A website is a means to an end—not the end itself. When your business considers building its next website, you must set yourself up for success by investing time into a proper discovery phase. To not do so would be to miss out on a crucial component in understanding how your business can achieve success online.
At GWL, we work with clients during this process to uncover three key areas.
First, we start by understanding your business objectives. What are your priorities, what are your strengths, and where do you sit in relation to your competitors in the marketplace?
Next, we must identify the barriers currently facing your business. These problems and challenges are preventing you, currently, from achieving your business goals. By uncovering them, we can help develop the roadmap to overcome them.
Lastly, we must understand your target audience. What are their behaviors online and what pain points can we help to alleviate with your new website?
When we combine these three insights, we can deliver a website strategy unique to your business.
Let's dive a little deeper into each of these areas to better explain the benefits of a thorough discovery phase.
1. Getting to Know Your Business from the Inside
We start our process by looking at your business from all angles.
For the inside view, we always conduct stakeholder interviews. We want to know how the website can benefit your business from the point of view of your company’s key stakeholders. We get to know your sales cycle, your internal processes, and what makes your company truly unique.
These interviews are extremely valuable as they often reveal insight business leaders never dreamed of discovering. Different departments have different priorities. Oftentimes, an outsider’s perspective—like ours—can shine a light on marketing and sales approaches that could radically improve your business.
2. Beating Back the Barriers
Barriers to success are often traced back to outside signals.
For that external view, we review the competitive forces surrounding your business in the market place. What strengths and weaknesses are your rivals working with? What threats could impact your business’s goals down the road?
Armed with this information, we can help you design a website strategy that anticipates and prepares for any market changes and puts you in a position to leverage your competitive advantage.
3. Developing Empathy for Your Audience
Your website must cater to the needs and motivations of your audience. Without their insight, you cannot expect to have a website that performs.
We conduct customer interviews with representatives from your target audience. These are not focus groups, where information can become biased and mismanaged. At GWL, we conduct one-on-one customer interviews to hear directly from potential and actual customers.
These sessions allow us to hear about the pain points customers face throughout the buying cycle. If budget and time permit, we'll validate the information gained during interviews with surveys.
We want to hear about the hidden costs and risks buyers take on when they engage with your business or your competitors. By tapping into these pain points, we can help you develop a true competitive advantage online.
Don't Skimp on Discovery
The number one reason website's fail is a lack of strategic direction from the onset. We know it's tempting to dive straight into design, but without the due diligence of a discovery phase, you can leave yourself vulnerable to competitors. And, perhaps worse still, you've now got an expensive website that's effectively worthless.