Digital Business Structure

Learn what an effective digital business structure looks like and why this makes managing content challenging.

Digital Business Structure

Digital Business Structure

This lesson looks at what an effective digital business structure looks like and why this makes managing content challenging.

Organization chartTo better understand the role of the content manager, it’s helpful to look at what happens when businesses build a digital presence.

In this lesson, we look at why many businesses have the wrong picture of what an effective digital presence looks like and the challenges of managing content effectively in an organization.

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Before You Begin

Before completing this lesson, please watch the video below. It explains why many businesses struggle to get results and why they need effective digital management.

Go here to learn more about The Small Business Digital Manager.

The Wrong Picture Of A Digital Presence

As explained in the role of the content manager lesson, a web presence comprises both technical and content areas, and both areas need effective management.

Basic business website diagram.
Websites comprise technical and content areas…and both need management!

As we also explain in The Small Business Digital Manager, businesses typically see their digital presence as part of their sales and marketing.

With this picture in mind, many businesses (especially small businesses) hire a web developer to look after their web presence and digital marketers to drive traffic, generate leads, etc., hoping this will leave them and their staff free to focus on “running the business”.

Chart: How Businesses Typically Picture Their Digital Presence.
This is how businesses typically picture their web presence…but it’s the wrong picture! Click on the image to view an enlarged version.

This, however, is the wrong picture.

We’re now well and truly into the Digital Information Age and digital processes impact every aspect of your organization.

It’s hard to find any area of your business where digital processes are not involved.

A chart showing many digital businesses processes.
Digital processes impact every area of your organization! Click on the image to view an enlarged version.

In fact, if we were to flowchart all the areas of an organization that involve digital processes, this is what the structure of an effective digital presence would really look like…

Organization chart of an effective digital presence.
This is what an effective digital presence looks like…who looks after all this? Click on the image to view an enlarged version.

Who looks after all of these areas?

It certainly won’t be the website developer hired to look after the website or the digital marketer running PPC ads. If you understand the three levels of decision-making explained in the content management mindset lesson, you’ll immediately see why.

As you can see, any organization wanting to have an effective digital presence would need a sizeable digital department.

Organization chart showing digital presence roles.
Businesses need a sizeable digital department to manage their digital processes effectively. Click on the image to view an enlarged version.

Few organizations can sustain or afford such a complex and sizeable department.

Just because a business can’t afford to build a structure of this scale and complexity, however, doesn’t mean it can ignore or avoid the needs of the structure, especially if the business expects to run a digital presence effectively that can deliver results.

Digital Processes Need Management

All digital processes need management. Some digital processes require technical management (e.g. managing servers and the website) but many digital processes involve content and these also need content management.

This means that regardless of whether you are a “one-person” business, a small business, or a medium to large enterprise, there are many content-related roles and responsibilities to fill.

As we discuss in our lesson on digital business setups, anyone tasked with the role and responsibility of managing content in an organization will most likely be required to wear many different hats and assume the responsibility for many different roles.

This, of course, makes things very challenging.

Many large companies have tried employing a Chief Digital Officer (CDO) to oversee a digital transformation of their existing business, only to find their CDOs leaving the organization a short while later feeling quite dispirited.

One of the main reasons for this is that it’s very difficult to radically change an existing structure that’s already in motion. It’s like trying to transform an old steam locomotive into an electric bullet train while the train is filled with passengers and speeding down the tracks at full speed.

Companies seem to be fine when hiring someone like a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) to look after their technology and their technical areas, but finding someone to manage all of their content processes presents an entirely different set of challenges because content is so “merged” into all areas of most businesses.

Content-Related Roles

If your organization can’t afford to hire someone to fill a specific content-related role, then a Content Manager (or a Chief Content Officer, Digital Content Officer, Head of Content person, or whatever title you want to give someone tasked with managing all of the organization’s content) has to step in and do their best to try and handle it all.

Below are just some of the roles a content manager may need to manage or assume responsibility for. Even if your business hires people to fill these roles, the content manager should also be acquainted and familiar with the duties and responsibilities of the filled role and how it serves your content team and your organization.

