The Guide To Starting Your B2B Website Project
Your company’s website is your single most important marketing tool. All of your sales and marketing efforts direct your company’s target audience to this, one…sole…company website. Now that YOU have been tasked with finding the right partner to design and develop the new site, you’re feeling the pressure. Here is where to start.
Get Budget Approval
Starting here will save countless hours and ensure that you are meeting with firms that work within your budget. Many of our clients told us they sat down with agencies that quoted them 2-3x the budget after they’d had a phone call and in-person meeting. Basically saying “see ya” to 2-3 hours of your life.
Do your research on what to expect at different price points. Karl Sakas, a respected marketing industry consultant, laid it out nicely here in his blog titled Competitive research: How much should agencies charge for websites? The blog provides a great outline but the prices can fluctuate by market. Outside of the major cities prices can drop a bit as the price of living and advertising decreases.
Know What Your Budget Can Buy: Custom vs. Customizable
We see that websites under $30,000 in our competitive landscape are almost always pre-developed templates disguised as “custom” when really they are “customizable”. Do not fall for this. “Custom” in the web world is an unregulated term and agencies will use that word to make you feel a heightened sense of value. A truly custom site will not only convert better but also have a longer lifespan and be scalable. Customizable templates done by the right firm are a great solution to an old unresponsive website that you just need to update. Zenman clients recognize they need a more robust site to aid in their growth goals.
Freelancers may be able to develop a truly custom site fit to the needs of your company, but there is a lot of risk here. Check out our eBook to help decide if you need an ad agency.
Align Your Internal Team
Specifying a web project team is key here. You may be new to the company and have your ideas, but it is important to include a more tenured person as well. What you risk when going solo are design and development edits down the road that you did not budget for. Also:
- Include a sales person. At a B2B company, the head of marketing typically has an active role in sales. If not, find someone on your sales team that has an interest in the project.
- Include your IT department at the beginning to ensure the new website will meet tech needs. Developing a $60K site just to find out your internal server will not support it is a devastating feeling. Solve this up front.
- Bring your team to the Discovery or Kickoff meeting so that they develop a relationship with the web agency. This project could take 3-6 months on average and working with people you have met and talked to face-to-face allows for better communication.
- If a goal of your website is to attract talent, include someone from your team that relates to the demographic you are after. 9 out of 10 professionals research a company online before even considering their job offers. At Zenman, we ask our clients “what percentage of the site is meant for new business and what percentage is meant for new talent?” To our surprise our client Fast Enterprises said “90% new talent, 10% new business.
Create The RFP/RFQ
Be on the lookout for a Zenman eBook titled “How To Create A Website RFP” which will outline the elements to a proposal request that will aid your agency search process and help you ask the right questions. Hopefully you’re familiar with the Iron Triangle of Project Management: budget, timeline, and scope. Adjusting any one of those once the project is underway will affect the other two.
There you go. Now you’re off to the races with agency calls, meetings, and – after some time – hopefully a kickass website.