Defining Your Digital Governance for an Effective Web Presence

Thu Oct 17, 2013

I've been fortunate to get 3 conference passes to Inbound Marketing Summit, Digital Pulse Summit, and FutureM, all held this week in Boston. Over the last couple of days I've been hopping around the Hynes Convention Center attending a variety of different sessions of topics from the future of marketing technologists, to the future of web, and digital governance.

Profile ImageDigital governance thought leader and founder of the WelchmanPierpoint consultancy,Lisa Welchman (pictured) is a highly sought-after speaker. She presented at this year’s Digital Pulse Summit, where I attended her session, “Why Customer Engagement Management Makes Governance Even More Important.” Lisa offered a list of actionable tips for defining your digital governance framework.

1. Understand Your Field, and Your Organization

Start with understanding your field, your role, and who fits where in each part of your organization. If you don't understand who fits where, then you can't move decisions along the approval process.

2. Know Where The Digital Buck Stops

Find out who in your organization has the final say on what you do and how you approach the world wide web. If you don't know who is making that final decision about what you are going to do online then you can't put a plan together or know the direction you should be going in.

3. Create Policies That Provide a Safety Net

Going back to the day of when social media first became relevant to marketers, the first thing everyone talked about was putting policies in place just in case something wrong was said or someone said something they shouldn't have said. Consider the bigger picture and think about how to extend these policies to encompass your digital marketing strategy. This is when and how you decide what your organization can do and what they can't do. Make sure to outline where members should go in case something happens. Consistency and alignment is key when it comes to strategizing these policies.

4. Set Digital Standards

This was an interesting point that Lisa made about how standards are the core essence of our being, for example snowflakes, haikus, music, etc. Standards allow for consistency going forward and outline what exactly you are going to do and how you are going to do it. My take from this is you should create strategy, but this strategy should be intertwined with standards which help align your policy and your teams.

5. Embrace the Silo

Lisa talks about how large organizations can't function if everyone is doing the same thing at the same time, and this is why it's important to embrace silos but make sure the silos connect and intersect with one another so that they are working together and helping one another. Cross-connection is key, just like a river that meets at the end opening up into an ocean.

6. But Build Bridges

Even when silos are a part of how your organization functions, it's important you have one person who can bridge across the gaps of Marketing and IT, and other relevant areas. For example, a project manager is a good person to bridge the gap and help tie the two teams together.

7. Design Your Dream Team

Just as you need to understand your organization, you need to understand who is going to be most effective and in which role on your team. Match people to the right tasks and projects based on their expertise and ability to collaborate or lead in a given area. They will help you define and implement policies that are practical and informed by experience.

Defining governance policy and setting standards is rarely the most engaging part of working in the digital marketing world. However, giving your strategy, content, and most importantly, your team, a well-defined foundation will ensure they are set up to succeed.

Alexis Karlin Headshot
Alexis Karlin
Digital Marketing and Operations Manager | Percussion Software

B2B marketing professional, Alexis Karlin, brings high quality experience to the table at Percussion Software as the Digital Marketing and Operations Manager. Her creative marketing skills help drive high quality leads to the sales team. She imparts her passion for social media to other team members, to help promote brand awareness for the organization. Through organization and enthusiasm she is able to show marketing isn’t just about process and technology, it is about the passion behind the brand.