I talk a lot about how important a thoughtful and comprehensive planning process is for successful web development projects — particularly if you have expectations for your new website to contribute to your digital marketing efforts.
One aspect of that planning process worth keeping in mind even after site launch – throughout the life of your digital marketing efforts, in fact – is getting buy-in and building consensus. In other words, it’s a mistake to go it alone.
There are a number of ways that it’s beneficial to get your colleagues to buy into a shared vision of what your new website should be. The two that I want to address for on-going attention are
- Getting the Best Information
- Building Believers
Getting the Best Information
It’s incredibly difficult to view the world from someone else’s perspective. (See Washington, D.C. and just about every state capitol …) So perhaps the most important reason we have for getting our stakeholders involved early is to get as much pertinent information from them as possible. Instead of struggling to pretend you’re someone you’re not, get those people to contribute their thoughts on how your digital marketing will best serve their needs.
Obviously, this makes perfect sense as you’re building your new site. It can be just as helpful post-launch, when your goal is to adapt your efforts as data begins to tell a story about how well your site is working. They’re the experts and have the knowledge you need – product knowledge, client knowledge, market knowledge.
An added benefit of seeking out stakeholder opinions as you’re planning your site is that you frequently can give those stakeholders a feeling of ownership. Rather than feeling forced to use a tool that’s been delivered from on high, they are more likely to feel a sense of ownership and put in the effort required to use the tools you’ve created.
Post-launch, these benefits continue as your true believers are likely to help you to continue shaping a tool rather than abandoning it if it isn’t quite hitting all the marks it needs to.
Your goals as as marketer can’t be limited to success within your department or metrics that are of limited value. (Likes, subscribers, and followers don’t pay the rent for most of us.) You have to aim to have business-wide impact as measured by business metrics – leads, sales, and revenue.
That’s much easier to achieve if you have a broader base to stand on and a broad coalition of champions helping you to help them.