Internal vs. External Stakeholders — Everyone Can Win

Your website is arguably your most powerful marketing tool – when someone wants to research your company, that’s likely where they’ll go first. (After they search for you, which means your search engine optimization efforts are also crucial, but that’s another post for another day.)

Because a site is so important, it’s only natural that almost everyone in the organization has an opinion about what belongs on it. But is that what your external audience (aka, your customers) really needs to see? And when it comes down to it, whose needs should drive the final decision?

In this two-part blog series, we’ll help you determine how to balance the needs of your internal and external stakeholders when it comes to something as crucial as your website.

The First Contender: Internal

Your internal partners – everyone from the C-Suite on down – know better than anyone what your company does best, and can quickly espouse all of your competitive differentiators. They also stand to gain (or lose) based on the outcome of a user’s decision. Your site needs to not hinder their ability to do their jobs, particularly if they’re in sales or another client-facing role.
You can’t launch an effective website without the buy-in of your key corporate team. They steer the proverbial ship that defines who your organization is; ignore them, and you run the risk of flying completely solo, without the team support needed to get the site off the ground and support your company’s success.

Learn What Makes Them Tick

This doesn’t mean that your website strategy should be developed around a boardroom table with a team of executives. Instead, before you begin writing copy and wireframing the structure, conduct user research – and that includes internal user’s at all organizational levels. Learn what has made your company successful to date. What is driving customers to continue working with you? Gather the information various employees have learned from their customer relationships, and what both customers and your internal partners view as your greatest strengths. Find the sweet spot where these competitive differentiators and customers’ decision points intersect, and you’ve found your unique selling proposition, the anchor of your website messaging strategy.

What about the Customers?

All this is not to say that external customers’ opinions aren’t important. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Weighing the input of all key users – both within your company and outside – will help you build a site that will resonate with your users and, subsequently, your company’s bottom line – a win-win for everyone. But more on weighing customers’ opinions in an upcoming blog post.

Don’t know where to start with research like this? That’s fine, because Flying Cork does! Contact us to find out how to avoid building a website for everybody, and focus on building it for the right somebody.