Introducing the Home Page GM

We’ve written a lot here at the CMS Myth about how senior execs must be tuned in to their company’s digital strategy, and not just offer lip service. It requires an organizational shift in mindset. It needs a real budget commitment. And it needs the right people in new positions to make an impact and keep the focus on improving and executing. Content management is a critical part of it.

We keep seeing new titles and positions emerge, moving toward more specialization yet also confirming the focus on the digital channel as the primary sales and marketing channel: directors of digital strategy, content strategy, social media strategy and other roles.

Now, AOL (yes, AOL) has gone one step further by creating the new post, General Manager of the Home Page. This is a job title to love. Every company should be thinking this way – giving the power and authority to a strategic leader who can navigate, negotiate, and triage the political issues that impact your company’s front door to the world.

AOL’s new position was carved out to “balance the many demands for rotation on the homepage to ensure that the best content is showcased for AOL’s 15 million+ daily visitors,” says the company, per a report in Mediapost’s Online Media Daily. The post is held by Chris Grosso, formerly of NBC Digital Networks.

For any large, decentralized organization, home page territory is a hot commodity. Having a referee to mitigate the political infighting and keep the homepage priorities in mind every day is a good thing.

There’s a lot of talk about the demise of the home page – that many people enter your site through other pages. But take a look at your metrics: it’s a good bet the vast majority are still hitting your home page first.

Analyzing the AOL news, our view is this isn’t just about AOL’s homepage. This is about a deeper, strategic content strategy and wise management of content resources. In the midst of a strategic revival, AOL is staking its future on great web content for diverse audiences. Online Media Daily goes on to say AOL is hiring writers, journalists, content editors en masse. It makes complete sense putting a guardian at AOL’s front door to ensure optimal access to AOL’s network.

Importantly, the strategic discussions at companies at all levels are, finally, getting beyond the nuts and bolts of CMS technology into the real meat: how are you using content for maximum sales, marketing and communication effectiveness? “Content management” is about your people, processes and information – CMS is the tactical tool to help execute the strategy.

So what are you going to do about it?

Not every company is an AOL. But by carving out this role, AOL offers a great lesson in proactive, strategic website management, and content management, that other organizations can emulate.

About the Author
David Aponovich

A former 'CMS Insider,' David is relentlessly focused on the gap between vendor speak and customer adoption. In addition to keeping a keen eye on industry trends, he works with clients on the cultural and process implications of CMS that are so often overlooked. David wrote for the CMS Myth during his time working at Connective DX (formerly ISITE Design).

More articles from David Aponovich

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