To those that know me, I evolved into the field. In another life, I was a Creative Director and after immersing myself in the initial strategies that drove the creative execution, I found the evolution quite painless and eventually enjoyable.
To my knowledge there is no formal training or degree in order to become a web strategist. I have however found (6) commonalities of strategists who are my colleagues.
Web Strategists are:
1. Inquisitive. They are the type of person that always asks "why?" until they fully understand a problem. They ask the poignant questions that no one else is prepared to ask.
2. Passionate. This almost goes without saying. There is little reward in carrying out a task that you are not passionate about doing.
3. Able to Prioritize. Strategists understand that in order to reach a goal, you must prioritize your objectives. Priorities may need to be set because of budget, timing or complex needs (ie. in order to reach "z" we must first perform "x" and "y".)
4. Analytical. This is a big one. Strategy is not only developed by listening to one person or reading data from one source. Strategists pull data from a variety of sources. Analytic data is as important prior to starting a campaign as it is after the campaign has been implemented. (You can't know where to go if you don't know where you have been.) In my own experience, I have often times listened completely to a client's pain points only to find out that the source of the problem was not entirely what was communicated - it was a combination of various factors at play.
5. Versed in technology. I know some individuals will likely argue with me on this one, saying that web strategy should focus solely on business needs. I will agree with this view to a point. However more often than not, the best web strategists I have encountered know how and when to apply web tools that will affect a given outcome. This understanding involves a general understanding of "what's under the hood" of these technologies. From my own experience, the best web strategists have experience in one or more of the following: web technology, various forms of interactive marketing, web branding and business Best Practices pertaining to the web.
6. Experienced in FAILING. You read it correctly. Out of failure comes knowledge. The best web strategists will be open in their failures. The web is a new and ever-changing field. What you read and apply today may not work tomorrow. Moreover, there certainly will not be a 'one-size-fits-all' approach to web strategy. Those that recognize this and are cautious in their recommendations for campaigns are the ones that succeed in their trade. I will be the first to admit I have had some catastrophic failures in applications of strategy. However I will quickly add that I have also have had some monumental successes, that I feel have been a direct result of these failures.
Labels: web strategy
8/07/2009 09:31:00 AM
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Okay, well I am finding out there are more than 6...
7. Ability to learn from others. More on this later. I plan on expanding on this post in the future.