Audit your Digital Assets
Your digital assets are what your organisation does strongly with its creativity. What it has produced in house, created through engagement with audiences/customers, or what it has bought and therefore owns – the content that is used to reach audiences. The assets might be tangible, intangible, heavily used, or unused. They might be obviously digitisable. Listing them will help you see where you could create new opportunities if you made them available outside your organisation more widely.
Tangible digital assets could be:
- online resources;
- online customer base (depending on privacy policies);
- traffic on your digital channels;
- a particular search term that results in large amounts of hits on your website;
- a tag or hashtag that others use to refer to you or your work;
- a consistently good rating or review on an external website like (e.g.) Tripadvisor;
- digital products, such as webcasts, video recordings, education packs, programmes;
- digital services, such as online ticketing, booking or car sharing systems;
- images and stories that you’ve perhaps used with the press and media, that they have published digitally;
- data explicitly gathered via surveys
- online customer relationships (depending on privacy policies); and
- customer numbers on social media channels, digital revenue streams.
Intangible assets could be:
- Intellectual Property (or IP) in bespoke digital developments or content (could you sell the channel or service to anyone else? Did you have to develop bespoke code to integrate any of your technologies?),
- the digital collaborative partnerships or services you have developed so far just for your organisation (could they leverage new products or services? Could the results provide more tangible assets? Could they be “white-labelled, and sold to anyone else?),
- what makes you stand out digitally – your online strengths or things that you do differently (the sense of humour of your chief Tweeter, your useful Facebook updates on the weather and what to wear to the theatre tonight to not be cold, etc.)
- your data (if you opened it up, could technology developers do anything with it? See these Culture Hack Day results from 2013 for some ideas of what can be achieved when cultural organisations open up their data to digital technology developers).
Audit your Customer/Audience digital competence, perceptions, assumptions, expectations and engagement
Working out, from gathering feedback from your customers/audiences/stakeholders, what digital competence, perceptions, assumptions and expectations they have of your organisation can be surprising! You can track their engagement through analytics, but holding a focus group with them might provide you with more nuanced insights about what people like, find hard to do, dislike. How do you count the digital engagement and participation levels of your users? How important is this to you?
First, establish what are the digital touchpoints, channels, and distribution mechanisms that your audiences/customers engage with you through. This your digital mix. Run a focus group, or set up some interviews with customers of different age and social demographics. Consider:
- Competence: what digital devices do your customers/audiences use, how, why and when? Do they use the devices to connect with your organisation? What’s their experience?
- Perceptions: What’s their perception of how they should be able to digitally connect with your content/organisation?
- What are their assumptions about how they and you should be using digital technologies?
- What are their expectations about how they should be able to use digital technology to
- Be connected in your venue
- Participate with your core content
- Buy your products/tickets
- Engage with your organisation
- What can they do today with your digital mix?
- What happens after they do it?
- How do you sustain interest over time?
Create a touchpoints diagram that describes the journey of a user by representing the different touchpoints that characterises their interaction with your organisation. In this kind of visualisation, the interaction is described step by step, but with an emphasis on some aspects as the flux of physical and digital information and the physical and digital devices involved. You can do this through role playing or story telling an interaction with your organisation as different kinds characters that typically are your customers and stakeholders.
You could map the results visually on a Stakeholder Map. You could also undertake market research to establish what the norms of behaviour are for your customer demographic when they engage with other sectors; and undertake desk research to see what competitors offer. If you’re feeling brave, you could even ask sector experts to review your digital offering.
You might want to additionally audit your digital proficiency, your digital technology, your digital engagement, and your business model to see where digital technologies play a part/are business critical. You might also want to gauge where your customers and stakeholders are at digitally, to see how they respond to your current digital set-up, and what they would like to see.
At this stage you might feel a bit overwhelmed! It’s normal for cultural organisations to get a fright at this stage, particularly if the IT set up and digital developments have previously been ad hoc or piecemeal. But you know where you are at, now. The next stage of The AmbITion Approach is the uplifting and exciting part: brainstorming and thinking about where you would like to be! You will also be diagnosing what IT and digital developments you will need to implement to get to where you want to be, from where you are now.