Managing the digital customer experience for a brand used to be relatively straightforward; businesses simply had a website and an email newsletter alongside offline channels to sale. Today, the picture is far more complex, with the combination of touchpoints where marketers seek to influence consumers stretching across paid, earned and owned media on different devices. Consider the customer-facing touchpoints of a brand’s online experience. These can include a desktop or mobile optimized site, mobile apps and company pages on social media.
Planning website design and redesign projects
Despite the growth in social media, the company website, which today must be effective for users accessing via desktop, smartphone and tablet devices, is still at the heart of online communications. For the experience to be effective, a sound process is needed to design, build and refresh the online experience. In the past, it has been a common mistake among those creating a new website for the first time to ‘dive in’ and start creative design and content creation without sufficient forward planning.
Who should be involved in a website project?
The success of a website is dependent on the range of people involved in its development, and how well they work as a team. Typical profiles of team members follow:
- Site sponsors. These will be senior managers who will effectively be paying for the system from their budgets. They will understand the strategic benefits of the system and will be keen that the site is implemented successfully to achieve the business objectives they have set.
- Site designer. The site designer will define the ‘look and feel’ of the site, including its styling through Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), layout and how company brand values are transferred to the web.
We are seeing a gradual blurring between these different types of supplier as they recruit expertise so as to deliver a ‘one-stop shop’ or ‘full-service agency’, but they still tend to be strongest in particular areas. Companies need to decide whether to partner with the ‘best of breed’ in each, or to perhaps compromise and choose the one-stop shop that gives the best balance.