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How To Pitch a Website Redesign To Your Boss

by | 03/29/16 | Website

Will a website redesign produce bottom line results?

If you are a marketing executive reporting to a COO, CEO or some other non-marketing related company head, we have some good news, and some challenging news.  First, the challenging news:  you are on the hot seat now more than ever to deliver results to your boss; not interesting concepts, ideas, hypotheses, etc… bottom line results.  Most CEOs today across most industries are interested primarily in 3 things:  1) growing revenue at high profit margins; 2) acquiring more customers; and 3) retaining those customers for up-sells and generating referrals.  He or she is looking to you to implement marketing initiatives that directly achieve these goals.

Provide tangible proof of your current website’s shortcomings

Now for the good news:  it’s easier now more than ever to not only achieve these goals as a marketer but to quantitatively prove success to your boss.  Why?  Your company’s website reflects the heart and soul of your business and, done well, it can be the best salesperson you never hired.  Regardless of the industry you are in, your website will be the foundation from which all of the above 3 goals can be achieved.  The really good news is that a website’s performance can be accurately tracked, thus providing tangible proof of success or failure; something marketing executives only dreamt about not too long ago. If your boss is NOT aware of the crucial importance of the company’s website in today’s digitally-centric economy, it is your job to enlighten him.

Making your case

Whether you are a new hire who has inherited an old site, or you have been promoted and are now in a position to make key marketing decisions you couldn’t make before, your first goal is to convince your boss that he needs to invest in redesigning the company’s site.  Here’s even more good news:  it’s not that hard to accomplish anymore.  Marketing today is not a fuzzy subjective concept whose value can be questioned.  The effectiveness of marketing initiatives in this digital world can now be quantifiably proven.  This means that you can definitively prove your case that the site you currently have is not working and needs to be redesigned.  But how?

Quantify a website redesign in terms of customer acquisition, revenue, and profits

The answer is straightforward:  speak your CEOs language.  As a marketer, you know that branding, look and feel, and aesthetics are crucial elements to creating an effective site that establishes your company’s professional credibility. Your CEO couldn’t care less about those things.  Your CEO is interested in the bottom line; he or she will be interested only in investing in initiatives that will directly grow the business.  So when you’re talking to your boss about a website redesign, don’t focus on anything that cannot be quantified.  You can mention look, feel, and aesthetics, but only as a compliment to the main subject at hand- more revenue, profits, and customers.  So, if you know your current site is not pulling its weight, prove it to your boss.

Is your current website achieving company goals?  Present solid data and analytics

Work with your analytics team to create a compelling report that clearly illustrates that your site has not been successful at meeting standards of growth in terms of KPIs that will resonate best with your boss.  These KPIs are most likely:  unique visitors, repeat visits, time spent per visit, page views, bounce rate, SEO performance (low positioning on search results), customer lifetime value (LTV), retention rate, churn rate, conversion rate, cost per acquisition (CPA), average order value, etc.  All of these KPIs are directly generated from your website. You can compare your data with the competition using tools like SEMRush. If you are able to show a pattern over time that shows poor performance, you will be sure to get your boss’ attention.

Present your strategy for a successful website redesign

After proving the inadequacies of your current site’s ability to generate the bottom line results your CEO cares about, now get into detail about exactly what changes you would make to the site and how those changes would positively affect the KPIs.  Don’t get too technical, remember- your boss is only interested in results, not how you get there.  On a macro level, discuss how you would redesign the site to attract the right visitors, convert them to leads, transform them into paying customers, and nurture them for continued business.  Offer quantifiable projections showing growth in KPIs.  Be careful not to set expectations too high- project modest results that you are confident you can make happen.

Golden Age

The truth is, we are living in a Golden Age for marketers.  The digital age has enabled marketing executives to once and for all tangibly prove their worth to top management.  So use your website to your advantage:  grab the reins, make your argument, and execute… Good luck!

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