Evolution Over Demolition

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  • 1/26/2016
    Iterating any significant, owned web property is nothing new for blue chip companies with large staffs that can focus on nothing but their website. However, for everyone else, iteration is usually impromptu at best as dictated by executive request, customer complaints or happenstance. This is not a shocking practice, but it is one that can alienate your customers as they increasingly expect your web presence to do more for them. Also, your competition can more easily catch or pass you by with this approach, leaving your digital marketing and operational investments in the dust.

    Disciplined iteration is a new trend that now allows middle-market-sized brands and companies to get out of the build/bust cycle of web infrastructure projects. For the past 20 years, most companies have built a site and hopefully kept content relatively up-to-date. Then, two to five years after the site launched, they tore down the investment and started over.

    This approach has continued to become more complex, time consuming and costly. These reasons add to problems because they usually push the project further down the road, delaying a return on the new investment to the company. By iterating, there’s now a dedication by companies to make smaller, more frequent, data-driven improvements to the site. This approach is easier to apply your finite resources against, namely your marketing department’s time and budget. Iterative design also allows for a less risky bet because you’re making small, regular improvements based on visitor data. Just in the past few months, we’ve seen clients take advantage of new technology and consumer preferences to improve existing site properties that are only a few years old. Some of these features included infinite scrolling and micro animation additions to their sites.

    Iterative web design as a process combines a number of skill sets working in concert, such as user experience, graphic design, development, search optimization and statistical analysis. By combining these skill sets, you’re able to analyze consumer behavior on the site, track goal conversion data, note changes in browsing habits, and use this information to constantly improve By iterating, there’s now a dedication by companies to make smaller, more frequent, data-driven improvements to the site. your website. A brand can also keep the site looking visually fresh as improvements to the user experience are made over time.

    The shift to a dedicated “care and feeding” of your digital investment has been compared to clients’ approaches to their physical infrastructure investments. A client would never construct a building, buy machinery or operate vehicles without doing at least minimal maintenance on them to extend their life cycle. The same thinking and budgeting is now being applied to digital assets that provide a return for the brand.

    If you like what you read here, you can download our 2016 Marketing Trends book to learn more about what will be trending in 2016. This trend certainly will not rank as one of the sexiest changes in the marketing landscape, but it will have profound impacts on marketing departments and their metrics as this method becomes more widely adopted in 2016 to serve an even more demanding public.
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