What is Digital Stewardship?

Stewardship
noun | stew • ard • ship | \ˈstü-ərd-ˌship, ˈstyü-; ˈst(y)u̇rd-\
“The responsible overseeing and protection of something considered worth caring for and preserving.”


At first glance, a phrase like “digital stewardship” is the sort of marketing speak that makes folks’ eyes roll as they wait for a sales pitch. The truth is that, in the field of digital marketing, we hear “buzz phrases” like this all the time. It becomes reflexive to brush them off as nothing more than sales tools.

While hyperbole is an unfortunately large part of our industry, being digital stewards is at the core of our ethos.

A HOLISTIC APPROACH

One of the more common complaints our team hears from clients is how overwhelmed they are with their digital properties. Clients frequently have difficulty remembering the most base details of who, what, when, where, and how their digital properties have been created.

We understand this all too well. With the rapid pace of change and the constant push to be ahead of the curve, it’s not surprising that businesses have rarely plotted a holistic approach to the digital publishing aspects of their business.

This is why we value a holistic approach to being stewards for your digital properties – and this approach can best be broken into four parts:

  1. Accommodate
  2. Educate
  3. Maintain
  4. Support

Let’s take a quick look at these topics and why it is we feel so strongly about being digital stewards at Araymus.

1. ACCOMMODATE

As with any good relationship, developing the ability to communicate effectively is incredibly important. As stewards of digital properties, learning about your business and how it operates, while accomodating its unique needs, is priority number one.

We assess your properties with an eye to the future and the goal of enhancing your business; not reinventing it.

2. EDUCATE

Communication is important, but equally important is the quality of that communication. In the realm of web development and design, there is a tendency for agencies to speak past their clients, leaving clients with confused expectations.

As digital stewards, we feel that the responsibility for effective communication falls squarely on our shoulders, and we pride ourselves on our ability to clarify misunderstandings, train staff effectively, and speak plainly to our clients.

Simply put, if you can’t easily explain your digital marketing efforts to someone, we aren’t doing our job.

3. MAINTAIN

Digital properties are living entities that need to be nurtured and maintained. We can all relate to the frustration inherent in constantly updating software. But what some fail to realize is that these updates are often what keep us, our businesses, and our clients safe online.

As stewards, it is our job to maintain these entities and ensure they’re working for – not against – your business while keeping you well-prepared for the constantly changing future.

Being in good shape today is fine, but our goal is for our clients to have the peace of mind that being prepared for tomorrow (and beyond) provides.

4. SUPPORT

Things happen.

Sometimes those “things” aren’t great, and clients deserve to know they have someone who will be there to support them if and when something goes wrong.

Other times, those “things” can be great; your business is growing, your clients have increased needs, and it’s time for your digital properties to be nurtured and grow with you.

Good or bad, we feel our digital service clients deserve the comfort of knowing someone will always be there.

JUST SCRATCHING THE SURFACE

The idealogy behind digital stewardship applies to far more than discussed in this brief introduction. But, hopefully you leave with a sense of the fundamental approach and values involved in being a digital steward.

Over the coming weeks and months we will explore various case studies and concepts encompassed under the umbrella of digital stewardship and further explore how anyone can be a digital steward for their clients.