This blog article is a the 2nd part of a 2 part article on building nice but technical business websites. If you wish to read the first part, click here.
At Post.Bid.Ship., my current startup I have led for the past 3 years, we give our marketing team responsibility to design and layout our website. Graphics are designed using Adobe Photoshop and saved in the Photoshop native files. After those files are ready, our technology team, outsourced and offshored, begin working to convert and optimize those design files incorporating them into our website and technology platform. This divide and conquer between marketing and IT approach allows…
- our talented marketing team sole responsibility over the look, messaging, user experience and navigation of our website (right brain thinking) without their having to master our technology platform (left brain thinking)
- our expert technology development team sole responsibility of building and maintaining our code, business logic and complex database (left brain thinking) without having to master graphic design (right brain thinking)
What do I mean by ‘technology platform’? In technology platform, I am referring to the development architecture such as ASP.net, PHP, Ruby on Rails or Java. These are the top 4 development technologies used today by many web development teams. I also include CRM as an extension of the ‘technology platform’ since our website is integrated with our CRM system. Consider the ‘technology platform’ the ecosystem for your corporate processes to be executed and managed and where your corporate data is stored and retrieved. For curious minds, Post.Bid.Ship. uses Microsoft ASP.net for our development environment, Microsoft SQL for our database technology and Microsoft CRM for our CRM system at Post.Bid.Ship.
Our website, the heart of our business at Post.Bid.Ship., is built by our developers and I am fortunate to have each of these talented developers report directly to me (I have 4 developers on my team). My job, as head of technology, is to oversee all development for Post.Bid.Ship. My day to day activities include coordinating the development of our technology, securing the source code from each of our developers, scheduling releases of our website and work closely with our website hosting partners. For curious minds, Post.Bid.Ship.’s hosting partners are Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS and Rackspace. Other technology partners include Sendgrid, Marketo and Click Dimensions all of which handle our email communications.
When it comes to setting your website milestones, delegating tasks and laying out your project’s timeline and deliverables, this can either be managed by the marketing department or technology department. Some larger companies have project managers that specialize in overseeing this project management process. Whichever department you decide will be responsible for your project, this team will be responsible for tracking the project, documenting the deliverables of each person involved in developing the website, collecting feedback from all the project’s stakeholders and helping keep the project on track.
The important thing with any website project is to get your technology team involved early in the decision process. Often I see companies assume the public facing website is “just” a marketing function. This overlooks that one day your website may grow to become the main communication tool used by your employees, customers, prospects, partners, vendors and investors. Having your technology team involved early along with the marketing team will allow you when the time is right to expand your website to best serve your website’s visitors. Such service could include an online store to purchase your products, pay an invoice, open support tickets and much more. Having the technology team already involved will make this process much easier plus they will already possess the organizational memory of your website to that point.
By utilizing the separation of powers and specialization of talents held within both the marketing and technology departments and having them join forces on your company’s website, you go along way in ensuring that one of your company’s most popular communication tools is fully leveraged to the benefit of the company. Having both the marketing and technology teams at the table has worked for me and my projects and I feel confident this approach will work for both my friend and you.