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Seven digital projects to catch-up and complete over the summer

  • By 3chillies

How many digital marketing and website teams do you know that don’t seem too busy and have time to spare? We’re guessing that the answer is somewhere between “none” and “zero”. Virtually every digital marketing or web team we know are often maxxed out, frequently firefighting and can find it hard to work on projects, as new demands and initiatives can happen quickly and are hard to predict. The inevitable consequence of this is that there are often few opportunities to get those things done that are perhaps less pressing, but still important. This means many activities get put on to the “to do” list and a backlog builds up.

The summer months can provide a period of some respite. Of course, this will depend on your organisation and annual cycle of activity, but for many of us July and August can be quieter if there are people taking their holidays. As well as recharging your own batteries, it can be a good time to catch up on all those little projects that have been put on the backburner.

In this post we’re going to cover seven “catch-up” projects to consider if you have the luxury of a quiet summer.

  1. Clean up your media library
  2. If we know there is one thing that can get messy, it’s a media library that feeds or is part of your CMS. While some teams do have a dedicated digital asset management (DAM) system which will tend to be looked after, many of us rely on the media library within the CMS. Despite good intentions to keep this tidy and well organised, frequently the opposite is true. Duplicate folders, test images, off-brand images that should have been removed ages ago, a folder marked “other” where people didn’t quite know where to put stuff, PDFs referenced on long deleted pages. It is very common that a media library needs a tidy up; this, however, is rarely urgent, and it’s one of those dull jobs that digital marketing teams often put off.

    While it’s not particularly pressing, cleaning up the media library can help ensure all images are brand-compliant and make it easier for other content contributors to know they are using the right images in their posts.

  3. Get up to speed on the market and your product
  4. The world of digital customer experience and the different solutions available can move pretty fast. But when you’re at the coal face working to get content out on to the website it can be hard to find the time to keep up to date with what is happening in general, or with your specific product or platform. For example, the world of content management systems is full of talk about DXPs and composable architecture, but in our experience not everyone knows what these are. The summer is a good time to do a bit of desk research on what is happening out there. This can be particularly useful in starting to formulate plans for next year, or if you are due to upgrade your platform.

  5. Test new CMS features
  6. Some digital experience platforms (DXPs) or CMSs are very mature with a rich set of different features, some of which can be very advanced. However, it is very common for marketing teams not to be exploiting the full capabilities of what is on offer. Perhaps it may be a new feature that hasn’t been turned on, or more sophisticated capabilities such as personalisation or marketing automation that need more thought.

    The summer is a great time to try out a little experiment and test out the more advanced features of our CMS that can lead to exciting developments.

  7. Take some training
  8. Digital customer experience and digital marketing is an area where there is a lot of training available. From polishing up on your HTML skills to technology- or platform-specific courses, there are always opportunities for professional development. Because web teams tend to be consistently busy, learning and personal growth can often take a back seat.

    A quiet summer is a good opportunity to do some learning and attend a course. Your team may also have a learning budget that sometimes doesn’t get used, or your company may have a learning management system that can sometimes have a surprising number of courses on it. Some courses can also be on-demand, so this also gives you an opportunity to learn in your own time and pace.

  9. Do something about your PDFs
  10. Many websites feature PDFs for download, but these rarely get touched or updated. This is usually because they are out of sight within your CMS and less visible than pages; they are also generally not the responsibility of the web team. This can mean an archive of old PDFs has built up. Sometimes there can be a regulatory need to keep these on your site, even if they have been superseded, but it could be a good time to finally get rid of those decade-old PDFs that clog up your search results.

  11. Remove all the pages you’ve hidden from search
  12. It’s extremely common for websites to suffer from page sprawl and get bloated with content. When this happens, websites start to have too many pages which are out of date or offer little value. Search can also get clogged up with noise, and findability can suffer, although this can be migrated by removing out of date pages from search.

    In an ideal world there would be an ongoing archiving process with content made inactive on a regular basis. However, this rarely happens if teams are too busy, and it also may require input from across the business. Sometimes it only ever gets done when there is a project such as an upgrade or even a new website.

    That quiet summer is a good time to finally do that pruning of content that has been put off too long. Moreover, if you reach a good state, it will be a good time to maintain it by removing content each month, keeping your website leaner and more current.

  13. Build relationships
  14. Digital marketing or web teams often work with multiple parts of the business. It always pays to have occasional conversations witgh various stakeholders across your organisation to understand their needs, review the content they are responsible for, discuss new ideas and more. Unfortunately, despite good intentions, people are often simply too busy to meet. The summer is a good opportunity to set up those chats that you’ve been intending to do so, and perhaps go for the odd coffee or virtual cup of tea.

Recharge your batteries!

The summer can be a good time to get stuff done, but sometimes having a less manically busy period also helps your team to recharge their batteries before things get busy again in September. Whatever you do, have a wonderful summer.

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