Say hello to: Geert, domain lead digital strategy at icapps!

icapps wouldn’t be icapps without its people. That’s why, in this blog series, we put one of our amazing employees in the spotlight to talk about his or her job at icapps. Find out what their challenges are in their job, how they want to grow and get to know them a bit too.

Are you wondering what a job as a domain lead in digital strategy looks like? Geert is here to help and will tell you all about it!

How did you start as a digital strategist, and why specifically digital?

I started as a developer during the rise of the World Wide Web, a new and exciting time when I was fascinated by digital intricacies. Initially, I focused on building and coding websites and the first CMS and eCRM solutions. Soon, however, I found myself questioning, “Okay, I’m building all these websites and digital products, but is this truly what the customer needs? And what value do they bring to these businesses?”. From that moment on, my focus shifted more and more to digital strategy. . That’s how I rolled first into digital product strategy, later into digital marketing strategy, brand strategy, and business strategy, only to bring them all together here at icapps.

How did you start your journey at icapps?

The company I used to work for had great ties with icapps’ first client, Unilever. Unilever called us, saying that there were a few people, the founders of icapps, who wanted to build an app for them. After hearing icapps’ idea, we told Unilever to go along with it, and from that moment on I kept an eye on icapps. 25 years later I had estranged myself from the technological side and spent most of my days doing marketing- and brand strategy. Although it was very interesting, I really missed the technical part. I noticed that icapps needed a digital product strategist and took my chances.

What are your tasks as a domain lead?

I need to make sure that everyone knows icapps offers support in digital strategy, internally and externally. However, the concept of strategy is closely aligned with design, so this is partially my responsibility as well. It takes constant research and reflection on what we are doing, and what can be improved. I make sure we keep up with the trends within strategy and design as well as overall consumer and technology trends so that we can keep offering our clients the best of the best. At the same time, I obviously do not know everything, so I make sure that I create an environment that facilitates learning opportunities for our designers and strategists.

What are your daily tasks as a digital strategist? How do you combine this with your role as domain lead?

Strategy is an extremely broad concept, daily tasks can be market research, interviewing stakeholders, and facilitating workshops. My job is to create a vision and set goals together with our clients. Through workshops we aim to find consensus on a common goal we want to achieve with the product and that everyone is willing to work on. This overlaps with my role as Domain Lead. By talking to our clients, I get a glimpse of their most common struggles. One of the tasks at the end of a workshop is providing a solution that answers their challenges.

What is one of your most satisfying experiences as a digital strategist?

During projects we organize workshops with various stakeholders within the client’s company. Sometimes these colleagues have never even met before. Often, different departments only have a vague idea of the company’s why, and by the end of the meeting, a clear vision is created. Being able to guide people from a vague idea to a tangible view on what to build, seeing everything ‘click’, and aligning everyone around the same vision is highly rewarding and gives me energy.

What are the frustrations that you experience?

Often, frustrations exist around budget or technology limitations, etc. Everyone is on board when we realize this is a really good idea, but we cannot make it a reality. We then try to find a solution that is a first step in the right direction. But this is life! It becomes a real frustration when it happens again and again…

In which areas do you see growth for yourself?

Everything! Strategy is so broad; it’s strategy but also design, UX, UI, psychology, and sociology…. Often, I read articles online that have nothing to do with strategy, but somehow, I always get new creative ideas from them regarding strategy!

What is the magical recipe for a great digital strategy?

A great digital strategy starts with knowing your clients and your business and having a clear vision of what you want to achieve. This vision needs to be small and precise, and every employee needs to support it.

You started your own company Sweet Notes, but what compliment would you like to receive?

When someone tells me they feel like I really understand them. I always try to empathize with others and this shows that I reached my goal.

Want to know more about digital product strategy?

We are hosting an Ask the Expert webinar! This will be an interactive session where you can ask all your digital strategy-related questions to our expert, Geert, who has 24 years of experience. This session is bound to give you new insights and Geert would love to see you there!