• Tuesday, March 05, 2024
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How to build a high-performing digital team


A digital team is responsible for developing, testing and implementing a strategy to reach and engage target audiences through digital channels like Web, mobile and social.

While other groups may draft the messaging, a digital team works hand in hand with marketing and product leaders to curate and create digital-first content strategy.

Here are six attributes to consider when sourcing talent for a high-performing digital team:

People who are omnivores, not vegans

Digital is part technology, part content strategy, part marketing art – and science. People who very strongly identify with only one piece of the equation will struggle on a high-performing digital team.

People who understand a website launch is only the beginning

Focusing solely on a website launch is a bit like planning for your wedding more than your marriage. Smart project managers and content strategists will force you to create personas and walk through scenarios that test workflow and resource assumptions.

People who recognize that design is a differentiator

A unique idea for a digital product or service is surprisingly rare, and design excellence is often the differentiator. Understanding of design is not only a belief in the value of a strong initial concept, but also adherence to the belief that multiple small design decisions add up to a significant user experience.

People who are comfortable with uncertainty and can act with agility

Everyone who claims to have a five-year digital strategy is lying.

You aren’t shopping for team members who can predict the future – you are looking for people who can make smart decisions based on limited information, and cut their losses when they fail.

People who eat the dog food, willingly and visibly

Digital team members do digital stuff. They put their band’s recordings online. They write and share online book reviews. They participate in social networks.

People who bring varied perspectives, earned from experience

Compared to print digital is new, but it’s been around long enough for strong candidates to have work experience that’s varied in both role and organization. Look for people with experience delivering software products, toiling on the agency side and juggling on the client side.

(Perry Hewitt has worked at the intersection of marketing, editorial and technology since before people could carry the Internet in their pocket, most recently as chief digital officer at Harvard University.)