Do you want your boss to invest more in your web presence? Then you need to make a sound business case for web development.
Sincerely speaking, we have lost count of the number of marketers who have told us they would like a better website, but their boss thinks it’s a low priority and won’t allocate any money for the service.
Back when the internet was new, and its business value was open for debate, we could understand such a view. But since then, the internet business scene has exploded and shows no signs of abating any time soon.
For nearly every organization today, their website is the most significant public presence and communication channel. Why? Because everyone is online doing business, communicating and looking for information. For those who work online daily, this is plain to see. Still, you would be surprised how many managers don’t get it.
How Do You Change Their Mind?
You have to create a strong case for website development.
• Creating a development agenda
• Analyzing the financial performance of your communication channels
• Making a case for investment in web development services
Step 1. Create a Development Plan
Start by conducting a competitor analysis. Have a look at your main competitors’ website and assess their qualities in comparison to yours. Check if their design is better, whether their site is more mobile-friendly than yours, whether you can easily find what you want from their sites and if there is useful content that you could offer that neither of your offers. Most if not all senior managers want their companies to be the best in the field. Showing them that is currently not the case may help motivate them to improve your website.
Another factor to mention in your web development plan is that your site should provide all of the services your organization offers via email, phone or in store. So make a point of auditing all of the transactions you provide as a company through other channels and then compare them with the services rendered on your website. Whatever gaps the audit reveals should be part of your web development agenda.
Next, analyze your website performance by checking how many people your site currently reaches and how many more it could reach. You can use Google Analytics to work this out. Also, if you’re doing any online marketing, check its effectiveness by answering the following questions:
- How many visitors are online ads driving to your website?
- How much did the online ads cost?
- How many of the visitors have performed the action you intended them to? (Conversion)
- How much did you pay for each conversion?
- How much revenue did the conversions generate?
- How much revenue did each conversion earn?
You can also use Google analytics to answer these questions. If you find out that you’re spending more money than the revenue generated, then you clearly need to re-evaluate your online marketing plan. However, if you find that you’re earning more money than what you are spending on online ads, then you should increase your online advertising spend and improve your website to boost your online marketing efforts.
Now that you have compared your site to your competitors’, audited the services lacking on your site and analyzed website performance, you can proceed to consult your colleagues. What pain points do they experience when interacting with your site? Can they suggest any improvements that would make their jobs easier? It doesn’t have to be a formal survey; a simple email will do. Just think about it, a web manager complaining about the content management system (CMS) being too difficult to use can provide a good case for investing in a new and more efficient CMS like WordPress.
Lastly, don’t forget to survey your target market. Remember, at the end of the day, the website is not for the company but the customer. Therefore, studying the likes, dislikes, and ideas of your web visitors can provide a viable justification to invest money for further development. You can use a low-cost survey service company like SurveyMonkey to find out what areas of your site need improvement.
Step 2. Financial Performance Analysis of Communication Channels
As a marketer, you are probably aware that senior managers only care about three things:
- Saving money
- Making profits
- Managing risks
Therefore, you will need to conduct a financial analysis of current communication channels and identify whether your website is outperforming them. The idea here is to find out how much business is being conducted through each communication channel, from the phones to the website. For example, try finding out what the total sales made via phone, over the counter, and through online channels are. If your website is earning more for every cent spent running it compared to other channels, then you have a good case. If not, then you should identify the reasons why perhaps poor marketing or lack of e-commerce capabilities.
Step. 3 Make a case for Investment on Web Development
Once you have framed a development agenda and determined the financial performance of your website in comparison to other communication channels, you can now make your case. Keep in mind that just like marketing to a target market requires to you to send the correct message, to the right people at the right time, you will also need to sell the right case to the right people at the right time.
The Right Message to Convey
- List out the deficiencies of the current
- Explain how the deficiencies are harming the companies processes
- State how you recommended web development plan will remedy these deficiencies
- Elaborate why this plan will save money, reduce risks and boost revenue
The Right Channels To use
- Write down a concise business paper that argues your case in detail
- Create a powerpoint that summarizes the key points of your case
- Arrange for a meeting of decision-makers to present your case
The right People to present your case to
Naturally, the person managing your website is the right person to target in your campaign for a better. However, there are other people you should consider;
Make sure you present your case to team leaders who can advocate for you and influencers that the key decision-makers listen to.
All of this may sound like hard work, but it’s worth doing
No change is easy; business managers need to be convinced before making a change. Furthermore, if you are going to embark on web marketing, you will need to do all this research anyway. So put in the work as suggested in this read and you will have a sound business case for the investment you need to improve your website and its performance.