Things change - does that include your website?
by CF Foundry
Markets change. Customer demands change. Technology changes and, ultimately, a company's marketing needs to change as well. Many companies adjust for these changes with strategic business plans that support adaptations to these changes, changing PowerPoint presentations, and other basic information presentment changes. However, the website is often overlooked in this process and it is a critical failure as your website represents your company 24/7/365. When it doesn't accurately reflect your activities, your vision, your understanding of customer requirements, your understanding of the market, etc., then it fails to convince prospects to become customers.
Don't let your website become stagnant. Think of it as continuous work-in-progress. Changes shouldn't be overly reactive or impulsive, but rather strategic. Consider project and product lifecycles, infrastructure requirements, planned business initiatives, etc. Your website development and update plan should be an integral part of your overall marketing plan that is fully tied-in with your business plan. Creating a successful user experience that fuses fragmented customer segments, multiple product lines, support information, social media elements, and other core information sets can fall apart quickly due to market changes, mergers/acquisitions (M&A), etc. Prior to the kick off meeting think about where you want your website to be in two years and be prepared to consider:
- Do you have plans for M&A, product changes, other other activities that will significantly impact content?
- Do you plan to add social media elements (forums, blogs, etc.) or integrate third party social media services like Facebook and twitter?
- Who will manage the ongoing content changes? Will they be tied into the necessary groups within the company to be aware of pemding marketing, product, and strategic company initiatives?