Great question. It’s one we like to hear and expect from informed, prospective customers. It means they’re engaged and more likely to expect real results from their marketing efforts.
Although our process may vary slightly from one project to the next, here is our typical way forward.
- Discovery. This where we listen closely, ask a few probing questions and take copious notes. The goal, of course, is to fully understand how the customer’s business works so that we can support and improve marketing efforts.
- Define the product/service offering (what it is and why it’s of value to prospective customers).
- Define the target audience. When possible, we use analytics to help do that. The effort would benefit from knowing as much as possible about the target audience, including demographics. We engage 55-year-old white men, for example, via different means than we do 25-year-old Asian women.
- Use the first three items in this list to develop a site architecture and organize content in ways that make sense to first-time visitors from our target audience (which may not be the same way the client and others with a more extensive understanding of the big picture might organize the content).
- The site architecture and the way you want to present content will dictate a wireframe.
- After the wireframe is set, source (or build) a theme to support it.
- Build pages with compelling content and solid SEO.
- Test, test, test!
- Make improvements.
It is most important to get fingers on the pulse of prospective customers. We need to know everything about them. We need to be sure why they are attracted to products/services. We realize some of this may be hard to get hands around if the business hasn’t launched yet, but it’s important to make an effort.
A quick side note; one of our clients recently discovered that only 1 percent of his list of 150,000 e-mails were corporate professionals, yet this group accounted for most of his sales to date. We found that both troubling and encouraging. If we do a better job of targeting the most promising audience, he should see a significant sales increase.