How to get started with your new website?

So you’re about to re-design your website – where do you get started?

The first question is: what’s the purpose of this makeover, in other words (and it could be cruel and painful) – what’s wrong with your current website? What is missing?  What do you want to change and why? The best way to address that is talk to many stakeholders inside and outside of your organization and get their opinions on what’s wrong. Based on these discussions you can begin to form some key objectives of the project and describe what success will look like.  

 minor changes4

The next step is to look around. What do companies like yours have in their websites; make sure to also check companies smaller / bigger / different than you; what do your competitors’ sites look like?  Customer sites? Take a look at some industry trends and determine which are right for you. Hopefully you are ready to decide where you want to take your site.

And now go down to the details: what underlying technology platform are you using today and do you need any new WCM (Web Content Management) system like Acquia/Drupal or Adobe to support your new objectives?; Site structure and navigation – do they reflect your companies’ current objectives and growth areas and support where you want to go? Is your content professional, fresh, relevant and engaging? Do you have the right processes to keep it that way?

In the next series of posts I will look deeper into each one of these dimensions – so come back to learn more, but in the meantime let me challenge you – can you share with me your favorite web site and tell me what do you like about it and why it’s so great.  

Advertisements

… and now – a reality check

To summarize my last couple of posts on social media strategy, I think we all agree that social presence without any purpose or strategy behind it is not enough. What you need to do is assess your current situation based on a number of key parameters to understand if and how your social presence serves you and then build a cohesive social media strategy that will leverage your social presence to support the main brand objectives.

Once you’ve determined the right social strategy for you, it’s time for a reality check:

  • Which stage of your funnel do you want social media to impact most? For example, if it is the consideration phase you want to impact, you will need to create a lot of thought leadership and research materials. Based on that you will also need to create a content mix to your various social channels that will ensure continuous relevant content flow.
  • What kind of results should you be looking for? If you’re looking at an awareness strategy your main KPI’s (key performance indicators) should be around brand awareness of the company and its values which can be measured through a survey, search volume, industry recognition etc. But if you’re looking into a loyalty strategy the main KPI should be customer retention.
  • Do you have the right social assets to support your strategy? For example, you might need to build a new community or create a new social ecosystem of pages in LinkedIn to support your new strategy. And btw – cleanup of some old and non-active social assets is always a good idea.
  • Do you have the right team to support your strategy? Everybody wants to be a thought leader, but it usually requires a dedicated team of analysts and researchers that can follow up and comment on industry trends, in order to lead and shape the conversation. Do you have these people available? Are the roles, responsibilities and processes in the marketing team supporting your strategy?
  • What kind of underlining technologies do you need to support your plan? Do you have the right kind of content management system (CMS) and what about the measurement / dashboard tool?

images (1)

Reality check can be painful in showing you the gaps and mis-alignments in your organization, but hopefully it will also help you in setting up a realistic plan with achievable KPIs. Good luck!

Processes Processes

Image

Processes Processes

I recently participated in a big effort to map one of our more complicated processes.
It took us a long time and a lot of effort to understand it thoroughly, and we completed the mapping, well we realize that this process is … complicated.

You can argue we wasted our time, but I think we gained a few important insights and benefits simply by laying down the entire process in front of us:

  • Mapping the process together already enhanced collaboration between the different teams taking part in it  
  • All groups and individuals participating in this procedure now realize how complex it is and how much impact they have on the overall time it takes to complete it
  • We realized our measurements and SLAs are completely off because they focus on a very small fraction of the entire E2E procedure
  • We can analyze where most requests get held up in the process and why, and try to streamline these areas specifically

  • Obviously we can now work together to try and simplify it …

Valentine’s Day By The Numbers (…and some other dashboards too)

Image

Valentine’s Day By The Numbers (...and some other dashboards too)

We all like to see a good summary of big events like Valentine’s Day or the Superbowl in an infographic or a dashboard – why ? because the visualization makes it easy to grasp and get the full picture in one look.

When I try to take this approach to my own marketing world, it’s harder. How do I determine what’s important, how do I connect the metrics to the business and to $amounts, and how do I make it part of our everyday life – so that we can continue to measure ourselves without a huge effort.

IDC’s Hierarchy of Marketing Metrics (see picture below) suggests three categories that correspond to the types of decisions made at various organizational levels and highlights the links between them. These links are critical in order to guarantee that the top-down and bottom-up approaches to measuring meet half way and assure on-going measurement can be maintained.

But the bottom line is that your dashboard must relate directly to your target audience – management members in my case. Each one of them needs to understand from the dashboard exactly what marketing did for them, and with one look get an understanding of how the areas they defined as strategic are doing.

Personal To-Do Note: treat Marketing Dashboards just like any other marketing tool…

IDC Hierarchy of Marketing Metrics