Mar 6, 2009 by Marissa Berger
For a website to become a true marketing tool it must have a strategy behind it. To start designing or programming before having an agreed upon strategy usually ends up increasing the budget significantly, delaying the site’s launch, and making the development process frustrating and inefficient.
A true web developer… not a designer, not a programmer… but a developer who understands both business and the web will provide the guidance needed to develop such strategy.
A strategy should cover:
- Business research
- Market/industry research
- Competition research
- Website goals
- Tracking mechanisms
- Detailed scope specifications
- Site map
- Budget broken down by phases
- Time to launch
- Cash flow requirements plan
- Maintenance & marketing plan
The larger the business, the more functionality, the larger the site… the more a detailed strategy is needed. The concept behind a strategy is simple. It should answer these questions:
- What should the website really do?
- What specific functionality will achieve that goal?
- How do we budget time, money, and other internal resources to complete the site?
- How do we track that the website is working?
- How do we market the site?
- How often do we revisit these questions?
Only after these questions are answered should the development team start. A well thought out strategy will save time and money and will keep everyone on track.