Everyone views a website as mandatory, yet few understand the exact purpose of owning one. In the 1990s and early 2000s, business owners could justify a one page website as traditional marketing still ruled the roost – print and TV. Fast forward today, digital marketing has captured the lion’s share of advertising budgets, as money follows the consumer. Mobile technology and wifi facilitate a ubiquitous internet, allowing search engines and social media to become recurring, consistent touch points with today’s consumer, regardless of age.
As web technologies continue to advance, user experience and marketing channels are increasing in entropy, becoming increasingly more complex. Whereas the web once relied on static webpages and plain text, it now showcases augmented reality, virtual reality, high res photography, flash, html5, and video. For over 20 years Adam Taylor, CEO of Splendor Design Group has remained on the cutting edge of new web technologies and graphic design. As a top web designer in New Jersey, his body of work encompasses true brands. Fake aspirant brands could blend in with real brands years ago, but today it’s becoming increasingly more difficult. A local business website of yesteryear was barebones, giving driving directions, a phone number and perhaps a few images. Businesses today have an opportunity to actually engage potential customers with real-time chat, virtual tours, video, dynamic navigation options, high res photography and calls to action. Big data has also co-evolved around emerging markets, mitigating guess-work, proving the worth of digital marketing through precise, positive ROI tracking. If a customer can be acquired for less than spend necessary to acquire them, a scalable new customer funnel has been established. Google Analytics and Adwords has been at the forefront, shifting mindsets from a marketing expense to a revenue producing activity.
Now Facebook, YouTube and other platforms are allowing business owners and webmasters to discern between successful campaigns and unsuccessful ones.
The genie is out of the bottle. Everyone knows it’s simply not enough to “have a website”, but to have a better web presence than ones competition, as a digital impression is often the first one a brand establishes with a new potential customer. If a web user isn’t impressed he/she is gone in 10-20 seconds. Despite this fact, many are either ill-advised or lacking a budget to create a truly inspiring web presence, let alone support it through marketing efforts. This has given rise to two distinct target markets: business owners seeking the cheapest barebone websites, and those who invest heavily into their digital presence. This further deepens the dichotomy between brands and fly-by-night companies, as now they are losing on two fronts, both real life, and virtual.
Principles of Design and Marketing
A business should be unapologetically naked to its customers: value proposition (what), ethos (why), and proof (how). Successfully exhibiting these core three traits is standard practice for successful marketing agencies such as Splendor Design Group, but a vast majority of business owners fail to answer consumer basic questions, fears, and objections. Art imitates real life, and dating is a petri dish of human habits. Just as singles only invest emotionally into people they deem physically attractive, a website starts off a shallow process, but ends in deep storytelling. Knowledge conquers many shallow preconceived notions, yet it’s impossible to edify one’s potential clients if they don’t stick around to hear your value proposition. When executed properly, even a villain is hard to hate once you know their backstory. Transparency is misinterpreted; a prospect doesn’t care if a business owner wakes up at 4am to take care of his/her grandmother; selfishly and rightly, they need to know if they will be benefit from a business relationship. If a web presence answers this positively, then added layers of emotion can be peeled back as the layer of communication and decision making furthers the prospect towards a desired outcome. In other words, if a woman’s preferred man is 6’5 with brown eyes, a shorter, blue eyed man would stand little chance, through no fault of the man (message), unless the woman gave him one. If the medium is the website, and it’s unattractive, all further communication or emotional connection is impossible. A website is a catch all opportunity to seize as much business in the open market, while staying true to one’s business. In a world of shrinking attention spans and hyper competitive markets, standing out is cliche but a principle as old as time and evolution. Birds sing, peacocks…peacock, Kangaroos flex, and the list goes on. Without drawing attention, and more importantly maintaining interest in the hearts and minds of your clients, web marketing falls short, warping back to 1990 one-way information flow. Adam has lead by example through his agency website; a highly interactive video welcoming new visitors, detailed case studies, team member backgrounds with photos, and strong calls to action. If someone is in the market for high end custom web design, branding and marketing, the web experience helps guide the consumer into taking action through email or phone call. The antithesis is a website so poorly done a user hits the back button in search of nearby competitors. Factor in cost of acquiring new business, even just word of mouth (not including new marketing), losing business due to an unprofessional website has real world implications.