By: Cordes Owen – Bayshore Solutions Team Vice President On my way into the office today, I looked over at my XM radio and on the display it reads Wix.com. The voice over comes on and tells us listeners how we don’t need to spend a lot of money on our company websites because everything we could want on a website is available by simply logging in and using their inexpensive website builder.
Even though a very small fraction of the radio listeners will ever actually attempt to build their own website, some of the listeners will be left with an impression that a cheap website is good enough for their business. Beware: The do-it-yourself websites almost never produce a result comparable to a professional site.
The reason is because most people concentrate on what they are good at. Plumbers are great plumbers, and fiberglass guys build boats. Regardless of what platform is chosen as the foundation for your website, a great website takes marketing know-how, artistic abilities, copywriting, and technical skills. For these reasons, freelancers are even at a disadvantage. There are very few people who possess all of these skills at a high level enough to produce a website and marketing plan good enough to truly move a business forward.
I just spoke with a company this week who had months earlier, decided a team developed solution was too expensive. They decided to use a freelancer who was going to charge 50% of what we estimated. Now after a difficult working relationship and inconsistent results from their freelancer they are ready for an agency solution. How many more sales could this business have made if they had chosen a digital agency a year ago? Now they are faced with the cost of completely re-doing what was done and starting over.
The truth is a great website takes a team. Creative directors quickly capture the brand and positioning of the company and translate this into professional graphics and imagery. Front end developers take these graphics and transform them into web friendly formats and responsive HTML. Programmers write custom code to streamline business functions or to incorporate sales and marketing automation. Project managers act as analysts and keep projects on schedule and control costs. Marketers ensure the site’s goals are setup for tracking so advertising campaigns can be measured and future ad spend can be optimized for maximum effectiveness. Meanwhile a team leader, in our case a Vice President, oversees the project or campaign as an added layer of quality.
Only very large businesses can afford to staff such a specialized team and even then it is difficult to retain such talented individuals because part of the reward this agency team gets is the mental stimulation of working on diverse accounts. This is why agencies will always inherently produce a higher level of quality and results.
As a business you may have spent years developing the perfect burger or craft brew and process to take it to market. Shouldn’t you spend an equivalent effort telling the world about it?