Home > Management, Strategy > Congratulations! You’re in charge!… Now what? (Part 1)

Congratulations! You’re in charge!… Now what? (Part 1)

May 27th, 2010

Congratulations! You’ve been hired or promoted to take charge of your company’s online strategy and execution! At some point, the elation will fade and you’ll confront the same question everyone faces when they’ve been put in charge… “Where do I begin?” There are many different places you can start, and many would be correct. But if you are stuck in indecision, maybe this can be a path to get you moving.

First things first, and this has nothing to do with digital strategy. I suggest you read “The First 90 Days” by Dr. Michael Watkins. It is an amazing guide to getting up to speed in a new organization, helping you survive the transition and come out at the other end with solid momentum and a strong reputation.

Assuming you’ve read the book, here are a few things to get you started on your digital strategy:

1. “In God we trust, all others bring data.” — Framed plaque from the ‘60s at NASA’s Johnson Space Center
First, get the analytics. Very soon into your first week (and ideally, your first day), open a corporate account at Google Analytics. Throw the analytics code into the bottom of every page (ideally in a common element of all sites like a footer).  As well, get an account at Google Webmaster Tools, put the confirmation file on your root and start collecting the data. If you don’t know how to do the above, your IT group should be able to help you. Don’t worry about the data for at least a month. Let it collect.

While you’re waiting for that month of data to accumulate, you need to understand how to interpret the data you’ll be collecting. To do that, you must read one book. “Web Analytics 2.0” by Avinash Kaushik. I’ve been looking at Google Analytics stats for years and thought I understood what the numbers meant. After reading Avinash’s book, I realized that I had no idea what I was looking at. It changed my entire outlook on analytics.

2. Understand the needs of your internal stakeholders:
Most likely, the reason you were hired or promoted to that position is that some powerful people within your organization realized there is potential online that the organization is not tapping effectively. The power brokers probably have an idea of what they’re expecting to see online (and what you need to accomplish to be considered a success). Don’t guess at what that is. Ask! If you want some great guidance on how to find that out, I again direct you to Manager Tools and their excellent podcast on “Jump Starting Internal Customer Relationships.”

3. Find the ‘Low Hanging Fruit.’:
Based on your data and the remarks from your stakeholders, you probably have a sense of some low hanging fruit or things you can execute and launch quickly to build momentum. Momentum is often overlooked. Early wins help everyone see that ‘something’ is happening and it’s not going to be all talk and analysis. It also helps spark conversations. As the old saying goes, “It’s far easier to critique than create,” so give the stakeholders something small to critique. It provides low-risk feedback and helps hone your longer term strategy with minimal effort.

This advice will probably get you through the first week. In Part 2, we look a little longer term and talk about how to get an assessment of your team, understand your corporate culture and how to define your own measures of success.

Categories: Management, Strategy
  1. June 1st, 2010 at 23:23 | #1

    nice post. thanks.

  2. June 5th, 2010 at 01:45 | #2

    Great information! I’ve been looking for something like this for a while now. Thanks!

  3. June 12th, 2010 at 14:57 | #3

    Thanks. Part 2 is live. Let me know if I missed anything.

  4. June 12th, 2010 at 14:57 | #4

    Much appreciated! Part 2 will be published shortly. Stay tuned…

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