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Published: 11/10/2010

Is a new website what you really need?

Filed under: Online News — Mavo Studio @ 11:22 pm

It might sound a little bizarre for a design and digital agency (who has web design as one of its principle service offerings) to pose the question: ‘is a new website what you really need?’. However, over the last few years we’ve had to pose that question to clients on a more and more frequent basis. You see, in many cases what clients are really after is a ‘following’ or a way to engage their audience. Whether that be to promote their brand, campaign, services, products or beyond… a website forms only part of the answer. In fact, thanks to the rise of: platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Linked-in and apps, widgets and adverts that now take pride of place in these domains; self-funded and self-contained mobile apps that work across iPhones, iPads, Android and beyond; easy to use third party blogging platforms like WordPress; online video streaming through Vimeo or YouTube; downloadable self-broadcasted podcasts… nowadays, it’s perfectly possible to engage an audience online without having a website at all.

Really Need A Website?

But how do you decide what is the ‘right’ form of online or mobile marketing tool for your organisation?

A much debated, ‘lead story’ recently published in Wired magazine announced to the world ‘The Web Is Dead. Long Live the Internet’ to a furore of web designers and developers across the globe. Yet in principle (aside from a headline that was bold enough to sell several thousands of copies of Wired magazine) what the article was really mapping out was the rise, over the last 5 years, of alternative modes of online and mobile communication (social media and mobile apps a case in point).

Of course, the web is not dead, as this fair-minded response to Wired’s feature article succinctly puts it, the web is just continuing to evolve.

‘The web is healthier than ever. If nothing else, the dramatic growth of Facebook, which most people interact with through their web browser, should help to cement that idea. We may be using specific apps to access specific web-based services, and we may be making less use of all-in-one browsers like Firefox or Safari, but that has little or nothing to do with the web being dead.’ Matthew Ingram, Gigaom 2010

What has in fact occurred, is that there are now increasingly more sophisticated and broader ways to communicate online and through mobile apps. The key is deciding upon which are the best routes or tools for your organisation. More work has to be done up-front, in a strategic sense, to consider target audience, the message, the content, budget and time-frame of your online campaign before deciding upon the most effective medium. This is of course something that a decent design and digital agency can help with. But it’s well worth considering what others have done first, and weighing up the pros and cons of different types of interactive marketing properly beforehand.

As Chris Anderson of Wired Magazine puts it: ‘The Internet is the real revolution, as important as electricity; what we do with it is still evolving.’

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