February 2nd, 2021

Why Your Agency Needs Both Dev AND Marketing Expertise

Author: Eric Lynch
Eric Lynch
Partner & Director of Business Development

Working with a digital agency that can handle both marketing and development has some pretty significant perks.

When we look at the landscape of digital marketing and website development agencies, we notice a troubling divergence. Many Michigan web design agencies are just that: agencies with a specialty in web design, who do good work, so far as it goes, but who don’t have a mindset for marketing. Then there’s the reverse: marketing agencies who have a lot of creative energy… but who lack the technical web experience to make the most of their vision.

Both agencies underserve their clients, not because they aren’t capable of producing good work in their respective fields, but because web development and digital marketing work best when they’re operating on the same wavelength.

We’ve seen marketing teams with an excellent creative vision fail in their campaigns because they don’t fully understand the nuances of web design. And we’ve seen beautiful websites left to languish because there’s no unified strategy to draw in visitors.

If you’re looking for someone to help you build a website, you need to look at someone who understands online marketing, too. And if you’re looking for someone to help you with marketing, they ought to also understand how websites work.

Still wondering why? Here’s what our team has learned from experience.

1. Our marketing team knows what your goals are, and can suggest the right dev projects to get you there.

It’s hard to see how digital marketing campaigns move forward without dev. While we use WordPress for its content management features—which we customize to make it easier for our clients to upload a range of content types themselves—many marketing initiatives still require an assist from dev to be executed to their full effectiveness.

In some cases, this may mean designing a new landing page for a campaign. At other times, it means building out a new products or services section of the website, so that visitors can find the right pages. It can also mean developing a new tool for marketing to use—like a mega nav that features product images, or a new design section for gated content.

We often wrap small dev requests directly into our marketing retainers. Common dev items that are included in our marketing services include:

  • Designing a new mega navigation bar.
  • Building a new content area on your website.
  • Setting up new categories or search filters.
  • Creating landing pages for online marketing campaigns.
  • Making minor design updates prior to a full site overhaul.

2. Design for web and design for print are different specialties.

Many marketing deliverables need to function both in online and print formats. We’ve had clients ask us to take the entire content section of their website and transform it into print PDFs and PowerPoint slides to use in sales presentations. We’ve also turned landing pages into print brochures, or taken copy from print and redesigned it for online formats.

Designers who only ever work in one space can fall into problems when they try to make these transitions. Print designers aren’t used to working in a dynamic format with varying screen sizes. Web designers aren’t used to how a digital design looks in print, or may not understand how the marketing team intends to use it.

Because our designers have experience in both print and web, these different design requirements aren’t likely to be lost in translation.

3. Our dev team knows what will or won’t work in a design, and can keep a creative idea from misfiring.

Our company motto is “Design with Purpose.” The heart of this idea is that good design doesn’t get carried away by aesthetics to the point that it loses functionality. Creativity should be applied to user experience, as well as appearances. If a beautiful design isn’t usable, it’s failing the customer.

We apply this principle to all our work. When our marketing team gets an idea, we can bring it immediately to our dev team to be sure the functionality will be effective. And because of that collaboration, our marketing team already has a good sense for what is or isn’t possible.

4. Usability, accessibility, brand messaging, persona targeting, and user flow all need to work in harmony for a website to be successful.

Marketing is a fundamental aspect of web design. Designing a site without considering how it will be used to market products, services, or ideas is a huge mistake. Your dev team needs input from marketing to understand how messaging and customer personas feed in to design.

But this is a two-way conversation. A marketing agency that gives the dev team orders without listening to functional considerations, like user experience and accessibility, is going to find themselves left with a beautiful site that doesn’t work. It’s only when a healthy exchange of requirements flows between the two teams that a business walks away with a site that truly fits their purposes.

Digital marketing and web development go hand in hand.

You should build a website you plan to use. And the people marketing your website understand what the development requirements are to make their campaign ideas work. It’s as simple as that.

In short, you want an agency with a big picture vision who also has all the in-house expertise to get you there. That’s what we and build/create provide. From custom web development to videography to graphic design to a full suite of digital marketing services, we can get you there. Contact us today to get started.

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