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PERSPECTIVE
7 Questions Marketers Must Ask Themselves Prior To Starting A Redesign Initiative

If you’re a marketer considering a redesign, then you must come up with quantifiable reasons and goals for your redesign. Here are a few questions that you may ask yourself before you start site redesign initiative.

1. Does the website need a redesign at all?

Before deciding on a redesign it is very important that you clearly define the purpose.

Here are the key reasons for redesigning a website:

  • To attract more website visitors
  • Convert those visitors into leads and customers
  • To get a better website than the competitor’s
  • To change the underlying technology, which may be hard to use for marketers
  • To improve branding

2. Should we consider a technology refresh during our redesign?

Redesigns provide a great opportunity to consider upgrading the foundation of your website—the content management system and related platforms.

Taking this direction is most relevant for significant redesigns that include a new information architecture, page layouts and creative elements.  When the patient is fully opened up, it is then the most cost and time-effective opportunity for making other major changes, including replacing the CMS foundation.

3. How can the business justify my redesign?

Many organizations require a business case to justify a new website design. Quite often marketers are unable to quantify the ROI behind doing a website redesign. It can be a difficult task.

Forrester’s Total Economic Impact (TEI) provides a good approach to justifying a website redesign. Key elements of this include:

  • Costs
    • Labor costs of redesigning the website (including strategy, design services, implementation services,  and internal staffing)
    • Software costs
    • Maintenance
    • Hosting
  • Benefits
    • Increased revenue
    • Improved customer retention rates
    • Improved acquisition
  • Savings
    • Productivity gains due to ease of use
    • Lesser reliance on IT
    • Ease of development

4. Why should I consider a strategy phase for a redesign?

Many organizations see a redesign initiative as a mere upgrade of the brand or user experience, often treating it as a creative exercise.  By ignoring a strategy exercise, marketers miss the opportunity to align all layers of a redesign—the information architecture, creative and content elements, with an overall strategy.  Whether that strategy centers on generating leads, loyalty creation or improving customer engagement—you can optimize the results by defining a strategy that guides your redesign.

5. What technologies should you consider and select?

The choice will depend on your needs; however, many websites use the following:

  • CMS that is easy to use
  • Analytics (though some CMS’s like Sitecore provide inbuilt analytics)
  • Search
  • Community
  • Marketing automation (Integration)

By defining your requirements, prioritizing them and then selecting the best combination of products based on your needs you can ensure the development of a highly effective website that meets your goals.

6. Should marketing or IT own this initiative?

Website redesign initiatives are commonly owned by marketing. Quite often, strategy and design is quite often owned by the marketer, and IT owns the development.  Marketing must stay involved in the development process, since they are the end users of the technology

7. What are the biggest risks that could lead to failure?

Several risks may impact the success of a design initiative, such as

  • Lack of Executive buy-in: Design is subjective; senior executives may not buy into the design or approach.
  • Availability of personnel: Internally getting access to people is difficult.
  • Lack of benchmarking that does not make the process outside-in.
  • Lack of a clear strategy and vision that doesn’t inform or guide the stakeholders.
  • Lack of understanding the visitor’s journey on the site, which means that the design is not taking the target into consideration. Attractive yet ineffective websites are a common occurrence on the internet.
  • Marketing’s lack of involvement in the CMS selection process.

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