Digital rockstars are the unsung heroes of websites. They’re not necessarily high profile and certainly not always recognised for their efforts, in fact many of the digital rockstars we’ve met are modest and rather unassuming. But they are the people that make things happen and get things done, creating and managing websites that deliver great content and excellent customer experiences that are fully compliant with the law, often on a relatively low budget.
With their ambition to succeed and commitment to seeing that through, we’ve been lucky enough to work in partnership with some truly excellent digital people.
Here’s our view of some of the characteristics that make up a true digital rockstar.
Digital rockstars have a strong ambition to succeed, but they also need that evidence they have succeeded. Yes, it’s great to get a pat on the back from the CEO for a nice-looking site, but actually digital rockstars want to get increase in visits and conversions, receive solid positive feedback from users and also see other data that shows how a site has improved. In this regard they are strongly results-focused. For example, the results from our INDEX benchmarking service that independently scores website performance, often resonate strongly with digital rockstars. When the scores go up they are happy, when they go down it galvanises them into action!
Digital rockstars truly own digital channels. They care about what happens to their website, they invest time and effort, they put in the extra mile when needed, and take responsibility for when things go wrong. They take full ownership.
Digital rockstars usually have standards in their head that they want a website to meet, or not to fall below. By this we don’t necessarily mean a detailed set of documented publishing standards (although that can be useful…) but more an idea of the basics a website should deliver, for example, compliance with the law, no broken links, well-structured pages and a good information architecture.
Caring about the basics might not sound like “rockstar” behaviour or be particularly glamorous, but actually it's critical and more important than what might be considered the “wow” factors on a site. We’ve designed our automation to ensure you get the basics right and its refreshing when we encounter like-minded digital managers who have standards and want to stick to them.
Empathy with site visitors is an absolutely critical factor if you want to deliver great digital experiences. If you don’t care about your users and how they feel, then you won’t end up as a digital rockstar. Getting inside the mind of your visitors and wanting to ensure they have an excellent experience while also maintaining ethical standards around data privacy is a natural outcome from empathy. Empathising with users also means embracing accessibility standards, not as a “tick the box” exercise driven by compliance, but genuinely wanting to ensure that content consumption is open to all.
Digital rockstars also empathise with their wider content team too. Many website contributors will be writing pages and managing content not as part of their day job and may struggle to find the time. Getting the balance between a manageable workload for the central team and local content team activity is not always easy, but digital rockstars never wish to overwhelm or alienate their wider publishing community. For example, if you use a product that measures your whole site and then present a huge list of tasks for a busy content owner to carry out, you’re not empathising with them. Digital rockstars take a more sensible, nuanced and gradual view of improvements that need to be made over time, making improvement far more achievable.
Digital managers need to be organised to get things done and make things happen. Yes, they need attention to detail, but over nearly twenty years of working with digital teams has led us to believe that being methodical and process-driven is a key characteristic of high-performing digital teams. Tasks are broken down into manageable chunks, processes are repeated each week and each month, measurements are made to see what works. Having processes in place is key to continually improving a site and getting the sort of results digital rockstars crave.
Short-termism does websites no favours. Highly effective digital managers take a long-term view of their website, thinking about how their actions today impact tomorrow and beyond. The long-term view usually ends up with two different outcomes. Firstly, it means that websites become more sustainable and easier to manage. Secondly it means digital rockstars have tenacity and perseverance and realise that often change and improvement doesn’t happen overnight.
Never being quite satisfied sounds like a bad thing, but actual a perpetual restlessness and feeling something is not quite finished can be an advantage when managing digital channels. Digital rockstars realise that a website is actually a never-ending project – there are always improvements to make. Content needs, the regulatory environment, digital trends, customer habits, organisational priorities are always in a state of flux. Digital rockstars also inherently see where there are improvements to be made. They have a desire to continue to work iteratively and make things better.
Do these characteristics resonate with you? Are you a digital rockstar or one in waiting? If you are and really want to improve your website and get excellent results, then get in touch. Combining your ambition to succeed with our automation will deliver the best online experience for all. Your journey starts here!