I specifically remember at my former job at HDS that the agencies (an SEO firm and a Ad Agency, neither who had ever blogged before) were actually in competition with me. I was a full time employee and an agency (actually two that were working together) wanted to poach the social media program from me, all with 6 figure budgets. I was able to maintain control, but always felt that agencies should be supporting and partnering with me, NOT looking to replace internal programs. I’m past that now, and am cordial to both firms, although it’s still at top of mind when I think of them, a lesson learned how business is business.
Last week at the Forrester Consumer Forum I engaged in a fascinating discussion over lunch how some brands were able to bring all the agency constituents together to rally around a single brand, rather than compete among each other. For a large brand, there are many constituents that may revolve around the web strategy, here’s a few:
Web Design Firm User Experience Research, Information Architecture, Usability Interactive Agency Advertising Firm PR Firm Search Marketing Firm Web Analytics or Web Measurement firm CMS Vendor: From Workflow to versioning Software Vendor: Any number of add ons, plugins, or supplementary software or data layer Development or Platform Vendor External Training Agencies Recruiting Agencies Social Media Agencies High Level Web Strategy Consultants Market Research Firms Email Marketing Firms Industry Analysts: Market Data, Advisory Social Media: The People, the community, and all those who write about your site Competitors: What a competitor does on their websites may often be compared to your site, the impact is obvious Users: Your actual web users. Affiliate Marketing Partner (Submitted by Dave via Twitter) Online Reputation Tracking: Your actual web users.(Submitted by Dave via Twitter) Investors: Perhaps for a startup, yes (Submitted by Vruz via Twitter)
This list doesn’t include any internal constituents, just the many external forces that shape your website. With this many players, how do you create a holistic experience for your users? How do you create a website with long term goals, and yet maintain your immediate business objectives? While the answer will often vary, it’s the role of the company’s web strategist to not only develop the plans for the site, but to choose the right tools, build relationships and manage a profit and loss.
What you should know: The Three spheres of a Web Strategy.