Who owns your business website?


PHOTO: Anemone123

If the question “Name the department that owns your business website” were a question from Family Feud, answer number one would be different in each group of 100 respondents. Some groups would say IT, some would say product marketing, some corporate marketing, and others brand, product and even sales management.

A passionate, principled argument can be made for any of these departments depending on many factors including company size, industry, product type, goals, resources, and skills. However, the way to establish the best ownership model is to assess and answer a few key questions:

Where do you sell?

This is the most important question. If a business has a product that a customer can purchase online, the website owner should be the person or team responsible for budgeting for ecommerce revenue. If the business is selling something offline through a sales organization, the website owner should be the team responsible for the pipeline build budget. Usually this is the corporate marketing team, which also includes the design, creation, or branding team.

Related article: Can Your Website Still Be The Backbone Of Your Digital Experience?

What are the capabilities of your web platform?

It will be a controversial topic to discuss, but the technology that supports your website will determine who is able to own the website.

If you have a website built at home without modern web technology, the average marketer is unlikely to even be able to own the website. In this case, you need an IT manager who can handle the complex technical requirements.

If your website is built on a modern CMS or DXP with little or no code capabilities, there is a good chance that someone without any technical knowledge could easily handle the day-to-day operations of your website.

How technical is your marketing team?

The modern marketer has been forced over the past five years to become more and more technical. This has resulted in more marketing departments taking over website ownership and more marketers learning basic coding languages ​​like HTML and CSS. If your marketing team members have a background in development, it is much easier to consider turning the website ownership over to marketers.

Without a marketer with technical skills, it is almost impossible to consider marketing the website owner. While marketing can own the copy and design, the real owner must be IT if IT is required for all updates, regardless of the complexity. In businesses where the most important component of the website is a portal, an IT ownership model may make the most sense.

Related article: Do CDPs Really Make Marketers IT Independent?

Do you have an internal or external creative team?

The hierarchical structure of your design and creative teams can have a big influence on who owns the website. The team that owns the creation has a strong influence on the website because the design and user experience is such an important part of your website. As mentioned, design, creation and branding often live within the marketing department of the company, but if this function is outsourced through product marketing, this could be a deciding factor in determining who owns the website.

Website ownership deserves the right team or person

Given the visibility and audience of your website, it’s likely that many employees in your organization are interested in claiming ownership or, more likely, are trying to influence your website content and strategy. As with any key initiative, having well-defined roles and responsibilities leads to successful business objectives. For this reason, and those above, make sure that website ownership is owned by the right team and the right person within your organization. This team or person should have goals aligned with those responsibilities and should be someone who truly cares about the visitor experience of your website.

Justin Sharaf is a Marketing and Marketing Operations Manager who has worked for some of the biggest names in B2B and B2C during his 15+ year career. He is currently Vice President of Marketing Operations at Collibra.

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