Recently working with a client, we stumbled across an extremely effective way to get a strategic view of their digital service – where they are and where they want to go.

The client had a very clear and audacious goal to expand its audience, so we knew what the service had to achieve. This gave us a solid direction.

We focused on three key questions and used these to work out where the service is currently strong, where there are gaps and where there are opportunities for significant growth.

1 Who needs our service?

We avoided any pap answers here. We looked at data about our current audience, and as we mulled it over, we realised there are significant gaps.

The current service unconsciously targets a very specific audience, an audience which the team feels most comfortable with – one which mirrors their own sensibilities and backgrounds.

Seeing this unconscious bias allowed us to clearly identify the significant segments of the proposed audiences that aren’t being targeted and who represent profound opportunities for growth.

2 Where can we reach them?

We then looked at the existing service channels. The service to date has done enormous work establishing its web and social channels. But these channels are focused more on pull than push, relying on people to actively come looking for the service.

To grow the audience, we have to push out to them. We have to identify ways to reach them, to entice them and get them thinking about the service for the first time.

3 What will have an impact on them?

This question got us looking at what we could do with content and functionality to get the audience’s attention and make an impact on their lives.

Not surprisingly, the service is strong in content that met the needs of the current audience but weak in content that might appeal to the growth audiences.

The gaps we identified are challenging for the content team. It pushes them into unfamiliar territory. It requires new content partnerships and approaches.

An experimental plan of action

The process of answering who, where and what gave us a high level overview of where the service is at and where it can grow. We then moved from the strategic to the practical. We identified potential solutions that we could test through a series of content experiments.

This whole process took place in two half-day sessions. By close of the second half-day we had a strong, clear path to grow the audience for the service and an energised team ready to get cracking.


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