Sunday, March 05, 2006

Knowing Your Audience Is a Web Manager’s Most Important Asset

Web managers need considerable knowledge, skills, and abilities to be successful. You must be an excellent writer and editor. You must be an effective teacher and marketer. You must be visionary. You must be courageous. You must be an outstanding communicator. But the thing that sets you apart from just about every other employee in the organization – the knowledge that you must have and that you cannot succeed without – is knowing your audience.

In my experience, government web managers are way too modest about showing off their greatest asset - what they know about the audiences. We’ve gained that knowledge from email, stats, focus groups, usability testing, phone calls, and public website demonstrations. It’s that knowledge that helps us know what words to use on the website, what content to turn down or delete from the website, and what content to showcase. It’s that knowledge that helps us decide the structure or our websites; and it sends us searching for new content, as we learn that audience wants and needs have changed. If you don’t know your audience, you simply cannot be a good web manager.

If you want to let your bosses know why you are such a huge asset to them and why they should trust you when it comes to managing the agency website, show them what makes you so unique – show them what you know about the audience.

Related links:

Who’s Your Customer?
10 Tips for the Successful Web Manager
Connect the Dots

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