How I screwed up our website - by Patrick Tame
One of the constant themes in the feedback I get from clients is that my consultants ‘really get’ digital. I should think so too; think about it, our consultants each get to meet about 4 or 5 digital marketing or e-commerce experts every week for an in-depth one on one interview. These weekly master classes feed us the latest thinking and learnings from a range of industries and cannot fail to nourish a receptive mind – it is this constant learning and fresh insight into what’s going on across a market that makes this job particularly enjoyable.
On top of that, we’re good at digital marketing - it is something that I personally enjoy and we’ve invested time and money into practicing what we preach. I think most recruiters hold a secret and almost certainly mis-held belief that they could do the jobs they source talent for if they were so inclined. I am not immune from this fantasy and indulge my frustrated internal Marketer by entering (and winning) recruitment marketing awards – it’s okay to admit that recruitment marketing is a small pond without too much competition; it’s enough to satisfy my shallow ego.
So, how did we, as an educated and well-resourced (and did I mention award winning?) team end up screwing up our digital strategy?
Digital Darwinism and The Evolution of Species
“The digital jungle is evolving around you, evolve with it or yield to the competition. What is true now, might not be true in future. Your website is never finished.”
Despite receiving and then repeating various versions of this mantra to clients on countless occasions, my own hubris and natural attraction to the ‘new and interesting’ meant I fell into a classic trap; I didn’t listen to my own advice. I stopped evolving my company’s website.
In my defence, the vast majority of our customers (both talent and hiring companies) come to us through a word of mouth recommendation and we rightly invest our energy into servicing our customers over our website, but it’s a thin excuse.
Having allowed our website to become dusty (and horror of horrors, not sufficiently optimised for mobile!) I’m happy to report that we now have a new website which I am no longer embarrassed to promote – please have a look, www.beringertame.com. This time, we will not view the site as ‘sorted’ or ‘finished’. This time, I won’t put up with known issues until they’ve built up into a long enough list. I won’t give it shelf life before we go back again to build a ‘new one’.
I seem to remember having similar intentions last time so what’s changed?
If you do the same old thing you get the same old results
To avoid falling into the same trap, we’ve done two things differently. Firstly, we sought a developer lead agency rather than a designer lead agency for the project, building our new site from the code up; there are pros and cons to this but we now have a flexible site that we can play around with (as long as you have a decent developer to hand...)
Secondly, we have committed to funding on-going development of the site. For us, this means retaining our agency for a fixed number of hours each month. This means we will proactively and constantly improve and push for better, rather than waiting to find a problem or even wait ‘til it’s broken before investing. Common sense really, but it seems to be common sense that I didn’t possess when we launched our previous site.
So, please do take a look around our new website, I’d love to hear your feedback, we’ve only just sent it live so it’s not quite finished, but the point is, it never should be.
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