Your web site: Does duct tape or bailing wire keep it running?

Bailing Wire

Let’s go back about two years ago to when you launched your new web site.  After a good 12 months of prep work, from building the business case to selecting the vendors to the implementation, you sent out the congratulatory email and welcomed everyone to the new site.  There may even have been a big launch party in the cafeteria with cake, commemorative magnets and a special message from the CEO.  Wasn’t that a great day?  For many of our clients, it was, though much has changed.  Now fast forward to the Summer of 2009 and it’s time to take an honest look at the current web site and see if it is performing at the level you intended.  Do any of these scenarios, taken from actual Acquity Group clients, resonate with you?

  • An evolving, and unclear, interactive marketing strategy has left a lot of bolted-on functionality: random blogs, the occasional news feed and a rating widget for some product families.  And yes, the micro-site for FestWorldCon 2007 is still up – and it has the old logo
  • Dozens of writers have had their hands in content creation and none of them followed a branding or style guide.  Even if you could determine who wrote a given piece of content, would you want to keep it?
  • True Web Content Management (WCM) is still just a dream.  IT surgery is still involved to get a page updated, no one has had training on the product since it launched and half of the sites are still handled by an outside firm.
  • Both publishing costs and revenue targets are increasing – and many people in the organization are asking if we have the right platform to keep moving eBusiness forward

Additionally, we have found that when looking across product management, interactive marketing and IT, that all processes related to the web are tangled, cumbersome, redundant and sometimes overwhelming.  What’s worse, many of the goals laid out in the original business case (e.g. lowered TCO, improved time-to-market, increased efficiency) either never came true, or worse, no one has bothered to measure them.

If any of this sounds familiar, I suggest the following 3-step game plan to whip your site into shape:

  1. Assess the current environment: Look at everything from processes to governance models to technology to user experience.  Open every closet door and find out exactly what people are doing.  Having a winning framework can help here to make sure that you don’t miss anything and are keeping an eye on the future.  This is also a good time to make sure your overall eBusiness strategy is up-to-date.
  2. Identify the gaps: Were you to wave a magic and get the web site you’ve always dreamed of, what would it look like?  Now look at what you have and see what is missing or broken.
  3. Build an Action Plan: If you have limited budget this year, prioritize what you can do that will have the most impact.  No one can see past 2011 right now, so focus on the base hits in the next 90 days and then on what you can do in 2010.

Comments and questions welcome

(See other posts from Tony Bailey)

If any of this sounds familiar, I suggest the following 3-step game plan to whip your site into shape:

1. Assess

Comments and questions welcome

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