Building the website of your dreams involves a team of (hopefully) seasoned professionals. Marketers, content strategists, tech developers and designers – everyone has to be on task to create an end product that will transform marketing goals into measurable achievements. It’s a process, and one that requires collaboration from all project stakeholders.
But ‘collaborating’ isn’t always as easy as it sounds. If this is your first experience with a website build, it can be difficult to figure out just how your role fits into the big picture. Sure, as your organization’s insider you may have the final ‘yes’ or ‘no’ say-so on project deliverables, but actively embracing your role as gatekeeper will make the process more efficient and the final product more effective.
What does it mean to actively embrace your role?
Aside from staying on task, you must:
- Provide thorough feedback
- Trust your team
Feedback—The Only Way Forward
Giving your web team thorough feedback may seem like a no-brainer. You know what you like when you see it, and you know what you don’t when you don’t—right?
Unfortunately, this approach to feedback can leave information gaps—and a lot of them. Gaps leave room for error, and with error comes budget rework and delayed timelines. Each piece of feedback you provide to your team should take your long-term marketing goals, rich brand narrative, and evolving client base into account. For example:
Instead of saying…
“I don’t like the background color.”
“The background color is too similar to the one used by our competitor, Company A. Using blue, gray or etc. would differentiate us more.”
“This content does not say what I need it to.”
“Point A is a more powerful benefit than Point B. Focus the content on that instead.”
“This feature does not work how I thought it would.”
“I envision this feature taking the user through three steps. These steps are, in order:….”
The above are only examples, but when giving feedback, always remember to give detail, think ahead, and provide examples when possible. Otherwise, knowledge gaps can easily accumulate into a frustrating roadblock of constant revisions, busted budgets and failed deadlines.
Trust—The Scariest Secret to Success
Your quarterly to-do list probably includes more than just managing your website build project. That’s why you’ve sought out the help of experts.
Whether prospects research your company from their 8 to 5, air conditioned cubicles, or thumb through your links during weekend errand runs, they see your site first—and sometimes, that’s all they’ll ever see. Entrusting an asset of that magnitude to outsiders is scary. You know your brand best and want to ensure that your vision of it carries through online. However, remember to critically analyze when and where your web partner’s industry knowledge may supersede your own.
Consider this: you’ve thoroughly vetted your web partner. You’ve reviewed their portfolio; you’ve queried their business plan; and you’ve tested their marketing knowledge, all before signing on the dotted line. The web of five years ago is not the web of two years ago; the web of two years ago is not the web of today. While you may not think your site needs to be responsive, the truth is, that not only will your web partner, but so will Google. You may prefer to detail every achievement in your organization’s history, but content experts may recommend a more current approach to highlighting value.
You possess a deep knowledge of your organization. Your web partner should have the same depth of insight about web development, innovation and strategy. Collaborate actively and equally, and leverage both your and your web team’s strengths to create the website of your dreams.