If you’re an in-house marketer, the new year can be such an exciting time. Fresh budgets and a fresh start mean that your creative plans for reaching those big goals this year can run wild. But there’s one obstacle in your way: your boss. As a marketer, you know the huge impact that putting resources toward design and marketing can have, but it’s not always easy convincing someone whose primary focus is the bottom line.
Today I’m outlining a
few psychological tricks you can play on your boss persuasive tactics you can use to show your boss that an investment in a new website is the perfect way to reach your business’ goals this year. I know you know what’s best, now you’ve just gotta tread strategically to get everyone else on board.
Remember, you’re the marketing expert in this conversation. So even though you know your case is the right one, you’ll still need to come across poised and thoughtful as you’re stating your case. As frustrating as it can be talking with someone who doesn’t understand your side, you’ll have to keep a level head to make any headway during this chat. So the best way to combat a conversational tizzy? You gotta be prepared!
Chances are your boss has a lot on his or her plate, so you’ll want to have a clear plan of action and key points to discuss already outlined (even if it’s just in your head) before you start the conversation. Being prepared increases your chances of preventing your discussion from going off track onto other topics.
Paint a Picture of Where You (And Your Competition) Are
Chances are, your boss will be highly responsive to any discussion about how the competition might be getting a leg up against you. This is the perfect time to objectively demonstrate to your boss how a new website could provide the improvements needed to elevate your business to the next level. So before you sit down with your boss, pull a few key competitors and take a look at key aspects of their websites, give each category a score of 1-5, 1 being needs major improvements, and 5 indicating they’re doing a stellar job:
Add your scores for your own website and compare to see how you stack up.
Putting a number score to each component helps take the emotions out of what you’re presenting. When your boss can see something objective like website design and marketing spelled out in a clear numeric score, it will help him or her better recognize the value it might provide. It’s highly likely that if your competition’s score is much higher than your own, your boss might just become inspired to take action.
Here are a few key components of web presence that we recommend scoring for you and your competition:
Blog: Does a blog exist? When was it last updated? Does it contain content that is useful and relevant to the audience? How frequently are new posts added?
Social media followers: How many followers does the company have on the key social media channels that are most relevant to their industry?
Website design: Does the design feel consistent? Does the design match the company’s standard branding? Is the website easy to navigate and find the info you need?
Responsive design: Does the website display and function just as effectively on a phone or tablet as it does on a desktop?
Features: Does the website offer attractive features that might be useful for your audience such as chat, appointment scheduling, downloadable resources, etc.?
Next steps: Does each area of the site provide an actionable next step for viewers to take to ensure they continue interacting with the site?
MozRank: Check out moz.com to determine the website’s MozRank. A MozRank essentially scores the popularity and authority of a site compared to the rest of the internet at large.
Website Grader: Check out websitegrader.com, an awesome tool created by Hubspot that measures how well your website stacks up when it comes to important things like load speed, SEO, responsive design and more. If you don’t have the time to investigate all the above components of your/your competition’s website, this is a great shortcut!
Sure, you know an effective website is important, but that’s all just opinion until you can back up with something concrete. And a few numbers here and there can go a long way toward stating your case. For instance, did you know that companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got almost 3.5X more traffic than companies that published 0-4 monthly posts? This website has an amazing wealth of numbers and info to get started.
Focus on Results
As you’re having the conversation, keep the focus on the positive results the changes you’re hoping to make will bring. For instance, instead of focusing on how that new home page design is going to look, remind your boss that a more intentional, pared-down design will help viewers stay focused on the primary call-to-action and drive conversions. Of course, looking great is important (at least we sure think so), but your boss won’t care unless he or she can rest assured that these new changes will drive their ultimate goals of increase conversions too.
Show Next Steps
If you’ve taken the time to do all the above things, we feel confident you’ll be on your way to getting approval for your project in no time, but all that positive energy can’t go anywhere if you’re not both on the same page about next steps. So wrap up the conversation with a few action items for your boss to show that you’re ready to hit the ground running.
This might look something like:
- What you need (personne,l resources, money, approval)
- A project timeline
- What additional information you need from your boss to get started (with a deadline of course!)
It’s no secret that good design can be a game changer for your business. In fact, according to the stats on that handy website we referenced above, 81% of shoppers conduct online research before making big purchases. See how handy stats can be at proving a point?) So try our tips and with a little preparation and a little luck, you’ll be well on your way to achieving great big things through better design this year!
If you’ve successfully gotten that seal of approval, I’d love to chat with you about how I can help. My streamlined design process aims to create a marketing experience so highly curated to your ideal client, that your product will practically sell itself. Contact me today to get started.