based strategy with clear goals, defined KPIs, and measurable steps to control negative impact.

The best digital strategists are creative and innovative thinkers, who understand technology, trends, and how customers interact with brands in an omnichannel environment. They help prioritize marketing goals, ideate more effective marketing campaigns, and facilitate an optimized and personalized digital customer experience. Hiring a digital strategist can save you time and money, bring a valuable and unique perspective to the table and illuminate paths to success that you might not have seen.

Winning screen from Oregon Trail computer game

At Hedgehog, we live for this stuff. For more info about the myriad ways our digital strategy team can help, get in touch

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