We are not, never will be, could not ever be developers. Sure, we can whip up a cheeky WIX site, but just quietly, so can your Grandma.
When it comes to the tricky stuff, we outsource the developing to the experts. We do the thinking, planning, copywriting, more thinking and project managementy stuff.
None of this, however, answers the question, why do we work on a lot of websites?
So here it is. Websites are the new ‘shop window’. OK not that new, they’ve been around for a few years now. But despite this, it seems that, for many small businesses, the website equation is more closely aligned to the idea of “here’s a place for everything I’ve ever wanted to tell people about my business” vs. “what might my customers want to use my website for?”
The distinction between these questions is important. One is about you – the business owner. The other focuses on your customer – the people paying you to do whatever it is you do.
Sometimes those people want a bright shiny information-filled thesis, because what you do is sell ideas and they need to know you have some (hello, MLAB!). Other times those people need to know when, what, why and how much, because what they want is to buy the thing then and there. Then sometimes prospective customers just want to confirm that you’re a real business and not a bot imitating a human. A website can be so many things.
The reasons we, as fundamental marketeers, work on all these websites is the P’s. As in the marketing P’s…and the one we call on with websites is primarily the P called Place – where do I find out about what you do and how do I buy all that glorious stuff you have.
Place is really really important. It is why people spend so much time and effort thinking about where they will have their bricks and mortar store; what that store will look like and who they will employ to meet and greet prospective customers.
Or why they spend so much time and effort considering why a bricks and mortar store isn’t for them but instead they’re better off with a different distribution model.
Or why they spend so much time and effort on networking with prospects on the golf course, despite not really knowing the difference between an iron or a wedge or a wood, or why there is a shot count called a birdie.
It’s all about Place. Being there. And being there in the right capacity.
That’s why we build so many websites. We often meet people who want to increase the awareness of their brand. They want to justify a price point or build their pipeline. But their website is letting them down. They might have the best, most engaging brand story about how their new app for middle-age housewives helps saves the rare spotted grey couch bird in the wild, and have the cutest little packages ever, and the price point might be spot on (ha, ‘scuse the pun), but if the website is more government-authority than the hipster version of Richard Attenborough, chances are, their audience will just turn off.
Websites matter because your product, your business and your brand need to be baked in from the start. Websites are your Place. Your front door. Your welcome sign. Your first hello and ‘can I help you.’
We don’t work on a lot of websites just because it’s fun (which incidentally it is.) We work on websites because every website should be working hard… and we get them to do just that.