Gutenberg, what is a digital strategist, ANNACOLIBRI
Gutenberg — The Accidental Digital Strategist

This post is about digital strategy and answers two key questions:

  • What is a digital strategist? And
  • Do you need one?

Friends, we are in the midst of what might pan out to be a more revolutionary period of communication than the Gutenberg press. Do you remember good ‘ole Johannes?

Back before 1450, everyone had to hand write their documents — I kid you not.

Now, since we all carry around little machines packed with as much technology as the first rocket (quaint term, I know), we don’t even need to print.

Or do we?

That is the kind of question a digital strategist answers.

What is a Digital Strategist?

A digital strategist is that special someone who looks at a company’s:

  • Vision
  • Mission
  • Goals
  • Objectives
  • Opportunities
  • Branding and
  • Marketing

in order to determine the best digital strategy for that company — given competitors, current economic climate and changing technology.

Strategy means developing a detailed action plan.

Digital refers to the media (such as text and images) you find on the internet as well as the tools and technologies that make the text and images possible.

How Do Digital Strategists Do What They Do?

Digital strategy, like so much about the web and web technology, is a rapidly emerging field.

Depending on the size of the organization — and besides, of course, strategy — a digital strategist will have any of the following skills and experience:

  • Project management
  • Strong understanding of web design, user experience and conversion architecture
  • SEO and keyword planning
  • Fluency with content strategy and production
  • Up-to-the minute knowledge of and experience with social media platforms
  • Ability to communicate ideas and provide leadership
  • Editorial talent
  • Writing
  • Familiarity with content production tools and technologies
  • Metrics
  • Analytics
  • Knowledge of industry trends and best practices
  • Problem solving
  • Ability to work across disciplines
  • Results orientation

That’s a lot to do in one day, no?

Do You Need a Digital Strategist?

The quick answer is “yes.”

Why?

Because pursuing online marketing without a plan is like driving from Chicago to Paris without a map.

You’ll say, “But you can’t drive to Paris from Chicago.”

I see you are getting my point!

What is the point, really, of creating a website if your best answer as to why you are doing it is that “everybody has one.”

Sure, it costs a little more to find out why you want a website and how your website can support those goals.

On the other hand, not asking the question means that you’ll be very, very lucky if your website answers it.

You’ll say, “What was the question, again?”

I see you’re getting my point.

A digital strategist will help you define what your business goals are and then lay out how you will meet them.

What’s the best part?

A digital strategist will also define metrics so you know if you are meeting your goals and then reset your course if all is not going according to plan.

As the pace of change quickens, having a great strategy in place helps you feel confident and in control as you meet your businesses’ financial objectives.

And that, my friends, is the bottom line.

Your Turn

What do you think? Do you need a digital strategist?

{image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons}

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