The Benefits of a Digital-First Strategy for Brands

Jan 11, 2018 | Mark Troast

A digital-first strategy should be a key component of any brand that combines commerce with content. (And if your brand isn’t thinking about its B2B platform as a content destination, it’s time.)

When you adopt a digital-first approach, the life of an asset—such as a product image or presentation—matches the life of the product.

In other words, you never have to worry again about outdated product photos floating around at that retailer in Des Moines.

There are four major benefits to a digital-first strategy.

1. Design once

A digital-first strategy lets you design your asset once. Any necessary tweaks are made to one file only.

For example, let’s say you have an image capture of an athletic shoe that was taken during the go-to-market phase. If you need to do color correction on that shoe, then it’s easy to modify the color in the image file.

Make the change within your DMS and that modified file appears in every relevant location, be it a web page, an ordering platform, or an asset to be printed.

But it’s not just about photos. You can easily modify presentations, too, and a good B2B platform can adapt to those changes.

A modern B2B should automatically rearrange interactive elements. Instead of producing a simple screen grab of, say, a video appearing on a web page, the platform repositions that content when you need to print a PDF. (Users can modify settings within the platform.)

This means that you get the right tool with the right settings in the right people’s hands. Reps can take what the know about the client and customize the asset (for a group of buyers or a certain individual, for example).

2. On-demand printing

A digital-first strategy isn’t the same thing as “digital only.” After all, you probably have that one buyer who insists on holding a printout when sizing up a new product.

But with a digital-first approach, printing needs are handled on demand.

When you need a hard copy of an asset, just print a PDF and disseminate it as you need to. You might print it and mail the asset, or you can send it by email (in which case the recipient makes the decision to print). Remember: a good B2B system can create print-ready PDFs on its own, which takes the hard work of adjusting layouts and templates off your staff’s hands.

3. Greater depth of storytelling

One of the big benefits to a digital-first mindset is that a single web page can have many different touchpoints.

While a print catalog page has only text and images (which may or may not be current), a good digital asset uses video, pop, and photo spins to enhance the text. The person who sees this content gets to interact with your brand and its products.

The end result is a story about a product rather than a simple description of a product. It’s what we call a content destination, and it enhances the buyer experience.

4. Cost savings with a digital-first strategy

What business owner doesn’t like cutting costs? Digital assets allow you to do just that.

To see why, consider what happens when you modify a print asset. First, a designer or copywriter has to edit an image or text in multiple places, which is a duplication of effort. (See #1 above.)

Then, you need to reprint the asset and mail it. Those costs can quickly add up in a print environment, but in a digital world, they all but disappear.

Digital-first is a must for today’s brands

The above benefits should give you ample reason to move to a digital-first strategy.

Your assets live in a central location and you can design them once. You can tell a better story… all while saving money.

What’s not to like?

Mark Troast


VP eCommerce Enablement

With 13 years of experience in solution enablement, Mark Troast uses his considerable experience to represent clients' interests while planning and executing the implementation of the Envoy platform.