Would you build a house without a plan? Absolutely not. So why would you even consider building the foundation of your online business without a proper plan? Doing a proper "discovery" to map out your online requirements is essential to executing a good digital marketing strategy.
I am always amazed with how many business want to just throw easy money at their website, skate by with the bare minimum, and then complain when there is no measurable increase in business from their website. At equaTEK we want to build the website right the first time, and lay the ground work for an effective digital marketing strategy for success.
For us, it's not a quick buck to be made in just throwing up websites one after the other without much thought for our client's long term success and future growth. Part of our process includes what we call a "Website Discovery," which in simple terms is the planning phase in the web development process.
I was sitting in a meeting with a prospective client, and listened to Ed Hanchett, one of our owners, liken it to having good blue prints for building a home... This is how he explained it:
Once upon a time... There was a couple who decided they wanted to build a house. So they met with a building contractor who told them he would build them the most beautiful home in the land…but it would cost more than they would make in their lifetime. Disheartened, they heard of another contractor who said he would build them their home for only a little money and they were happy again… When they met with the second contractor they learned he had never built a home before...there they were disappointed once again. Finally, they met a third contractor who asked lots of questions. Frustrated, they challenged this contractor, nearly dismissing him because he asked so many questions. They couldn't understand why all the questions? They just wanted a house after all...
Fortunately, they took the time to hear him answer his questions, and hear his explanation.
You see, neither the first nor the second contractor asked any questions. Each of them had an idea of what the house they would build would look like…but they never asked the couple what they wanted the house to look like. Should it be big, should it be small, perhaps a ranch style or colonial. One story or three. On a small city lot or in the country. Could the couple afford their dream home or did they need to start small and grow. They discovered they didn’t know the answers to the questions they were being asked and they became frightened. What if they couldn’t build a home at all?
You might think this is only a fairy tale but if you’ve ever built (or bought) your first home, it probably sounds familiar. You probably found lots of people willing to sell you their idea of what you needed or wanted…you probably experienced sticker shock and disappointment. You probably got frustrated because you thought that building a house had to be simple. After all, houses are built every day!
While we do not build houses, we do build software applications, and interactive websites, and we execute digital marketing plans for our clients. And we likely frustrate them sometimes because we ask lots of questions. And we discover that there are lots of answers our clients do not have or haven’t thought about before being asked.
But our clients get a solution that is right for them. It fits. It feels like home, not just a house. So the next time someone tries to convince you they know exactly what you need without asking lots of questions, remember, they don’t.
Our Discovery process has a purpose. It builds that very important blueprint for your website, so that down the road you are set for growth, and there is little rework in the future because the website didn't end up fitting your business needs. It's a roadmap to success and eliminates the "surprises" that can pop up during the development process that people often don't consider.
The clients who follow our website Discovery process feel like they have a partner in business who cares about their success and has their back when it comes to their online marketing. And when they come through the process, they tend to understand it better. It's one of those things where the aha moment comes at the end.
And their website lives happily ever after...