when larger clients approach FGI about a particular web project, they are ready to dive head first into detailed questions like: "what colors should we use?" and "what language should we code our website in?" few clients look at the bigger picture and how this is going to affect their overall business model and strategy.
i will now outline a few necessary steps when developing a high-level web project that may call for business operations changes, significant spending and/or employee restructuring.
your current web presence:
how effective is your website right now and how much business is it generating? you must identify where you are for square one and how to build from that.
target market and demographics:
most businesses know they need to improve their website online or expand their advertising, but few are clear as to who they are actually marketing to and how effectively. take time to iron out a specific market; who those people are and how you plan to attract and retain them.
profit centers and business operations:
when creating or expanding your web presence, you must look at the overall picture of what profit centers and business operations are being effected. if your online expansion is successful; are you going to need additional employees or resources? if a particular profit center has been struggling in the past, is there anyway you can leverage it through your new web project? the worst position is to find yourself succeeded in building your business online but not able to sustain that growth because you weren't fully prepared for it.
corporate culture and offline marketing:
while offline marketing will differ from your online approach, making sure you create a seamless transition is integral. you want potential customers to never feel disconnected from when they found your business online to viewing your website to visiting your actual location. if you have a shiny office, with brilliant minds running the place, does someone have that same feeling when they visit your website for the first time?
public relations and promotions:
a new web piece or expansion of your presence online can be a powerful tool. are you planning on corresponding your new website with a popular annual event your company holds? keep in mind that cross-channel advertising and marketing are important tools to utilize when trying to maximize your return on investment online.
these are just a few elements to explore when you are ready for a new website or expanding your current presence online. some agencies, like FGI, will offer strategic development sessions which can help identify these areas and more. these strategy sessions are a benefit to both consumer and agency. they put both parties on the same page as far as expectations, priorities and concerns.
a high level strategy not only clearly defines your goals but helps you understand them.