The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) is the world's leading dance academy operating across three continents, throughout 80 countries and covering 8 languages. The organisation enjoys a membership that is nearly double that of its nearest rival. In 2020, RAD will celebrate its 100th anniversary and aim to continue to lead the word in the examination and accreditation of dancers and dance teachers to the highest level. However, the longevity and success of this ambition brings with it some major challenges in this digital era and that’s where our journey with RAD began.


WORKSHOPS conducted


INTERVIEWS completed


COUNTRIES consulted


With a rich heritage, which had on the flipside created legacy issues, combined with considerable aspirations, RAD recognised the need to assess its digital position and align activity with its wider business objectives through a coherent strategy. After Digital’s digital transformation consulting team was tasked with developing a digital strategy and roadmap for RAD that would evolve them into a digitally-centric, international membership organisation that enjoyed greater efficiency, greater real-time communications and outstanding member interactions.

Discovery: Qualitative Research

Kicking off the project, our strategists travelled to RAD’s head office in the heart of Battersea, London to define the outcomes of the project and then structure a series of workshops with staff that would support and augment the quantitative research being undertaken by our digital marketing team.

Over the space of two days, over thirty staff and stakeholders were invited to a number of workshops and one-to-one interviews led by our expert consultants. Every session was fully captured with detailed minutes, recordings, whiteboard visualisations and flip chart diagrams. Interactive from the start, these immersive sessions allowed our strategic consultants to truly get under the skin of RAD, understand what made them tick and, importantly, what their longer-term aspirations are for digital.

There then followed a number of video conference sessions to international teams in Canada, Sri Lanka, Brazil and several key team members across the UK and Europe.

The research aimed to evaluate the digital activity, tools, processes and people currently in place as well as what the future should look like.

"A few of the staff were not sure what to expect but everyone has commented on how much they enjoyed the sessions and how informative and well run these workshops were."

- Mel Murphy, Director of Marketing & Communications, RAD

RAD digital transformation workshop by After Digital

Discovery: Desk Research

In-depth research was conducted into the RAD and its marketplace, with key outputs including a detailed Technical Website Audit, a Competitive Social Media Audit and a complete Digital Portfolio map.

Insights from our research allowed us to develop user persona profiles, creating an understanding of what motivates RAD audiences and their level of digital competency. From here, we worked through a number of user scenarios, storyboarding the many ways a user may interact with the organisation online.

RAD user personas by After Digital

Liaising with the IT department we identified the numerous systems in place, how they interfaced and integrated with one another (or not in some cases) and gained an understanding of data management in RAD. From here we could evaluate the usefulness, efficiency and practicality of the current digital infrastructure and offer recommendations for improvement.

"There is widespread support for the report and the need to do it and put it at the heart of our strategy going forward."

- Mel Murphy, Director of Marketing & Communications, RAD


PAGES of insights delivered


COMPREHENSIVE appendices created


MONTH action plan outlined

Driving tangible impact and action

The consulting team got deep under the skin of RAD. We enjoyed the passion and the enthusiasm they showed for the changes required and the outcomes they desired. After many hours of discussions, countless telephone calls and a truly partnering approach by the whole project team, After Digital delivered a set of recommendations in a Roadmap and Business Case with attending comprehensive appendices that have clearly outlined the way forward, the benefits, risks and costs for the various recommendations and the timelines for delivery.

With positive feedback from the RAD steering group, we are now continuing to work closely with their team to deliver upon the Roadmap recommendations.

Most notably, we recently won the tender for their new website, which will transform how they operate internationally via this public-facing interface. We’re also working closely on their CRM development and integration, alongside a project to digitise all assets and more effectively serve these to all stakeholders.

Our input has lead to more connected decision making and deeper focus on the efficiencies this connectedness can deliver. Digital is now truly seen as an enabler rather than a challenge.

RAD planning and digital roadmap by After Digital

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