Often I find myself working with a small business to specify a website and digital strategy, and sometimes I am actually taking a brief for a website design. Either way, the same questions keep popping up, so I thought it sensible to list them down.
For some unknown reason, I stopped at 69, although I am sure you can add a number more that have been missed.
- What is the purpose of the site?
- What is it about your current digital marketing that needs to be changed, and why?
- Who are your most aggressive competitors?
- Where are the new competitors going to come from?
- If you were to start in business again today, what would you do differently to what you are doing currently?
- How has digital technology changed your competitive environment, and what impact do you think it will have in the next few years?
- What are your corporate values, mission, purpose, however you choose to articulate the reasons you are in business?
- What problems do you solve for your customers?
- What makes you different to your competitors?
- What do you do better that your competitors?
- Why should people do business with you rather than others?
- What are the things you will not do to attract or keep a customer?
- Describe your most valuable customer.
- Describe the customer journey, how do they typically end up with you?
- What are your levels of customer churn and retention?
- From initial contact, what are your conversion rates?
- What is your conversion cost?
- How do customers find you initially?
- How much is a good customer worth to you over a period of time?
- How long is the sales cycle?
- Do you have a good database of current, past and potential customers, and how is it managed and refreshed?
- Do you know why former customers stopped buying from you?
- Do you have a referral system that captures benefits for the referrer?
- What elements of your competitors sites do you like/want?
- What elements of competitors sites do you want to avoid?
- What are your competitors doing to attract your customers and potential customers?
- Do you have a site architecture or is it part of the design exercise?
- Do you have hosting, domain, email management services to be continued?
- Are the current arrangements if any, compatible with the needs of the new site?
- Are there any specific mobile requirements needed? It is assumed that “mobile friendly” rather than just “mobile compatible” is required.
- What analytics do you want?
- Do you have preferences about the CMS system used?
- How will the content management/ approval system work?
- Do you require log in and chat features, and will they be password protected?
- How will user names and access to the site CMS be managed?
- Are there content on demand requirements, i.e. hidden content becomes visible after a series of actions.
- Are there digital commerce and shopping carts to be managed?
- How will inventory and fulfillment be managed?
- Are there any general functionality requirements you need, such as data bases, and data base interrogation processes, site search facilities, calendars, maps, et al?
- What other digital systems are needed to be integrated, CRM, MRP, order/invoice?
- How will you manage SEO?
- What sort of content download requirements are there?
- What levels of skill are there in the business to apply to the site maintenance?
- Are these compatible with the requirements of the site or is training and outsourcing required?
- What are the most important three things in the design?
- What content and design elements of a current site are required to be carried over?
- What information will go where?
- What corporate logos, colours, designs and style elements must be present?
- How do you want the inclusions that are required, such as calendars & maps to work?
- Will different parts of the site have a different look and feel?
- Are there taglines, market positioning statements or other such marketing elements that need to be incorporated?
- Do you have the original artwork files of elements you want incorporated?
- Do you have photos, video, or other material you want incorporated, and if “yes” do you hold or have paid for the copyright use of them?
- What font sizes and styles are preferred?
- What contact information and automated functions do you want, and where do you want it?
- How are you going to create the content for the site initially, and on an ongoing basis?
- Who is going to maintain the site?
- How does the site integrate into other marketing activities?
- When someone is on the site, what do you want them to do?
- What sites of any type do you like, and why?
- What are the pages you require?
- What social platforms do you want connected, how prominent should the connections be, and which pages do you want them on?
- How are visitors to the site going to be converted?
Project management considerations
- When do you want it? (oh crap)
- Who in your organisation is going to provide the content agreed?
- What content will the contractor provide, and at what cost?
- How will the approval process work as the project progresses?
- How much do you expect all this to cost?
- What are you now prepared to do without?
When you need someone who has successfully juggled in the three ring circus, and knows how to deliver you a great performance without stealing your shirt, give me a call.