How to find effective growth opportunities in a complex digital landscape

There are many routes to achieving digital growth, however finding those which are most effective from a cost, time, and longevity perspective is where a challenge presents itself.

Within this article we’ve pieced together a simplified approach that seeks to help businesses understand how to find the most effective opportunities, saving time and budget, but most importantly ensuring the outcome of achieving performance targets, and that starts with a simple checklist:

  1. Setting objectives, KPIs and goals
  2. Understanding your data
  3. Targeting the right audience/competitors
  4. Spotting strengths and weaknesses of the competition
  5. Defining your challenges
  6. Uncovering growth opportunities
  7. Measurement and improvement

1. Setting objectives, KPIs and goals

Clear objectives are crucial, and are the where all your research, activity, and decisions should point back towards.

You should always start with a clear business objective e.g. Achieve £10M in revenue in 2021.

Understand how you want all your channels to contribute to this overall objective. For example, “Digital sales to account for 60% of revenue”. It’s good to have a starting point to understand what you want each channel to aim for but be ready to flex. Your digital agency may turn around and tell you that they can achieve more than this, then you’ll need to be ready to assess the ROI across your various channels.

For objectives to work, they need to be clear, concise, and have a measurement attached to them – what are the key results you need to drive to hit that objective.

2. Understanding your data

This is a simple but important point; if your tracking is inaccurate, you’re going to limit your growth potential.

Work with your internal teams and client side/internal data teams to ensure attribution is nailed, and you have a clear view from click to purchase.

Setting this up correctly will allow you to assess the impact and ROI of each channel and start to spot where there is potential for growth.

3. Targeting the right audience/customers

Who are your audience, how do they search and what’s the opportunity across each platform? Answering these questions will allow you to determine which platforms/channels will be most profitable.

You can use a combination of third party tools, like Google Analytics, Global Web Index, SEMrush, Facebook Analytics etc., to learn more about your audience’s behaviour. Then, combine this with more qualitative data from industry studies, and use data science tactics like social media mining, to understand how your audience are communicating and behaving online.

4. Spot strengths and weaknesses of the competition

Knowing what tactics your competitors are using to grow is essential, especially if you’re not in the lead position. You can have a better product or service, but if you’re not targeting your audience smarter than the rest you’re not going to achieve your true potential.

For this you really need the help of data and tools. We utilise SERPR, our proprietary search intelligence platform that analyses the full digital landscape across all markets and SERP focussed channels. If you’re not using SERPR like us, you’ll want a method of accessing information on what terms your competitors are targeting, what content they’re launching and what they’re pushing. You’ll also want this data to refresh as frequently as possible to stay on top of any changes, take advantage of gaps and avoid missing out on new trends that have potential to deliver growth.

5. Define your challenges

So at this stage you know what you’re trying to achieve, how to track success, who you’re trying to target and who you’re trying to outperform. The final step before choosing the right opportunities is to assess the challenges that stand in the way of success.

Here you’ll be looking to understand the limiting factors to your success, so when you piece together tactics, you will limit the potential for them to be ineffective.

You’ll know the challenges that your business faces, help your digital agency to understand these challenges and allow them to tell you the digital challenges you face.

6. Uncovering growth opportunities

The purpose of following the steps above is that by this point you should have been able to identify where your opportunities for capturing the highest volume of transactions/leads/conversions are. Combining this with an understanding of challenges will allow you to prioritise across these opportunities.

In terms of defining specific tactics, your marketing agency/team should be able to map tactics that seek to overcome the challenges and achieve the overall objective.

By tying challenges in against the objectives you’re working towards, you can get a clear picture of what could stop you from achieving your goals and so where you would need to put additional investment to counteract any challenge you come across.

7. Measurement and improvement

The final step is to make sure everything is measurable, and it’s worth noting that may not mean ensuring that everything drives a direct conversion. Set growth goals against the opportunities to allow you to determine the effectiveness of your approach, for non-converting channels these targets may be awareness or engagement led.

This step allows for constant assessment and improvement and will assist with future prioritisation and resource allocation against targets. If one of your channel tactics is overperforming and you know that there’s a lot more untapped demand there, you’ve just spotted a growth opportunity and can choose to funnel more resources into the activity.


If you need help discovering your growth opportunities, or want to get another opinion on what channels you need to use to meet your objectives, talk to our team today and they’ll be happy to help!