Do you really need a new website in 2019?

By Aly Sebastien

Instead, it could turn out that a business requires a new app, video content, a change of messaging or a complete brand strategy overhaul, in order to deliver true value to an audience and consequently generate a return on investment.

So how do you react when operating as independent/freelance or as a digital agency and a client reports “I just need a new website. Can you help”? What is your process to handle this self prescribed remedy?

Why asking high-quality questions is so important

At this point, in order to effectively undertake the diagnosis process, it is essential that you ask your client the right questions. “Why do you need a new website?” and “What are your customer’s pain points and how will having a new website solve this?”. By applying deep analysis via high-quality questions in order to understand your client’s problem or opportunity, you will inevitably surface your client’s true needs. You may then find that their ideas of what is require are very different than what they first envisioned.

A case study

Let’s take a look at case study. In 2018, I was asked if I could create a website for an unknown yet ambitious Pétanque tournament, La British Open, in the north or England. Consequently, being involved in such a sport already, I engaged in meaningful dialogue, where it was identified that a broader campaign would be of higher value. Although the website made up an integral part of the overall project, it was far from being the only thing that contributed to what was a successful campaign

The social media outreach strategy effectively positioned the tournament and set a new standard for the digital representation of a major Pétanque event. Consequently, over a 100 players, from the UK and Europe, then registered for the competition in the preceding months. The provision of rich-content increased the profile of the event in such a way that this helped to secure a primary sponsorship deal with Togg24. Furthermore, the overarching digital campaign offered additional sponsors, such as major boule manufacturers Obut and Boulenciel, a platform to communicate their brand.

On the day of the tournament, the coordinated live streaming of games reached a target audience of over 15,000. Furthermore, a small dedicated media team followed the days events, sharing content via official channels. Ultimately, ideas and ambitions for next year's tournament are already being discussed. A large part of this success was due to looking beyond simply providing a website, as initially requested.

What have we learnt?

Well, before you begin developing any type of solution, it is essential that a sufficient diagnosis has been undertaken. Try and avoid situations where the client dictates procedure after a period of self diagnosis, as unfortunately this is often because they only view you as a tool in the end of a decision making process. We must be confident that real value is gained in hiring you as an expert. Furthermore, if you have inside knowledge of the market your client is involved in, this undoubtedly can help set you apart. Either way, ask questions and dig deep.

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