So it’s time, or past time, to start maximizing the web in your business. However, you have a big problem. The big problem is you know about as much about the web as you know about the mating habits of the Punk Rock Snail (yes, that is a real snail!). That’s okay. Relax a little. Stick with me a few minutes and we will work through this together.
The first thing to know is that winning in digital marketing isn’t so different than winning on the football field. You have to drive down the field and put more points on the board than your competition. Your first key hire in digital marketing has to be the person that is going to make sure the ball gets down the field and into the end zone. More simply, you need a digital marketing quarterback. Here are four things you need your digital marketing quarterback to do:
- Know the game and develop your offensive plan. Just as a good quarterback has to understand offenses and defenses, your quarterback also has to have a strong and broad knowledge of digital marketing. This doesn’t mean that this person has to be good at everything because that is likely impossible. That would be like expecting a football quarterback to pass, run, block, tackle, sack, defend the run, defend the pass, punt and kick well enough to win on Sundays. They must be able to develop the digital strategy necessary to support the business goals as well as outline the tactics necessary to deliver on the strategy. The biggest challenge you will face here is separating the posers from the players. Many people can talk a big game but only a few can deliver. Getting expert help here is a good idea.
- Execute the offensive plan. Once the offensive plan is developed then it is game time! Your quarterback will need to be a pragmatic leader, willing to get their uniform dirty while getting the ball in the end zone. Strong communications skills to make sure everyone knows and is aligned with the game plan are critical. Strong project coordination and stewardship skills, to make sure everyone is playing their part, are also critical.
- Change the plays at the line of scrimmage. As military strategist Helmuth (please don’t name your child this) von Moltke said, “No plan survives contact with the enemy.” This is true in the ever-changing (understatement) landscape of digital marketing. Your quarterback must respect and understand the vast amount of data analysis that is available in digital marketing. We don’t have to guess. We can constantly measure and optimize. Your quarterback must be able to probe the defense and make the needed adjustments based on what is happening on the field.
- Get the right players in the game at the right time. Just like quarterbacks need to get the right players on and off the field, so does your digital marketing quarterback. Whether that is developing an internal team or using external consultants or agencies, it will be your quarterback’s responsibility to get the right players in the game or at least have them waiting on the bench when needed. Having experience building a team and/or working with outside experts to get things done will be important.