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A proper brief is important to save website development costs
Building or rejuvenating a website or developing an online marketing campaign can be quite a scary process. Developers and consultants bill by the hour so it makes sense to streamline the process to save website development costs. The best way to do that is to ensure that you and your web developer are on the same page in terms of your thinking. In this industry this flow of information s called a brief.
However a word of caution. The criteria you use to judge a site are often very different to the criteria that the developer may use so it is important that you are able to communicate your views to be able to show your developer what your vision is.
Tension between client and developer
Similarly a skilled online marketer will steer you to get a site that you need rather than just one that you want.
Wow you may say. Isn’t it the same thing?
Well truthfully the answer is no.
A site should be developed with your target market’s needs in mind. By this I mean that sufficient research should have been undertaken to determine what the demand is for the types of goods and services you offer and to determine exactly what key phrases people use when looking for your goods and services. That is THE MOST IMPORTANT step. So you see, creating an effective online presence is so much more than converting your brochure to an electronic format.
Of course the visual elements in a website are very important as well as these probably support your overall corporate identity. So balance is needed. A skilled designer is not the same as an online marketer. The designer probably has only a little knowledge of how people search for goods and services, and does not know how to effectively measure online results or guide you on the process required to climb the search engine rankings.
I suggest that you brief your online marketer fully on the stuff you already know.
Ten essential bits of information to save costs are:
- Your company name and company slogan.
- Supply a copy of your strategic marketing plan if you have one.
- Supply brochures, letterheads and business cards to show what your corporate identity looks like.
- Define your target market in terms of demographics. Who. where, why and how.
- Supply any recent adverts to show what specific campaigns look like.
- Tell your online marketer what it is that you expect from your website.
- Tell your online marketer about your social media experience and campaigns if any.
- Tell your online marketer what you like in terms of design. (Give examples) Choose colour schemes, images etc.
- Try to reflect your corporate personality in your brief.
- Supply your images with descriptive labels.
For developers to add value they need to be able to understand your needs and desires accurately. It really helps for them to understand your likes and dislikes as well. So don’t be afraid to supply the address of a website or two that you like.
Remember you are trying to achieve a situation where there is a meeting of the minds. The tension between what you want and what your developer wants is healthy. If your developer does exactly what you want without guiding you on what you need then you may have the wrong team on your side.
A website that delivers enquiries and clients is a win win situation for yourself and for your developer. That should be your ultimate goal.