Considering that I make my living running a design and marketing consultancy, this probably sounds like a very strange headline, but realistically, it’s true. Heck yeah we develop awesome websites, and create great marketing campaigns that use the web as an avenue for outreach, but if you want the most return on your investment, you shouldn’t be just “redesigning your website”
Hold on! Don’t go and call your designer and tell them to stop working on your cool new website. What I mean is, that although your website, your web outreach and the design thereof are incredibly important; no project should be done in a vacuum.
A website is an incredibly powerful tool – yes – it should be well designed, polished, intuitive, informative and provide a great experience. But a website should always be part of your larger overall marketing efforts. It should bring your “brand” to your audience, along with all the other areas of media that your audience would normally touch. A website can be your main piece of marketing, that’s OK too – but don’t start with the design, start with figuring out what you need to say to the people that are going to care the most about you and your business/mission. And then design something that works to get that message out in the most intuitive and effective way possible.
Just making your website look prettier or updating old text with new text is not going give you the results you could get if you were to approach a project with an eye toward your brand, your message and your integration across your entire marketing effort.
Ask yourself…” Do my customers have an experience online that meshes with the experience they expect? If not you may be looking at your website from a damaging angle – as an entity all its own.
The word to remember is “interconnected”. You should think of web, print, advertising, facebook, twitter posts, billboards, radio/TV and all, simply as different ways to get your message out – but the message, the feel, and the reinforcement of your brand should be consistent everywhere.
If you look at your website in a vacuum or worse approach a web design project without assessing the rest of your marketing you run the risk of inconsistency, and inconsistency is a dead ringer for “amateur”. One sure way to create insecurity with a customer is to make them wonder if you are professional-enough, to work with them.
Make sure that everything your customer sees, feels, reads and touches gives them the right impression – doing that means paying attention to all of your marketing as a whole.
Wendy Wetherbee is Partner and Chief Creative Officer of Wetherbee Creative & Web LLC, an award-winning Design and Marketing Consultancy based in Derry, NH. Visit the Wetherbee Creative & Web website for more information on this local marketing expert.