April 16, 2011

Creating a Digital Marketing Strategy from Scratch

The transition is on. Well, it's been on for a while but I've finally ramped down from my undergraduate marketing activities as much as one can when transitioning to a new role within the same organization.

While there has been some web services support for the College in the recent and distant past, my new role is a strategic shift for the institution. My vision is for the department to be a team who can assist the institution and its business units with one's digital strategy and online initiatives, not just support.While there has been support activities in the past, it has mostly been website content updates and email newsletter distribution.

With a new institutional strategy and branding platform, we must now develop a digital marketing strategy for the institution, essentially from scratch. We have no social media strategy and no mobile strategy; our blogging platform is 6 years old; we use at least a half dozen content management systems; a web governance model is non-existent; our analytics systems are severely lacking and are used with no strategy. And I have yet to mention the core piece that everyone knows most about - our current black hole of a website redesign project. Just look at this quote from StudentAdvisor.com's Top 100 Social Media Colleges regarding our home page:

"Home page is inexplicably a social media wasteland that screams 2002."

And they couldn't be more right. Literally. I actually think the home page design was created in 2002.

The optimist in me says that we were #65 on this list with no strategy. Many parts of the College have been doing some great things, especially within social media, but we have not leveraged any of those best practices effectively across other parts of the institution. At a small college, we should be able to break down those silos. The role and its mission will be a challenge, but I look forward to the rollercoaster ride and have already enjoyed its ups and downs over the past 6 weeks.

More exciting news is that I get to share this ride with peers at the eduWeb Conference in San Antonio in August. I promise those attending that you will see the good and bad of creating a digital strategy from scratch. I don't know if that August 2nd script will be a comedy, a drama, a horrow show or a fairytale ending. My best educated guess is a mix of it all, but that part of the story has yet to be written. I hope you all come along for the ride and hopefully even see some of you in San Antonio.

Updated: My Creating a Digital Marketing Strategy from Scratch presentation from the eduWEb Conference can be found on my slideshare.