Why your web team needs an invite to your strategy meetings now

Why your web team needs an invite to your strategy meetings now
As the director of online marketing, Sarah Fruy leads the strategy, goals, and road map for Pantheon's public-facing website and online programs. Fruy is a Certified ScrumMaster® and joins Pantheon with over 10 years of experience in the marketing, digital publishing, and online advertising industries, along with marketing strategy and digital marketing certifications from Cornell Johnson Graduate School of Management. Previously, she worked at emerging media companies, such as Say Media, as well as heritage brands like the San Francisco Chronicle.

I’ll give it to you straight: It is imperative that you invite your web team to your marketing strategy meetings. Your company’s website is one of its most valuable customer-facing marketing assets, so your website operations need to get serious about how web design enhances your marketing efforts.

New channels, new social media platforms, and other trends will come and go — and it will be important for your marketing team to experiment through each. But your company needs to reach its customers where they are spending their time — and the customers always view the company through the website.

Unfortunately, because website creation can be a time-consuming and painful process, a lot of companies leave their web pages static until there’s a major rebranding or re-platforming project. That makes it impossible for marketing to keep up with consumer demand. Customers’ needs and wants are constantly evolving, so your company should be able to update its website on a weekly (if not daily) basis to meet those marketing challenges.

What if your marketing team could publish new content without the hassle of going through IT? What if your web developers and designers became strategic partners in the company’s marketing efforts and understood their roles in meeting important goals?

What if your marketing and website design teams could … collaborate? Because the website is such a major marketing asset, your marketing team should be working hand-in-hand with your WebOps (website operations) team.

Cross-functional teams help drive business

In order to boost customer engagement, your website design should be versatile. That means marketing can use analytics to test and evaluate data before making updates that help the website consistently drive business.

Isolating the marketing and web development teams significantly limits the possibility for innovation and timeliness as compared to a cross-functional approach. Communication seldom works well in a vacuum. Information and opinions cannot be shared, which hinders the ability of the marketing team to quickly roll out changes and new techniques.

Incorporating WebOps into marketing strategy meetings is important to determine the feasibility of a project. Perhaps a developer can offer a way to implement an idea in a quarter of the time. By including developers in marketing meetings, they can get a sense of the end goal and potentially devise more efficient ways of reaching it.

For example, when starting a project, web designers can offer input on the pros and cons of visual style and user experience, the content strategists can discuss communication method and approach, and the web developers will provide insights into the feasibility of creating experiences or integrating with existing software and tools.

Developers might have ideas on how to get results using fewer resources. Designers can use expertise on how to address high bounce rates or low conversions. Marketers can lean on website data to adjust strategy based on changing conditions. When all stakeholders understand the end goal, they can work together to meet those objectives.

Three tips for joint projects

In order to enhance your online marketing strategy, you should pull your WebOps team in at the start of the project. This ensures everyone is on the same page. Here are some other tips for how marketing and WebOps can work together to remain focused on their respective tasks:

  • For new ideas, agree on a minimum viable product. This baseline product allows your team to collect a healthy amount of data with minimum effort. This might be a landing page that your team can monitor to see how people react. Evaluating actual behaviour is infinitely more beneficial than a survey. Producing a minimum viable product keeps you from overinvesting upfront, saving precious resources in the event the campaign ends up failing
     
  • For common requests, work with the web team to create templates and reusable components on the website. This will allow you to expedite future launches and changes. Marketing teams should be empowered to make changes on a weekly basis. These changes could be a simple design tweak or segmented landing pages
     
  • For complex projects, the marketing and web teams should discuss a build-versus-buy approach. Dive into whether a solution exists that you could purchase or license. If it is something that will be an ongoing need, it might save a lot of money in the long run to create a version that meets your unique needs in-house. On the flip side, if you are looking to test out a new, unproven experience, then leveraging prebuilt tools could be the more cost-effective route

Better together

Your company’s website should be treated as a marketing asset, and the web team should be focused on achieving marketing goals. Businesses should reassess their internal structures and reorganise accordingly to give marketing teams their best shot at success.

A truly compelling website is forged by the union of excellent content marketing, beautiful design, and continuous optimisation with the user experience at the forefront. These pillars of a great website are established from strong coordination between marketing and website operations.

Interested in hearing leading global brands discuss subjects like this in person?

Find out more about Digital Marketing World Forum (#DMWF) Europe, London, North America, and Singapore.  

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