A digitally mature organisation takes an audience-centred approach to planning. This means it can look beyond team priorities and team plans, to focus on high-level organisational goals.

Audiences (supporters, donors, beneficiaries, clients, journalists, campaigners, influencers and decision makers) are vital for achieving those goals. The role of teams is to engage them and help develop deeper relationships, build trust and – sometimes – reach more relevant people.

An individual user will have a relationship with the whole organisation, and may be affected by the work of many different teams/departments. It’s important to measure audience engagement from a user perspective. That means thinking about users’ needs first, not letting internal structures dictate how organisations or teams engage with audiences and their behaviours. Consistent and robust metrics to assess the work must be owned and shared across teams.

Sharing targets helps teams collaborate instead of compete. It means an organisation’s audiences get consistent, reliable experiences, so they can build trust and deepen their relationship with an organisation.

Cross-functional teams should be responsible for end-to-end delivery of audience journeys and products. These teams should include people who hold the knowledge of channels, content and audiences involved in the audience journey planning from the start.

Things to think about

  • In your projects, do you come together around audience profiles and then define how to engage those audiences and which existing or new products are needed for this?
  • Do you have cross-team and cross -channel communications or product development plans?
  • Do you coordinate your audience plans across teams or are they fully integrated?

Collaboration: five levels of maturity

1. Siloed

Teams plan separately and message and resource clashes are discovered at the point of implementation on digital channels.

2. Synchronised

Teams plan separately and share plans in order to synchronise. Teams rarely significantly change their plans to accommodate other team’s plans.

3. Planned

Teams make plans together based on their objectives for the year. Teams are responsible for their own audience/product KPIs.

4. Integrated

There's an ongoing planning organisation-wide process to ensure consistency of messages/products for audiences, across channels. KPIs are shared across teams.

5. Audience-first

Planning starts with audience insight, in cross-organisation multi-skilled teams to best deliver my organisation’s strategy and objectives.