Defining the role of a Web Manager

What is a Web Manager? Probably also known as an eMarketing Manager, Interactive Marketing Manager, or perhaps anything else that makes it seem Internet savvy, this client-based position is rather open-ended, in my opinion. First of all, in the beginning days of the Internet, it would seem that a web manager would be responsible for simply maintaining the website, whether through straight edits to the HTML pages or eventually through a Content Management System. Now it just seems that it’s that and much more. Don’t get me wrong, I think that this can vary according to each individual, but from my experience, it seems that there is more responsibility for someone on the client side as opposed to those in an agency – which may have more of a tendency to hire someone with other specialties, such as e-mail marketing, online advertising, copywriting, etc. From a company that handles all this stuff in-house, it just seems that the guy in charge of all the web media has to deal with all of this practically on their own without assistance of a web agency.

Allow me to elaborate for you…using my experience as an example…the company that I work for, until recently, was without a web agency (a company that we could turn to and ask them to handle our web marketing and would report to someone in the department). So in a situation like this, I’d probably be the guy responsible for e-mail marketing, online advertising planning & execution, website maintenance, content development, SEO, development/programming, and website enhancements/redesign. Quite an interesting amount of responsibility for one guy in a 8 hour day, don’t you think? I’m not saying that the people that do this deserve more praise and acclaim than other folks, but the point I’m trying to make is that in those companies that utilize in-house marketing, it often probably falls to one person to make the web media programs work in synch with the rest of the marketing plan.

And with the latest introduction of web 2.0 technology, oftentimes it seems that this individual would be the one to make it all happen. Throw that additional responsibility into the fire and what do you have…in perhaps 8 hours, this guy is to manage an e-mail marketing system, coordinate efforts to update the company website &/or make perhaps several microsites, develop an online advertising campaign, conduct web analysis and determine an ROI for its efforts, and now blog, post videos, make podcasts, log onto MySpace, Facebook, and even Friendster to keep their audience up-to-date. In addition, you don’t want to forget all the other widgets and knick-knacks that have appeared, like Twitter, Utterz, and more.

Could these roles be effectively separated to individual people…that is, for one person to focus solely on social media ideation? Quite possibly and I’m sure that it’s been done. Unfortunately, not all companies can have it like that. How is your company handling these types of situations?

By Ken Yeung

Ken Yeung is a journalist fascinated with the tech industry and internet culture. He's currently Flipboard's Assistant Managing Editor, overseeing news curation in technology, science, gaming and health. In addition to his day job, Ken's the co-host of "The Created Economy" podcast, examining the Creator Economy. In a past life, he was a former reporter for VentureBeat and The Next Web, covering tech startups, the industry's innovations and funding.