Who Manages Your Website? Marketing or IT?
The internet, once a cumbersome novelty requiring an AOL login and a dial up modem, is now incredibly fast and easy to navigate. Oh how much it has changed since it was popularized in the mid-90′s. It has grown up and become more sophisticated, and seemingly overnight it has become drop-dead easy to manage a website.
It hasn’t always been this way. Websites used to be custom-built, requiring extensive web development skills, which were very rare in the mid-90′s. This required highly technical teams to not only build a company’s website, but also manage it on an ongoing basis.
Back then, enacting changes to a website, regardless of how subtle or seemingly insignificant, took web development expertise to implement. Accordingly, the IT team in most companies was responsible for the corporate website… a logical, if not intelligent way to manage a site.
As time has passed, websites have become quite a bit more than an interactive brochure. Ask most marketers to define the ultimate goal of their website, and they’ll reply, “lead generation.” Rather than plastering a phone number on the header of a website and staring at the phone, digital marketing has rapidly become an extremely sophisticated and viable channel to grow your business.
Unfortunately, the IT department doesn’t have any expertise in digital marketing. In addition, their goals are set around not breaking anything, rather than measuring performance, changing copy, testing landing pages, and repeating that process to optimize a website’s conversion rate.
Thankfully, there is a solution. Open source content management systems such as WordPress (released in 2003) have become sophisticated, yet easy to use platforms for anybody. You no longer need web development expertise to update a header tag, optimize the title tag, add a sitemap, etc.
If you have trouble convincing your leadership that marketing should control your company’s website, ask them to evaluate the incentives of the IT team vs. those of the marketing team. Is your company’s goal to avoid down-time on your corporate site, or to drive additional leads and sales? And don’t forget to mention that you can’t test copy, or spin up a landing page, in less than a few weeks because it isn’t IT’s priority.
When you’re ready to start managing and getting the most out of your website, use an open source CMS like WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal (we have plugins for each of these). The collective expertise around these platforms available online will turn you into an expert website manager, and speed up the process of implementing effective digital marketing – which should be the goal of every company.