In the current digital environment, every marketer knows the importance of having a strong online presence. But keeping up with—and ahead of—the Jones's on the internet requires staying on top of constant changes. It's important, though, to look before you leap.
"Many businesses know they want to update or upgrade their Web presence, but with so many options and so much lingo, figuring out what you want and how to ask for it can be a major challenge," said Caxy Interactive's CEO Michael LaVista.
At Caxy, we pride ourselves on being able to help clients spot areas of opportunity within their businesses. Sometimes the solution is a technical one, and sometimes, it's merely a process tweak. By applying lean ideas, we can help clients overcome even the most stubborn issues.
For all the benefits of putting a shiny new coat of digital paint on your website, social and mobile experiences, being too hasty can be just as costly. So here are a few questions every marketer should ask themselves before diving head first into a sweeping update:
1. Do you have a clear brand strategy? It's important to know where you're going before you start making changes, especially when it comes to maintaining consistency for your brand across different channels. "We see some clients jumping into a Web or mobile experience in a way that doesn't take into consideration the existing brand," LaVista explained. "It creates a disconnect for customers and makes the new experience less effective."
2. Do you have what it takes to go the distance? Your digital presence requires cultivation and curation, and that takes time, money and persistence. If you're going to do it, make sure your new experience doesn't become a passing fad for the company and that it, instead, is an ongoing project that has the support it needs.
3. Will customers care that you build this? It's always important to know what your customers are thinking, and building a new digital experience is no exception. "I know Steve Jobs says tell them what they want, but that doesn't suit every business all the time," LaVista warned. "Many businesses don't have the millions to get there. Talk to your customers and they will tell you what types of things they would love to see from you."
4. What else will customers see in your space, and is it fresh? Embedding your Facebook feed on your site was cutting edge—several years ago. But it's stale now, and your customers will notice. "If you are promoting an amazing new tool that all your competitors have had for years, the brand will come off as not knowing the market," LaVista said.
5. What would happen if you didn't do this? This is an important question to ask yourself and answer honestly. How will the company be different in a year because of this, if it will? Is this something your competition is already doing?
6. What will you do with what you learn about your customers? One of the main advantages of digital is that you can know exactly what your customers are doing. You need to make sure you are ready to collect that data about their behavior and preferences and that your business is prepared to react quickly to what you find out.
7. How will you measure success? Everything can be measured and there is always a metric. Often it comes down to the bottom line and how much money these changes bring in, but you need to determine what is most important to the business so you can know how effective your new digital interactive has been.
To read more about online strategy, visit fiercecmo.com.