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Beauty Online: Content First, Technology Second
By: Sheri L. Koetting
Posted: May 29, 2014, from the June 2014 issue of GCI Magazine.
page 2 of 2Often, the goals for the new website center around the information the business would like to communicate. Identifying user profiles allows you to flip the conversation around to ask “What information is my user seeking?,” “What are my users’ needs and key emotional drivers?” and “How might the user process this information?”
Reframing the content and communication objectives for your website to this perspective will be transformative. You can still communicate all the things you want to say, but now you will be able to deliver your message in a more user-centric manner.
Analyze the Market
Your business does not exist in a vacuum, and it is likely your product offering is not the only one available. An assessment of the competitive landscape is a great way to make sure your new website and offering is positioned properly.
There is a time when it is important to be in alignment with your competition, offering the same features, tools, technology and communication as your competitors—and a time to zig when the others are zagging. During the discovery process, identify opportunities to stand out from the competition. MSLK likes to let the brand’s business goals and target users tell us when and where to deviate. Those solutions are as unique for every business as the DNA of the brand itself, and fresh perspective breeds market opportunities.
Pulling It All Together
It does not matter in what order the shared goals, analytics, target users and market analysis are discussed. The exact mix depends on your team’s experience and specific brand needs. What matters most is that before the design and technology stage is initiated, content objectives are defined and agreed upon by a unified team. This alignment will produce insights and perspectives that might not have been previously considered.
The next steps of site map planning, wireframing and creating the website can be explored once you have a sharpened perspective of your business objectives, user desires and market opportunities. Chances are you will discover most content objectives can be achieved with a wide variety of technology platforms. And instead of fitting the content to the technology, you will be finding the best format to present your message. Get the content right, find the technology you need and experience success.
Sheri L. Koetting is the co-founder and chief strategist of MSLK, a marketing and design agency based in New York. MSLK specializes in helping beauty brands find their voice in today’s crowded marketplace through 360° brand positioning—from overall brand strategy to brand identity, packaging, retail experience, websites and social media campaigns. firstname.lastname@example.org; www.mslk.com