The tasks, skills and abilities required of the modern digital marketing manager, online manager or webmaster are broad. T shaped skills sets are squared off and it is the same for any marketer – on or offline. The influence of technology everywhere means speaking tech and having EQ is the equation for success.
We are required not only to have a technical understanding, but also the skills to wrangle: tech upgrades, shiny new social networks, integrations, content, user experiences and the teams or relationships involved in creating them.
That said, the most powerful approach/skill/technique that a Website Marketing Manager can take is that of being a forerunner for: his leaders, his team and his customers.
They’re the forerunner and Product Owner for their tools – the website, social media and online channels
As the forerunner for an organisation’s online presence the Website Marketing Manager champions best practice. By ensuring the overall consistency of look and feel, that image selection and copy reflects the tone of voice and brand guidelines of the organisation the manager creates harmony. An experience for the user that is consistent throughout the website, across social media platforms and through the various mediums of copy, image, video and interactive.
They understand that a post with an image is more credible, they understand heuristics like scarcity, anchoring and abundance, but most of all they craft a better online experience.
A forerunner respects rules and regulations, but also appreciates that a new audience or network will respond better to content designed for them. Ancient forerunners learnt the languages, dialects, customs and body language that appeased their new audiences, carving a path for their leader. They master the technology and tool available but also know how to hammer in a nail with a variety of tools and quickly repurpose.
The forerunner not only tailors but they develop and implement an overall content strategy into which they meld the requirements of various stakeholders. All whilst addressing the needs of their buyer personas (the target audiences of their organisation).
They’re the forerunner for customers online
First and foremost the forerunner is customer centric.
The forerunner rolls up their sleeves for the customer ensuring they find resolution for their pain points with products and services, or information and content, should their needs be met elsewhere. They ensure the experience is as painless as possible.
They understand the various customer journeys that buyer personas take, they optimise sales funnels on the site to maximise conversion rates and they do so to ultimately please the customer.
They’re the forerunner for their team
A forerunner likes to roll up their sleeves. In posting content, status updates and A/B testing the forerunner keeps tabs on the user experience for internal customers too. Those that have to deal with cumbersome workflows, ageing tools or inefficient processes. The manager spots things like:
- folksonomy editing
- the pairing, deleting or formatting of tags
- category management
- approval bottlenecks
- batching synergies
- and workflow inefficiencies.
They keep a backlog of process and system improvement to implement that will streamline publication processes and minimise risk.
The forerunner creates a scaffold for his team to work autonomously towards well communicated joint goals.
They’re the forerunner for their leaders and peers
Forerunners are ahead explaining complex scenarios in a dialect the audience can understand and they manage stakeholders needs. Be that senior management, HR with careers branding, or legal with compliance. They communicate efficiently with each.
Like a good auctioneer the website forerunner has his eye across the digital room remembering all parties, their bids and their interests. With an eye on all facets of technical and content needs, prioritised backlogs are built of:
- technical improvements
- content features
- content types, their audience, trends and seasonality
The forerunner has contacts in all camps and bridges sales, marketing and IT to meld the an optimum website within technical and budgetary restraints.
They’re the forerunner for the future
Through constant research – the forerunner has a backlog of potential new ideas for the site, social media and all digital touchpoints. The forerunner is a connector not only of people but also ideas through loose ties. Leveraging industry but also global and hyper local trends as they fit with the goals of the company, the forerunner proactively shares ideas to guide their leader.
As the champion of his website the forerunner isn’t afraid to challenges roadblocks and those deviating from what is currently considered best practice. He has the brand standards, site standards, usability and overall site design at the forefront of any decision.
The forerunner has become an expert at iterative decisions. Taking big decisions and testing them with MVPs. Trialing on a low risk asset or A/B testing to integrate new features or content.
Constantly improving. Continuous beta.
This post is prompted by a recent Tim Ferriss podcast on the canvas strategy and a quote: “The person who clears the path ultimately controls its direction, just as the canvas shapes the painting.” – Ryan Holiday.