Who is your website made for? We all know it but then not all do.
When we develop websites or get them developed by others, we all have an idea who it is for. Ask a developer and the reply would be ‘the client’; a marketer would say it’s for ‘the brand’ or ‘the organization’.
Some would even say it’s for all ‘the visitors’ who would eventually visit the website. Unfortunately some would even have to say – it’s for their “boss”. And if you are residing in a “1984” (the novel) type world, you may say it is for society, humankind or the world at large (No pun intended towards knowledge repositories here).
We believe none of the above answers are relevant in this day and age. This is not particularly about this website (7pdm.com), but then it is relevant for it on some level as well. Gone are those days when your website was just a brand’s fascia on the internet or a catalogue distributed conveniently over messages in electronic form. A website – the browser based interface is here to stay along with the apps of the world on you devices. So let’s answer the question by looking at the cons of the aforementioned answers.
If a developer only believes he/she is developing the website solely to satisfy the client’s needs, it is a disservice to the ultimate potential of the website. A client gives us a brief and information packets with guidelines to develop their website. Those are all good to follow and should be followed. However the client’s inputs are just stimulus for the development of a communication medium.
The response to the ultimate visual and content based website still needs to be tuned to achieve the objectives of the organization. That’s where the developer or the development team, needs to rise above their chairs and take a crisp but macro understanding of the brand, the category, segment, competition and the customers of the brand.
If a marketer is getting a website made just to make it stand with the brand/ organization’s values and aspirations, the attitude that end up developing in the mind space of the end user is one that is dictatorial, and that prohibits interaction. It is one of the reasons why brands have been successful in penetrating the mind space more effectively through social media.
Social media gives a platform to both the brand and the end users to stand on a perceived equal footing and interact with one another.
The environment, patterns, designs and limitations are the same for both parties. In addition to this, delay in response from the brand can potentially harm them in course of time. Hence the tilt in balance of power in the customer’s mind space is maintained, though in reality it is always inclined one way or the other.
There are many people who visit your website. Customers, visitors drawn in by algorithms in search (not always relevant), internal stakeholders of the brand / organizations, associated organizations, parent organizations and many others.
If we develop a website to satisfy all of them, we would end up making a dull soup satisfying nobody’s taste buds. We are not going to explore the other two reasons as for both the cases, this article is totally irrelevant.
SO, who is your website made for?
Who is your website made for? – We believe every brand / person / organization / movement has its respective set of target audience clusters. It is usually a very small pie of human population (until the time, animals begin to understand language and become our target). This target is usually categorized, segmented and filtered according to parameters like demographic, geographic, psychographic, and behavioral segmentation. These are best defined in historical analysis of usage DATA and an acquired understanding of patterns derived over time (not just clever hunches).
How do we get Data?
If one is unable to follow data, benchmarking the category leader helps navigate tried and tested waters. However it doesn’t guarantee success, especially if one ends up making a “me too” (not referring to the abuse campaign here) of the benchmark.
If the idea of expression is absolutely unique with no references to draw from, taking a deep dive and personal interaction with possible end users can throw some highlight. However, we suggest large number of interactions and only consider the convergence points at large to begin with.
Why is it important?
The website is not just an interface for one way communication. It is now a tool for interaction and deriving responses and business as well. In course of time, this relationship will become more complex and more rewarding for those who continuously invest in it (Money is not the only investment here).
If you look at Internet marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, etc. They keep on updating their layout from time to time. These are just not for product promotions but the layout of the interface keeps changing as well.
All of these changes are made after evaluating customer behavior and navigation patterns to make it possible to do incremental sales in an ever growing complex market scenario in all of the geographies they operate in.
The more time the targeted end user of a website spends on the pages and the more they interact with the content, the more are the chances of establishing a connection and ultimately driving business or a movement at large. This is very similar to social media interactions.
What should we do for it?
A website is a controlled environment to interact with the targeted end user. Hence anybody developing it or getting it developed should take the responsibility it to see to it that the end user gets to where you want in a way that is most convenient and satisfying to him/ her. The first question to answer, even before designing a UX or a wireframe, is “who is your website made for?”
If you are reading this article and have reached here, it is because we wanted you to be here. Even if you do not interact or do business with us, we wanted you here. If that tells you anything about us, we are happy!
7 Peaks Digital Marketing develops websites keeping all of the above mentioned points in mind. In case if you wish to allow us to help you with development or reconstruction of your website, please feel free to contact us.