Jeremiah Owyang is one of the best strategic minds out there when it comes to using the web as a means to conduct business, to communicate, to market. A year ago, he laid out what he considers to be the three elements of what a web strategist needs to understand:
The Web Strategist must understand (by using a variety of techniques and tactics) what users want. This is commonly known as User Experience Research which will create and craft a ‘mental model’
A website that is not aligned to business or market objectives is ultimately doomed to fail. The User and Business requirements will often match, but will rarely ever be a perfect fit. The Web Strategist) will need to obtain business requirements from stakeholders, whether that be execs, sponsors, sales, or even shareholders. Understanding the market, competitors (and key milestones) and other external forces are also required –a business requirements model will be formed, these are you objectives.
Lastly, a Web Strategist needs to know how each and every tool and technology work, they’ll need to know the strengths, benefits, limitations and costs. This also applies to human capital, and timelines. Often technical limitations will reduce the scope of User and Business needs, so you’ll need to incorporate this going forward.
He’s spot on on all three. I’ve added a fourth:
4) The Markets/Audiences
If markets are conversations, and if the truth to that is ever increasing with social media, then web strategiests need to know how their organizations and their products and /or service offerings are coming off via blogs, microblogs, online communities, forums, etc. They need to understand the nature of these settings, they dynamics of the people who are behind these conversations. And they need to understand how these conversations are generated, how they spread, and what effect they have on the brand.