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Digital revolution has raised the number of smartphones and
application  (Moreno-Munoz,
Bellido-Outeirino, & Gomez-Nieto, 2016)and increase drastically the time
spent on mobile that switched from a pc-based platform (Kim, Kim, &
Wachter, 2013). Although the literature does not have profound date regarding
the determinants of customer engagement in mobile applications, the impacts of mobile
growth has changed and alter consumer’s behaviors and also students’ studying
options (Dovaliene, Piligrimiene, & Masiulyte, 2016).

With digital technologies, it is nowadays a typical tool for
the advertising channel, supported by the consumer learning theory which states
that consumers tend to make the decisions on the brand choice and make the
transactions happens only after they are aware and informed of the products and
services they are buying. This type of cross-channel advertising tool for the
branded apps have shown a positive firm performance which increase not only
customer’s loyalty, but the different platform’s synergies. Giving some
advantages found within the digital dimension, mainly accessibility,
portability and constant connection, the opportunity to be closer to customer’s
private life will be optimized once strategically created value (Wang, Kim,
& Malthouse, 2016). This may only exist if customer’s satisfaction and
stickiness happens, avoiding poorly design apps which in turn disengages
customers and therefore hurt sales. Mobile engagement has had a significant
role interconnecting customers and brands. Not only the brand relationship is
strengthened, but also the customer’s perceptions and evaluation of the same
brand (Wu, 2016).

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According to Moreno-Muniz et al., (2016), many digital
technologies and tools were introduced recently, along with others that will
appear. The developing trend of the mobile social networks are still noticed as
important and showing huge advantages, but the unknown of the future and its
implications may be a drop-off. This sphere is changing at a fast space and at
different levels of social media use.

Since customers are expecting to be able to do everything
from their devices, the business impact is huge as well once they can provide
the push the notification and serve as a brand engagement tool and vehicle
(Moreno-Munoz, Bellido-Outeirino, & Gomez-Nieto, 2016). The biggest problem
to appear is when an app launched did not manage to create value to its users
and its negative effects spread: a negative effect that impacts the brand
relationship, decreases sales. If firms know how to engage with its customers,
then they have found its competitive advantage and key to success (Kim, Kim,
& Wachter, 2013; Dovaliene, Piligrimiene, & Masiulyte, 2016).

At the moment, there is a lack of a conceptual understanding
about the impacts, advantages and disadvantage of a digital strategy in
organizations, let alone in Portugal and in the future and a general lack of
research on the topic as well. Terms such as digital strategy, IT strategy and
digital marketing strategy are confusedly mixed and blurred with not clear
distinction between them.

2.2.      INTRODUCTION
TO STRATEGY

 

Strategy itself is a hard already concept to understand, so
a clear definition will help define the scope of what will be discussed
throughout this study (Bradford, 2016). 
Strategy is defined as a formulation of actionable and flexible stages
in sight of a larger objective. By this, it is meant a plan of action designed
to achieve a long-term aim. It is set to run in the long run, optimizing the
usage of still available resources, with a transversal decision that is not
easily modified and changed.

Strategy consists of the main direction set, business approaches
and competitive moves that are taken on into account to boost and improve
performance so that they compete successfully and to gain a sustainable
competitive advantage.  With strategy, it
provides direction and guidance in terms of what the organization should and
should not do (Porter M. E., 1996). A successful strategy is likely to have a
unique element that creates the competitive advantage to achieve a unique
position in the market (Porter M. E., 1996).

Organizations are often faced with common three questions:
“What is the present situation?”; “Where does the organization go from here?”
and “How do get there?”. The first question mentions the context which the
organization operates by evaluating the industries conditions, its financial
performances, resources, strengths, weaknesses and changes that might affect
the organization in the business landscape. The second interrogation refers the
vision of the organization’s future direction. Finally, the third query is
regards to the process of implementing the strategy into action and managing
the organization in the intended direction. The decisions are based on
considered choices. This one is considered the most difficult element of
strategy for managers to control (Rivkin, 2001). Although strategic choices are
rarely easy involving difficult decisions, it should not be an excuse from some
unsuccessful actions (Markides, 2004; Collis & Rukstad, 2004).

There are three types of strategic planning processes. These
are corporate level, business level and product level. The first one (higher
level) govern the lower ones and the main requirements are planning,
implementation and control (Kotler, Keller, Brady, Goodman, & Hansen,
2013).  The starting points are creating
the organization’s mission; analyzing its external and internal environment
(tool such as SWOT is very often use); setting objectives that are SMART;
developing a business strategy (e.g cost leadership, differentiation, focus
etc); preparing programs and implementing them; and gathering feedback and
exercising control. The final step is to also review the process and confirm
that it follows its plan.

Creating and crafting a strategy in an organization is a
rough and cautious task (Thompson, et al., 2013). The process consists of five
stages which are the following:

i.          Develop the
strategic vision, mission and set of values:

a.         The Vision
should describe the management’s aspirations for the future and its long-term
direction;

b.         The Mission
is about creating real business for customer and should convey the
organization’s identity by describing who they are and what they do (business
portfolio);

c.         Set of value
should represent the organization’s ideals such as community, sustainability,
initiatives or innovation, etc

ii.         Set
objectives

a.         Set the
organization’s performance targets and set key strategic priorities;

b.         Objectives
should be SMART;

iii.        Craft a
strategy to achieve the aims;

iv.        Put the
strategy into action efficiently and effectively;

v.         Evaluating
and monitoring the previous steps and adjust for new ideas and opportunities if
necessary (Thompson, et al., 2013).

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