Digital Business Structure
This lesson looks at what an effective digital business structure looks like and why this makes managing content challenging.
To 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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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:
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.
We recommend the following resources:
- The E-Myth: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work And What To Do About It – Michael E. Gerber’s classic book provides valuable information on how to stop working in your business and start working on your business.
- The Small Business Digital Manager – This guide covers the challenges many small businesses face running an effective digital presence and provides practical ways to address these.
- Content Troubleshooting Guide – Use this guide to troubleshoot content-related issues.
Visit our tools and resources section for additional courses, guides, and helpful tools and resources for content managers.
This concludes our lesson on the structure of a digital business.
Please make sure to complete all lessons in this module before proceeding to the next training module.
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: