Internet Property Management Methodology
The Business of Change Management
Change is inevitable, IPM ensures that it works in your favor.
There is an old saying that states, “if you want something done right, do it yourself”. This is the course of action taken by many in corporate America. Companies have created, or managed the creation of, all their corporate digital assets with various degrees of success and failure. Their efforts have produced static, inferior properties that often return limited or no value to the company and do so at a high cost. Their problem is one of change management and ROI attainment. Our IPM methodology addresses both problems and gets “it” right…. for a change.
Internet properties are a complex series of systems and messaging, that must work together to promote both a company and its core business. Outsourcing the responsibility for the creation and development of digital assets to specialists whose core business is Internet Property Management allows both to focus on their respective core competencies. Change is inevitable, IPM ensures that it works in your favor.
The core tenets of Internet Property Management are as follows:
- Collaboration is the common thread that permeates every facet of IPM and is the single theme upon which all actions hang.
- The IPM methodology dictates that the Internet Property Manager collaborate with the client to develop digital properties that meet their needs and the goals of the business.
- IP Managers, and the client’s technical team must collaborate to ensure all systems function correctly.
- IP Managers and Marketers collaborate to drive both demand and mindshare.
Return on Investment (ROI)
- When IPM Tenents are followed, the resulting IPM solution should be self-funding.
Accountability / Responsibility
- Netsville by its role as the Internet Property Manager retains primary responsibility for all digital assets under management. The client’s responsibility is secondary and in a supporting role. In the event a problem arises, the IPM will seek only to resolve it, and not place blame.
- IPM projects should be moved forward iteratively.
- In terms of managing multiple projects, projects should not be isolated and completed before moving to the next. All aspects of all projects should be moved forward together.
- Not only does deploying iterations of websites allow for adjustment and scalability, but search engines reward growth and punish static sites.
- In order for each system to function efficiently, all systems must be looked at as a whole.
- All systems need to be monitored, informed, and adjusted in conjunction with one another.
Strategy (Development of a Playbook)
- The playbook is to consist of marketing plays that can be executed to further the marketing agenda of a customer.
- As the original creator of the IPM methodology, Netsville encourages businesses to share and adopt the IPM methodology including the development of their own unique and proprietary playbook.
- The playbook was named
- To continue with the analogy to sports, IPM companies will all play the same game, but the playbook defines what they do and how they operate.
There are separate facets to IPM. Each facet must collaborate with each other at various stages for optimal results and success.
- Custom Programming
- System Design & Architecture
- Infrastructure Design
- Geo Dispersed Solutions
- Secure Data Center
- Data Lab/Incubator
- DNS Failover
- Dynamic Load Balancing
- Internet Security
- Website Design
- Virtual Hosting
- Domain Registration
- E-commerce Solutions
- SSL Certificates
- Social Media Marketing
- Search Engine Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization
- Mobile Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Email & Display Marketing
- Google Places Listings
- Reputation Management
- This is where ideas are thought about and designs are considered. Research is key, and each facet must research, plan, and acquire resources.
- A new customer questionnaire that highlights the goals and requirements for the web property will be a preliminary research step
- Meetings in person or over the phone will be required during this phase to collaborate and analyze all facets of the internet property and project scope
- Managers will collaborate with the customer to determine what their property is intended to accomplish and in turn work with technicians to determine the best course of action (goes hand in hand with the application layer software design).
- Number of physical and/or virtual servers to be determined by considering the roles each server would need to play (this goes hand in hand with software design)
- CPU requirements for each server
- Memory requirements for each server
- Storage requirements
Marketing and Analytic Discovery
- Managers will work with innovators and the client to understand the target market. Innovators should understand the product, service, and functionality of site. By opening up brainstorm discussions, managers and innovators should develop as many ideas as possible.
- Target Businesses
- The analytics specialist and the client will define the operational objectives (of the website, the social media strategy and the SEO).
- This phase takes everything learned in the Discover phase and begins organizing and architecting designs and solutions.
- The technicians, from discoveries made in the Discover phase, will determine and design to meet the technical requirements of the physical and/or virtual hardware setup to provide resources to get the property to a functional state while providing a path to expand to meet the increasing needs of a successful Internet property.
- Technicians will determine which software should be installed on the infrastructure.
- Operating System Layer
- Operating System
- File System
- High availability
- Application Layer
- Web Servers
- Media serving (audio, video, images)
- Technicians and managers will work with client to determine where the property will be hosted taking into consideration expected bandwidth requirements and redundancy requirements and speed requirements learned in the Discover phase. A custom designed hosting package will take into consideration the nature of the Internet property and the software design to ensure that it is properly hosted.
- The use of multiple data centers and multiple servers will be considered and determined (goes hand in hand with the infrastructure design). Hosting factors that will be considered:
- DNS failover requirement
- CDN requirement
- Front end load balancing requirement
- Front end caching requirement
Website/Internet Property Development
- Managers will work with designers and the client to develop a visual theme (look and feel) of the website as well as outlining the functionality that the site is meant to provide. IT will determine which, if any, content management package (i.e. WordPress) will be installed.
Marketing and Analytics Development
- Innovators and Managers will determine a tone of communication (i.e honest, direct, expert); purpose of communication (i.e inform, entertain, engage). This will affect how the social media, content and email will be optimized.
- Then the analytics specialist will determine the right KPI to measure the global performance and prepare to fulfill these objectives.
Property Development Phase
- This is where it’s all built and everything comes together. Things are physically assembled in this stage. Quality assurance and testing will also take place before launch.
- Set up and configure the required infrastructure
- Build the physical and/or virtual hardware
- Install the Operating system layer software
- Install the application layer software
- Design website
- Write marketing plans and Game plans
- Test the site to make sure it all works properly
- Quality control
- Create Documentation
- Launch Site
Maintain and Marketing Phase
This phase is to maintain/support/troubleshoot a website that’s been constructed as well as continued marketing. Maintenance and marketing strategies will both be reliant on continued and monitored analytics.
- Analysts will generate reports for both internal and external purposes
- Managers will deliver reports to clients to provide an illustration of how things are functioning, and their ROI.
- Analytics will be used internally to adjust marketing and technical strategies
- Marketing plans are executed and adjusted
- Technicians and managers provide infrastructure support
- System administration
- Uptime availability monitoring
The final phase of the IPM methodology, before we re-start the entire process, is the measure phase. This is where we determine if what we are doing is working, or if a mid-course correction is warranted. Based on the key performance indicators (KPI) that we established earlier, we will measure our results against those KPIs and determine the effectiveness of our actions. Should the results fall below our expectations then new, pre-tested, content will be used to drive a more positive response. Content is continuously measured to determine what has the greatest effect and what does not work. After the measure phase we re-start the process and continue to uncover better and more effective means to drive increasing interest in and awareness of our client’s brand, business and products.
Compared to the current standard of being paid on a “per project” basis, IPM uses a payment system in which the business pays monthly over a contractual term. This not only reinforces accountability, but it also allows a business to more easily budget funds.
IPM Roles and Responsibilities
Also known as the guide. The manager is the front line of Internet Property Management. They are the link between the customer and the rest of the staff. They guide the customer through the various processes of IPM. They can be relied on as project managers, account reps, first level technical support. They should also work as salespeople to upsell the customer. The guide is responsible for keeping an open line of communication with the customer.
The innovator is the idea generator. They work alongside both the guide and the technicians to develop new ideas to move projects forward. They are responsible for writing content, creating game plans, and writing plays.
The production assistant is the final leg of execution. They work alongside managers and innovators, and they are responsible for sending out emails, tweets, posts, and updates.
The analyst is responsible for measuring traffic. They work alongside innovators, managers, and technicians to ensure marketing efforts are being optimized. They also provide analytic reports for clients.
The technician physically makes things happen. They work alongside guides and innovators to construct the physical infrastructure as well as the separate systems of the website.
IPM Agile Methodology
One of the key principles of IPM is to put the client in the middle. To make sure we fulfill the needs of the client, we maintain a relationship during the whole process. From the project definition and planning, through the execution and control until the launch, the client is aware of each evolution and can participate at each step.
This is an advantage for the client and for us, because we can make minor modifications all along the development process. Indeed this Agile methodology allows us to prioritize the features to be able to have a quick version online and to test continuously.
Too often there is a gap between the business needs and the user needs, it is important to test the website to make sure users meet their goals while addressing business objectives.
This methodology demonstrates the fact that we want the best for the client and we stay attentive to them.
To set up this methodology we can use a sprint backlog. A sprint backlog is a bundle of prioritized functionalities, put in a spreadsheet, each functionalities are detailed as follows.
- the user story (what the user will be able to do)
- the tasks (what we need to do to create this feature)
- the time (hour) spent working on this functionality
When the first bundle of functionalities is done, we have to do the same for the remaining functionalities.
IPM New Customer Protocol
Existing Website Re-Design
- Obtain product samples from client and discover what the product offers
- Write down thoughts and ideas
- Determine if there are competitors
- Determine how competitors are marketing
- Determine target audience
Open Brainstorm Discussion
- Start an email with marketing team and client to encourage collaboration
- Get as many marketing ideas as possible
- Begin refining ideas into pitches
Pitch Marketing Messages
- Pitch marketing messages and strategies to client
Establish Marketing Messages
- Outline approved marketing messages and strategies
Draft Game Plan
- Using the Playbook, select optimal plays and design marketing strategy
Pitch Marketing Plan
- Pitch completed marketing plan to client for approval
Distribute Marketing Duties
- Marketing duties should be delegated clearly and should be reflected in daily checklists
Guide Client through Marketing Plan
Give Marketing plan to client
- The Internet Property Manager will maintain contact with client
- Guide them through any issue or questions they have regarding marketing execution
Prepare Internal and External Analytic Reports
- The analytics specialist and the client should define the operational objectives (of the website, the social media strategy and the SEO).
- Analytics specialist should determine the right KPI to measure the global performance and make recommendations to fulfill objectives.
IPM Customer Questionnaire
What are your goals for this Internet Property?
Please describe, in your own words, what success with this Internet Property looks like?
What features and functionality do you expect this Internet property to have? (Please list in a prioritized order)
What is or what will be the domain name for this Internet property?
Please describe your target audience.
Please list current competitor(s) websites.
Do you currently have an Internet Property? If yes, please answer the following:
Please describe any failures or shortcomings that exist on your current Internet Property.
How much traffic does your current Internet property get?
What growth are you expecting over the next 12 months?
Which Social media platforms are you currently using?