[eBook] Reduce Reliance on IT for Faster Website Launches
If you have something to say about your digital marketing strategy and the efficient delivery of great website experiences to users – you probably have experienced the need for faster project launches, either now or in the past. There are some very good reasons why new websites take so long to launch, and five critical ways to speed the whole process up. That’s why we have produced a new Quick guide to faster website launches.
Slow website projects tend to bog down in their own inertia, which is why digital marketers often don’t realize the return on investment they expect. Here are some explanations why:
- New websites are too hard to launch without I.T. development expertise – whether in-house or outsourced.
- Websites are overly complex to manage without ongoing support from technical experts.
- They are perpetually outdated, because digital marketers don’t and/or can’t fully control them.
- Websites don’t easily integrate with the latest marketing tools & technology, such as content and data sources that would help deliver richer user experiences.
- Slow or delayed digital experiences risk alienating buyers, frustrating customers, and giving market advantage to competitors.
Today’s digital marketers – even those at companies that aren’t driven by e-commerce – need more flexibility in the way they launch and manage their websites. Your customers deserve great web experiences. As a marketing team you need to be agile, self-reliant and responsive enough to deliver them.
So without further ado, here is Tip #1 on how to launch websites quicker.
Tip 1: Break your over-reliance on I.T.
I.T. has a valuable role to play at any enterprise concerned about security, compliance and the stability of backend infrastructure. But when it comes to provisioning the marketing tools and technologies that will power optimal web experiences for your visitors, you need the power to choose.
Marketing needs to comply with I.T. strategy and procurement policies. I.T. needs to free your team from technical roadblocks that slow and stall projects.
Discover new ways to collaborate with I.T. to optimize your web projects for speed. Create a win-win scenario by clearly splitting the responsibilities of marketing and I.T. to maximize effectiveness. I.T. can be liberated from the tactical burden of website support by letting marketers own front-end presentation and the customer experience. However, the Big Data that powers dynamic, personalized experiences may remain locked in distributed systems (e.g. ERP, MAP) that I.T. controls. Strike the right balance for smoother collaboration.
Your digital marketing efforts risk being perpetually one step behind without a certain level of autonomy over managing your web properties. Over-reliance on I.T. expertise hinders your ability to test new campaign ideas, experiment with new delivery methods such as mobile, and nimbly respond to changes and challenges in the marketplace. Customers and prospects who receive less-than-stellar web experiences with your company or brand don’t take the desired actions.
Follow this advice to emancipate and empower your marketing team:
- Outline a collaboration plan for the hand-off between Marketing and I.T. Chances are that I.T. would like to free their team from some of the tech support tickets generated by Marketing. Giving Marketing greater autonomy over its own web properties through self-service initiatives will ease the burden on I.T.
- Define the role of internal marketing. Ask yourself what parts of the process your team would like (and would not like) to own. This includes website strategy, design, content, production schedule, site approval and launch. Internal teams should handle as many of these core roles as possible, and only use partners as a resource to speed time-to-market.
- Put the focus on website strategy & design. Not on the latest whiz-bang technology. Make sure the website solution selected will openly support the technologies already in your marketing stack, without forcing you to switch or migrate. Beware any solution for which complex systems integration is required for successful implementation or application.
- Encourage localization. Larger marketing organizations should encourage distributed ownership of web properties at both the regional and individual brand level. The head office should standardize tools, data, frameworks and media assets. This allows marketing leadership to control the brand centrally and promote digital consistency, while coaching local teams to succeed.
- Consider the right agency partner. A well-chosen digital agency can guide, mentor and offload a lot of expertise and work to speed implementation cycles when it comes time to actually build the site. They should be experts in rapid website deployment tools and technology.
Want to learn all about Tips #2 through #5? Download the full Quick Guide to Faster Website Launches and keep reading! It’s chock full of the latest statistics, insight and guidance your projects deserve.