Companies often hire agencies to design and develop their website before laying down their online marketing plan.
Your online marketing strategies and your business marketing goals should dictate the “look & feel,” the structure, the features and the way the content is deployed on your business website.
Your marketing plan determines which marketing goals your business website should achieve and how they should be integrated into your website. Once you have these “onboard,” then you can approach the task of designing and developing your business website.
I find that many companies in Berlin spend a lot of money trying to make their business website achieve their business marketing goals, but they make one mistake: They do this after designing their website. The upshot: They only reach 20%-40% of their marketing goals.
That’s because their business website was never designed to serve their online marketing goals in the first place. In many cases, just by recreating the site’s content marketing strategy, I was able to achieve excellent results well above 60%. But on many occasions, I have to reconstruct and redeploy the entire site and that’s when I inevitably ask: “Why wasn’t there a marketing plan beforehand?”
I educate more and more companies to connect with their online target audience. Besides knowing what your target audience wants, do you know which technologies they use to visit your website? Check and make sure you are not blocking any potential clients from visiting and communicating with your online business!
A well-known Berlin real estate company hired a large media agency to redesign its business website. Not only did the media agency not propose laying out a marketing plan to guide the design project, but it also didn’t check which technologies the company’s site visitors use (e.g., browser, operating system and network). Their approach to designing the website involved using technologies that are not supported by older browsers and that do not work on older computers.
The company’s website analytics report shows that 8% of their website visitors use older browsers (e.g., Internet Explorer versions 8 and 9) over a 30-day period. This 8% translates into 2,742 visitors per month. Every month around 2,742 of their site visitors – customers and prospective clients – are blocked from visiting and communicating with the company’s website.
I asked the media agency about this and they responded: “We did discuss this matter, but it was a strategic decision to ask these users to update their browser.” You do not need to be “tech-savvy” to realize that this isn’t a very professional response and that they are damaging their client’s online business success. This is my response: “Our duty and responsibility as web designers and web developers is to make sure that everyone, everywhere – regardless of platform or hardware – is able to visit, access, use and communicate with our client’s website. Every visitor is worth fighting for. Our goal is to convert all visitors into clients. Therefore, it is definitely NOT a ‘strategic decision to ask these users to update their browser.’”
Consulting can save you a lot of time, effort and money!
The most common question asked by CEOs and business managers of large and medium-sized companies in the meeting room is: “Why wasn’t I told?”
The question you need to ask is: “How well are you involved in the decision-making process right before the final decision is made?” I ask this, because asking for the pros and cons that lead your department manager and team to choose one solution over another might spare you the big “why” question and the frustration that comes with it.
Last month, I had 10 meetings with different companies/agencies. At almost all of these meetings, the CEOs and department heads asked the same “why” question, so I decided to write this short article.
I understand that, especially in large companies, the chief executives can’t be deeply involved in all decision-making processes, but being involved at the final stage or at least receiving a summary of the pros and cons can save you a lot of frustration.
Here are a few of the facts that come up at the various meetings: