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Another reason to make websites customer first

It’s not unreasonable to argue that a company’s website is the single biggest manifestation of its brand. For that reason alone, it should be the subject of constant investment in terms of functionality. Very few are, I suspect. Even after more than 25 years of companies having websites, we tend to get a complete rebuilding of the site every 5-10 years, or perhaps an occasional ‘refresh’ slightly more frequently. And even then, the marketing department has to fight for a lump sum budget to get the work done.

If you are faced with the ‘I think we need a whole new website’ scenario, it’s key to get the buy-in of whoever signs off the funding. If this is the MD, and they’re not fully on board, it’s a recipe for a year or more of grief. However, it’s equally important that those at board level don’t impose strict ideas on the project, because that’s the usual recipe for a website that looks like an organisational chart.

Perhaps the best way is to start by commissioning a project which tries to determine what customers want from the website, and to see how far away the current offering is. The results of this should be an easier sell than presenting a new website as a big old marketing expense.