Click on the links below to learn more about different digital roles:

Digital Content Team

Digital Content Team

An overview of different digital team roles, responsibilities, and job descriptions.
Digital Strategy Director

Digital Strategy Director

Learn about the role and responsibilities of a digital strategy director. 
Digital Content Strategist

Digital Content Strategist

Learn about the role and responsibilities of a digital content strategist. 
Digital Content Manager

Digital Content Manager

Learn about the role and responsibilities of a digital content manager. 
Content Production Manager

Content Production Manager

Learn about the role and responsibilities of a content production manager. 
Digital Content Editor

Digital Content Editor

Learn about the role and responsibilities of a digital content editor. 
Digital Content Writer

Digital Content Writer

Learn about the role and responsibilities of a digital content writer. 
Digital Media Manager

Digital Media Manager

Learn about the role and responsibilities of a digital media manager. 
Interactive Media Manager

Interactive Media Manager

Learn about the role and responsibilities of an interactive media manager.
Internet Marketing Director

Internet Marketing Director

Learn about the role and responsibilities of an internet marketing director. 
Content Marketing Specialist

Content Marketing Specialist

Learn about the role and responsibilities of a content marketing specialist. 
Digital Communications Professional

Digital Communications Professional

Learn about the role and responsibilities of a digital communications professional. 
Search Engine Marketing Director

Search Engine Marketing Director

Learn about the role and responsibilities of a search engine marketing director. 
Digital Marketing Manager

Digital Marketing Manager

Learn about the role and responsibilities of a digital marketing manager. 
Internet Marketing Coordinator

Internet Marketing Coordinator

Learn about the role and responsibilities of an internet marketing coordinator. 
Internet Marketer

Internet Marketer

Learn about the role and responsibilities of an internet marketer. 
Email Marketing Manager

Email Marketing Manager

Learn about the role and responsibilities of an email marketing manager. 
Social Media Director

Social Media Director

Learn about the role and responsibilities of a social media director. 
Social Media Strategist

Social Media Strategist

Learn about the role and responsibilities of a social media strategist. 
Outsourcing

Outsourcing Resources

Here are useful resources to help you find people with the right talent and skills for outsourcing your content needs.

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In addition to assuming various roles and responsibilities, a content manager has to develop a wide range of skills and be proficient at using various content management tools.

Before doing this, however, it’s important to understand the mindset of the content manager. This is covered in detail in the next lesson.

Summary

Many businesses struggle to get better results online because they have the wrong picture of what an effective digital presence looks like.

An effective digital presence requires building and maintaining a sizeable digital department. Most businesses cannot afford this, but someone ultimately has to be responsible for managing all the content and content-related processes in the business.

This can be very challenging as there are many roles and responsibilities involved in managing a digital content department, so anyone tasked with managing content typically needs to wear many hats and assume many additional responsibilities to perform competently in their role.

Useful Resources

We recommend the following resources:

Visit our tools and resources section for additional courses, guides, and helpful tools and resources for content managers.

References

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This concludes our lesson on the structure of a digital business.

Action Steps

Please make sure to complete all lessons in this module before proceeding to the next training module.

Next Lesson

Go here for the next lesson in the Digital Business training module: Content Manager Mindset

Digital Business – Module Lessons

Click on a link below to view all the lessons in this module:

The Role Of The Digital/Web Content Manager

The Role Of The Content Manager

Learn about the role of a content manager and what you need to know to manage content effectively in a digital business presence.
Digital Business Structure

Digital Business Structure

Learn what an effective digital business structure looks like and why this makes managing content challenging.
Content Management Mindset

Content Management Mindset

Develop the mindset needed to manage content effectively for any type of organization. 
Content Management Skills

Content Management Skills

Learn about the skills you will need to develop to manage content effectively in your business. 
Digital Business Setups

Digital Business Setups

Learn about different kinds of digital business setups and the challenges of managing content effectively in these. 
Digital Business Basics

Digital Business Basics

This lesson looks at some of the basic steps your business should complete before it can grow using content.
Digital Content Team

Digital Content Team

An overview of different digital team roles, responsibilities, and job descriptions.
Content Management Tools

Content Management Tools

Learn about many useful and time-saving tools and resources that will help you manage your content effectively.

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Image: Pixabay

Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is a trainer, educator, blog writer, and online publisher. He runs various training websites on digital business, including ContentManagementCourse.com, WPTrainingManual.com, WPMasterclasses.com, and WPCompendium.org. View all posts by Martin Aranovitch