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Staying ahead of the digital curve: Three vital battle grounds

 

They are curators of content and information which engage, entice and excite their audience.

Finding the right way to share and publish content – and thereby engage with your audience – is paramount. With the right tools and technology partners, enterprise organisations can publish content that is up to the minute and responsive to their users’ needs as well as presented on-brand and on-trend.

Marketers must make clear and decisive decisions around three key battle grounds which will impact the future direction and impact of their web presence and brand, but what are they?

Custom web build vs Out of the box

The first decision in any web project which needs to be made is whether to choose custom build, or an out of the box solution.

A custom build site is often great in the short term. It matches the business needs perfectly. The challenge is that things move quickly. The business proposition changes, new services or products need adding, web functionality and technology change and user needs and consumption habits evolve. Updating a custom build site to reflect all of these variable factors can often prove time consuming and costly.

An out of the box content management solution (CMS) offers pre-built website solutions that can be rolled out quickly and can be tailored and amended using a vast array of themes and plug-ins. Crucially, an out of the box CMS can be easily updated by anyone who has good knowledge of the CMS used – there is no longer the reliance on the developer.

Hosting vs Platform

Web hosting is a commoditised market where vendors compete over price and capacity, but rarely over customer service or reputation.

Failure to get a grip on this means you could be penalised by your own success. It doesn’t matter how successful a campaign is, it will count for nothing if visitors to the website or campaign site can’t be converted because the site is down and the hosting provider can’t fix the issue, or the site is unable cope with the volume of users and the hosting provider can’t scale quickly enough.

When investing precious marketing budget in exciting campaigns, think about partnering with a hosting provider that understands your business and has technical expertise to integrate with your CMS.

Mobile first vs Responsive design

We should think ‘mobile first’ on all web development to ensure but your site is optimised for mobile use.

Thinking about smart phones in isolation leaves brands vulnerable to slipping behind the innovation curve. GlobalWebIndex found that 47% of adults own a tablet, 37% own a games console and 34% a smart TV. At the moment just 9% own a smart watch, but we can surely expect this to rise and who knows where consumer wearables will take us in the next 5-10 years.

We are accessing the internet and websites in a variety of ways and consumers expect a consistent user experience, irrespective of the device. So a better way of thinking about web design for end point devices is to consider ‘responsive design’ and develop flexible websites and content that is built around the user, not the device. Brands need to embrace responsive design so that they have the freedom to react to the future needs of users faster than their competitors.

Deploying the right web technology and cutting edge functionality helps to ensure that the best brands stay ahead of the digital curve. The constantly evolving nature of consumer habits and user demands mean that, more so than ever, brands need to make astute decisions about how they develop and maintain their web assets.