“Over the weekend, Michael Deaver, the PR strategist and campaign manager known best for his work for Ronald Reagan passed away. John Fund has a nice tribute in today’s OpinionJournal that focuses on Deaver’s innovative work, beginning during the time Reagan was governor of California.” Via News Busters
What a gentleman, king-maker and strategic visionary. Thanks, Edelman. Godspeed, Mr. Deaver.
Jeremiah Owyang is one of the best strategic minds out there when it comes to using the web as a means to conduct business, to communicate, to market. A year ago, he laid out what he considers to be the three elements of what a web strategist needs to understand:
The Web Strategist must understand (by using a variety of techniques and tactics) what users want. This is commonly known as User Experience Research which will create and craft a ‘mental model’
A website that is not aligned to business or market objectives is ultimately doomed to fail. The User and Business requirements will often match, but will rarely ever be a perfect fit. The Web Strategist) will need to obtain business requirements from stakeholders, whether that be execs, sponsors, sales, or even shareholders. Understanding the market, competitors (and key milestones) and other external forces are also required –a business requirements model will be formed, these are you objectives.
Lastly, a Web Strategist needs to know how each and every tool and technology work, they’ll need to know the strengths, benefits, limitations and costs. This also applies to human capital, and timelines. Often technical limitations will reduce the scope of User and Business needs, so you’ll need to incorporate this going forward.
He’s spot on on all three. I’ve added a fourth:
4) The Markets/Audiences If markets are conversations, and if the truth to that is ever increasing with social media, then web strategiests need to know how their organizations and their products and /or service offerings are coming off via blogs, microblogs, online communities, forums, etc. They need to understand the nature of these settings, they dynamics of the people who are behind these conversations. And they need to understand how these conversations are generated, how they spread, and what effect they have on the brand.
When Mark and I wrote a Web 2.0 strategy overview for a Very Massive European Telekom, one of the qualities all the properties offered was freedom: portable data, flexible access, and “free beer.” Thing is, when folks get cool stuff for free and there are no ads, they usually wonder, “who’s paying for this?”
“Venture capitalists tend to be fans of ad-driven sites since advertising revenue theoretically covers the cost of giving away a Web service free, and free sites attract users much faster than sites that charge money. Such sites are typically also cheap to run because there is often no need for customer-service agents or costs for physical goods. So such companies can have high profit margins if they succeed. Many of today’s hottest Web properties are based on the online-ad model, including Google Inc., which pairs ads with search results, and social-networking site Facebook Inc.” Via WSJ
Sometimes, displaying ads is a psychological operation, “we’re not baiting you. This service will always be free. We’re not going to, all of a sudden, start charging. We won’t go out of business.” Serving ads on your Web 2.0 site might never really become a profit center, especially if you’re subscription-driven or sell products, but it does allow tend to reassure visitors that neither you nor they are a fool. Running ads also makes a site look less like a hobby, since many “weekend” Ruby on Rails Web 2.0 platforms can look a little half-baked.
Ads also offer an “exit” since there should never be a dead-end on any one of your web pages: if your site doesn’t give your visitor what he wants, maybe an ad will.
Okay, so being who I am. A guy that grew up at the tip of Africa in my lovely country of South Africa. A person who visits his homeland for several months a year, has lived in Oakland, CA and studied at UC Berkeley. I have one question that always comes back to me – how can we in America/Europe/Japan etc use this great technology and resources to provide opportunities and development in the countries in Africa to improve the lives of the multitude? So maybe it is a silly question – I know that there are many efforts at taking technology to the people of Africa ($100 MIT computer to mention but one laudable effort).