One of the key things I am amazed at sometimes is how very little some companies ‘get’ it about marketing and business.
Some people at managerial levels do not have a clue how their businesses are different from their competitors or why they’re in business in the first place.
Either they’re not aware of the company’s strategies or their company does not have any! (Now THAT’s a scary thought.)
Anyway, what’s disturbing is that these people often are in IT and when they decide to go ahead and get their existing corporate website re-designed/revamped, they don’t bother to ask the marketing folks for any input.
Which is terribly dangerous.
Because a website is a marketing tool, the IT person/manager should never overlook the input of the marketing manager or the marketing team or department. A website is never a decision that’s made in haste – a website should be part and parcel of a well-thought out marketing and promotion strategy aimed at giving a company or a business more exposure and of course, more sales!
What you should do (if you’re an IT person reading this or you’re the boss or CEO of your company) is that you should have a brainstorm session with your team before you call the web design firm to discuss about website requirements.
You have to get your marketing people involved in this session because they are selling your products/services. Your marketing strategy may not be replicated 100 per cent on your website but it should be aligned to most of what your marketing people are doing out there.
When I say aligned, I mean, your website’s look and feel and message should be consistent with what you are doing on print advertisements, radio ads, TV ads, etc. It should drive home the same message and idea to your customers. Your tagline, USP or slogan should be visible on the website as it is visible on your other marketing vehicles.
I have attended meetings with clients who do not have a single clue about their tagline! This means either they are not communicating with their marketing and sales people/team or they really have no tagline!
Companies get so insular about themselves that each department functions unto itself. No collaboration with other departments. No communication at all. That’s why IT departments cannot be the sole departments driving the need for website design or re-design; they must bring in their marketing or sales people so that the website can function as an online marketing tool.
The IT department can be there to oversee and ask technical questions but the Marketing department should be there to give serious input about what they’re doing and how they want to align both online and offline strategies. The boss or CEO should be there as a kind of check and balance to see if both IT and Marketing get it right. Only then should they call in the web design company to talk about how the web development should progress.
So the key message is this: your website is your marketing vehicle. So get your marketing people involved from the very beginning (also they will love you for it! It shows you respect them and their decisions. They’re not an afterthought.)
At the end of the day, a website without marketing is like a horse without a destination.
Keep in this mind the next time your boss or yourself (if you’re the boss) is thinking of website design or redesign.
To your (marketing) success,