What is Web Strategy?

A lot of work I do with clients involves developing a strategy for their web efforts. But what is web strategy?

I picked up one of the better definitions for overall strategy that I have seen from Alan Weiss, who got it from Benjamin Tregoe and John Zimmerman in Top Management Strategy:

“We define strategy as the framework which guides those choices that determine the nature and direction of an organization.” (Page 17.)

The rest of the book discusses the framework they recommend for guiding strategic decisions. They identify 9 strategic areas and suggest that a company has to identify one of them as their driving force, which then determines their markets and products more than any other factor. It is a refreshingly concise yet powerful framework.
So what does this imply for your web strategy?

Tweaking their definition a bit, your web strategy should be a framework for guiding the choices that determine the nature and direction of your web site. It should determine which audiences you are going to address. It should determine which content and service you chose to offer online. And as a framework, it should help you to rationally assess and deal with both opportunities and challenges as they arise.

Ultimately, your web strategy should driven by your overall strategy. If your overall strategy indicates that you will serve certain markets with specific products, your task as a web strategist is to develop supporting strategies to execute that vision online.

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