Your Brand vs. Your Web Folks
Web Folks: "Here's your box"
You: [ Puzzled look ]
Web Folks: "Place your marketing stuff in the box and we'll get it on the website."
You: [ Puzzled look with slightly elevated blood pressure ]
Web Folks: “Is there a problem?”
You: “Well... yeah. My marketing stuff won’t fit in this box. I don’t think my customer can even find my marketing stuff on the site.”
Web Folks: “They could do a search. We have a really advanced search feature. They will need to log-in first though”.
You: “Seriously? Can’t I just change the hierarchy of my information?”
Web Folks: “I’m afraid that would be a structural change.”
You: “So can we change the structure?”
Web Folks: “The structure’s locked down. It’s already gone through testing.”
You: “But I’m the brand manager.Why didn’t I have a say in the structure?”
Web Folks: [ Puzzled look ]
Unfortunately this happens to many marketers every day. It’s not your fault. Or is it?
You painstakingly take the time to research and segment your customers. You understand your desired position in the marketplace. You’ve sweat and SWOT all the minutia of your brand visuals and voice. Your strategy for reaching your quarterly goals and objectives is sound and approved by all the “C” level folks. Finally—time to execute. You take your well-prepared materials to the web team for part of your execution only to discover that the website has been built in isolation from the rest of the marketing and sales division. You’re told the site is a piece of coding genius. It has all the latest bells and whistles. Probably destined to win a major award for its “techy-ness”.
There’s only one small problem. It doesn’t fit within your brand strategy. It doesn’t address customer segmentation, localization, or even have the same voice as your other marketing materials. There has been no attention given to your customers’ user experience (UX). Sure, it has the latest and greatest UX practices, but do they apply to your customers? Do they enforce your brand? Are there clear benefits for each of your segments? Is it easy to update with relevant user content? AND, does the site collect the data you need to test, measure, and refine your marketing and sales process?
Helpful tips for working with your web folks
- Declare a truce.
Believe it or not, they want to help.
- Let them know how important they are to the success of the brand.
- Don’t wait until the 11th hour to discuss your strategy.
Who knows, they may (will) have ideas that can prevent you from recreating the wheel.
- Lose the “Us vs Them” mentality.
Whether we admit it or not, we’re all marketers at the end of the day. We all want our company to do well because we all want bigger raises and better benefits.
- So consider dropping the departmental titles—and for a moment pretend you’re all on the same team. Let’s spend our precious brainpower working together on our customer instead of lamenting over why the web team doesn’t understand your needs.