Metric's Guide to Web Development Finding value in a $30K investment

CHAPTER 2

Getting a fresh perspective

A creative marketing agency can offer new insights on your company, your messaging and your competition, and deliver a marketing solution that will complement your customers’ brand experience. If you decide to go with a pre-built template or a low-cost provider, you’re doing both your company and customers a disservice. Here’s why.

Establishing Goals

Sometimes, you might not be sure what your goals are other than needing a better online presence. Maybe you have a clear vision for where you want to be in 5-10 years, but are unsure of how to track the success of your strategies. Whatever your goals are, an agency will work with you to identify which are the most relevant for your business and the best practices for short and long-term goal tracking.

Challenging Assumptions

As a third-party, an agency has greater flexibility in conducting an objective analysis of your marketing strategies and tactics to accurately envision your branded interactions and experiences, from the perspective of your customer base. This is arguably one of the most valuable experiences for an agency client, as the kinds of questions posed by the team can challenge assumptions you may have about your brand as well as develop valuable external perspectives that can represent a true catalyst for your business moving forward.

Analyzing the Landscape

Agencies engage in in-depth research to truly understand their client, their business, their industry, their competition, their customer and who they are as a company. This extensive process is one of the reasons a partnership with a creative marketing agency represents a sound investment. Through this research, specific industry trends and customer expectations are identified and your brand’s competitive advantage is defined.

This unique offering will be integrated into your website design to solidify this core differentiation from your competition online. As part of this phase, your agency will also complete a demographic analysis of your current website traffic to understand who is actually visiting the website to identify how to best tailor the new site to their specific needs.

Working with the right team

It takes a village to build a site. When you invest in a website built by a creative marketing agency, it may be more expensive than a low-cost provider, but that’s because you’re partnering with a team of experienced professionals to create a marketing centrepiece for your business.

These innovative minds come together to design and build a site that works to grow your unique business. The value for your money at a higher price point may not be obvious, but when you take into account the number of experts available to you during the development process, the range and depth of expertise informing each decision along the way and the influence of these factors on the calibre of the finished product, the value of developing a website with an agency becomes clear.

Marketing Strategists

Inquisitive by nature, marketing strategists research everything there is to know about your brand and industry. They conduct competitor analyses to identify the features, experiences and services your target users are searching for and what’s on offer elsewhere. An effective marketing strategist is up to date on the latest digital and demographic trends, available media and targeting strategies. They analyze your brand and current marketing materials to outline brand goals for the design team and develop the positioning and target demographic info as a base for the site.

Brand Strategists

These are the creators of that intangible feeling that’s associated with your business. They bring your current marketing materials and customer experiences together as part of the site creation process with the knowledge that a website should be understood as an extension of your brand. These specialists work to design and implement a user experience that is a reflection of what your customers have already come to expect of you, from outdoor ads, to promotional flyers, and even your bricks and mortar location.

Interaction Designers

The artists that take your brand and bring it to life through images, colours and textures. They are the team that creates the vision and tend to be at the forefront of the clients’ mind when it comes to building websites. While their role is essential in the creation of your website, it is one of many key components to building a site that is both beautiful and functional. Choosing an agency with an experienced design team has many benefits when it comes to responsive considerations, as well as a site design that accurately represents your brand and helps you stand out from your competition.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Specialists

An SEO team is not just in the business of making you visible in the SERPS (search engine result pages). They draw on years of knowledge and expertise in inbound marketing tactics to analyze and grow your website’s traffic.

Content Creators

Effective copy for a website is far more difficult to develop and far more valuable to your site than many give it credit for. Writing for the web requires a very special skill set. The content has to be short, punchy and to the point. It has to have depth as well as brevity. Credibility as well as entertainment and engagement value. Professional online copywriters are gifted with the ability to express your brand’s message eloquently and effectively, making every word on your site work for you. With the abundance of content out on the web, well written copy helps your content stand out from the clutter.

Programmers / Coders

These curious operators weave the technology required to make graphic designs come alive. They work closely with designers and strategists to realize the ideas generated earlier in the process. What these folks do changes at a pace perhaps greater than that of any other professional or technical knowhow. An agency ought to be able to supply projects with cutting-edge programmers suited to the type of work an agency demands.