3 ‘Silos’ That Can Break Your Website Redesign

8 Min Read

Growing tech companies have an alignment problem.

After you get funded, things happen very quickly. Teams expand, the number of projects grow. People start running in different directions without even realizing it. Instead of having a single, shared vision, people operate in teams and independent pods—silos. Everyone is busy, and it seems like a lot of work is getting done, but your messaging can fall out of alignment with your company’s vision.

You may not feel it, but your customers will.

In a survey of sales and marketing leaders, 63% said sales and marketing misalignment within the company is a key barrier to growth. Perhaps even more stark is the fact that 83% of those surveyed said customers leave because of a lack of steady, relevant messaging.

More often than not, the disconnect manifests on the company’s website.

Chances are you already feel a disconnect between your current website and your mission, and are considering a website redesign. The problem is that redesigning your current website is a big job. If your efforts are misaligned, you can burn through a pile of money and resources and still end up with a website that’s no better than where you started.

The root cause of this misalignment? Silos.

Specifically, silos within the website redesign process.

Three specific types of silos lead to these problems:

  1. Brand vs Website Silos
  2. Goals vs Deliverables Silos
  3. Strategy vs Design vs Technology Silos

When you’re redesigning your website, you need to break down these silos to create a clear, cohesive message that represents your brand and resonates with your potential customers.

Let’s unpack each silo. 

1. Brand vs Website Silos

First things first.

Do you update your branding or your website first?

This is one of the most common questions people ask us about building a website for a growing technology company. They know their website is outdated, but they also know they need to clarify their brand before they update their site.

But why are these seen as separate initiatives?

Your brand and your website are inextricably linked.

This is a false dichotomy that prevents progress and creates a misalignment.

Breaking Down the Silo

On average, companies redesign their website about once every three years but only update their brand once every 7-10 years.

Instead, these two processes should happen in tandem.

The website redesign process can be a building block to thinking deeply about your brand’s message, audience, and evolving story.

But not if the process starts with questions like: What color palette do you want to use? Or, what photo do you want to be on the home page?

Building a new site shouldn’t begin with those types of tactical decisions.

Instead, it should begin by answering deeper, strategic questions:

  • What audience(s) are we serving?
  • What are the pain points we’re solving for them?
  • Do we have credible support/proof for differentiation?
  • How do they see our brand in its current state?

By the way, these are not easy questions to answer, and it may help to work with a partner with deep expertise in this area to help you get the most out of this process. But it is necessary, and finding the answers to these tough questions is the key to a smooth website redesign project that achieves big-time results.

2. Website vs Marketing Silos

All too often, building a new website is treated as a tactic.

It’s just a box that you check in the marketing mix.

Most website design agencies are happy to run the project like a fixed deliverable—they are content to help their clients check off the boxes and hand off the project with a nice little bow on top. Clients may get a site that looks good but doesn’t drive sales because it isn’t aligned with your brand and messaging.

Instead, website redesign should be viewed through a strategic lens.

Every strategy should begin with a goal–including your website redesign strategy.

So, ask yourself: What is the goal of your website redesign?

Why are we redesigning the site in the first place?

Breaking Down The Silos

Begin the website redesign process by answering these key questions.

High level, it falls into 1 of 2 buckets:

  1. We just need a new website
  2. We are trying to achieve some larger business objective

If you’re truly looking for a simple facelift — your website just needs to have the latest animation trends or parallax effects — then you can move forward with that goal in mind. But websites that start here end up looking nice on the surface but perform poorly in almost every other way.

More than likely, you’re looking for a website that helps you achieve some kind of business goal, like:

  • Reposition the business to align with a new marketing strategy or product development
  • Attract new customer audiences
  • Improve organic search visibility (SEO)

To break down this silo, we need to understand what strategic purpose your website serves as part of your overall marketing strategy and the goals it will help you achieve.

3. Strategy vs Design vs Technology Silos

When you hire an agency to redesign your website, you hire them to do three main tasks:

  1. Strategy
  2. Design
  3. Technology

These are the basic building blocks of every website. But just because you can enumerate them as the ingredients doesn’t mean they should be performed separately.

Most companies have: A strategist. A designer. A developer.

The strategist does research and puts together a plan.

They hand the plan off to the designer.

The designer makes it look pretty.

The designer hands it to the developer.

The developer builds it.

All along the way, you’re playing a game of telephone — losing a bit of context each time the project gets passed off, further removed from the original intent.

Pretty soon, the website you end up with is totally out of sync with your original, stated goals.

This is a particularly pervasive problem for “full-service” agencies that offer a variety of services, including website design.

Breaking Down the Silos

The way to solve this problem is simple with the right execution.

The team that builds your website should use an integrated approach to marry strategy, design, and technology into a single process for building sophisticated, business-focused websites.

The key to this approach is that no decision is made in a vacuum.

This is the approach that we use at eight25 – to help some of the world’s best technology brands redesign their website and level up their marketing strategy.

Integrating Storytelling, Brand, and Technology

For the last 20 years, website redesign strategies have focused on tactics to reach goals like changing layouts or graphics, reducing bounce rate, lead generation, improving SEO, or boosting conversion rates. Tactics are important, but focusing only on tactics is missing the forest for the trees.

A website design strategy must be founded on your story, aligned with your brand, and optimized by invisible, seamless technology to form a meaningful emotional connection with users at every step of their journey and drive conversion.

The website’s job is to integrate these three elements.

Storytelling creates emotional connections with users, design builds trust and credibility, and technology brings story and design to life.

A successful website redesign starts with a story.

Let’s connect to discuss how we can tell your story without silos.

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With a full team of marketing experts at your disposal, anything is possible

    4 Keys to Dramatically Increasing Brand Credibility on Your Website

    8 Min Read

    Credibility creates trust. Trust drives action.

    But many high-growth companies can often be singularly focused on their product and technology–they leave brand credibility as an afterthought. And no matter what you say about your product —if your brand isn't credible — you will not be considered.

    Forward-thinking companies make smart investments to protect their brand credibility because the stakes are high.Studies show that visitors to your website can make a decision whether to stay or leave in just 50 milliseconds (50ms).

    They’re not making that decision in the blink of an eye.

    They’re making the decision in ⅓ the blink of an eye.

    Certainly, no small part of that lightning-quick decision-making process is powered by the perception of credibility that’s displayed (or not displayed) on the site.

    Of course, we also know that purchase decisions are also driven by credibility. Consumer research has found that improved confidence is correlated with nearly a 50% increase in purchasing behavior.

    These findings apply equally for companies selling clothing and companies selling $1 million tech infrastructure.

    In other words, credibility shapes perception and drives revenue.

    Here’s where many tech companies are falling short on their brand.

    The Brand Credibility Gap

    Credibility is valuable specifically because it’s difficult to fake.

    When you have credibility, it signals to potential customers that you’re trustworthy but also that you’re stable, reliable, and predictable (safe choice).

    Having a credible brand means your customers know what to expect and expect to receive what they need. Your brand needs to convey that you know their pain point inside and out, and that when they call you, that pain goes away. 

    Especially for startups and growing tech companies looking to sell into enterprise accounts, your brand’s reputation will be under heavy scrutiny. And for good reason, with 90% of technology companies ultimately failing.

    The Fortune-500 customer you want to sign a 3-year contract needs to know how long you’ll be around and that you won’t radically pivot in the next 2 weeks.

    You know you have a credibility issue when your sales team hears questions like:

    • Which companies have you worked with?
    • Do you have experience in MY specific industry?
    • When did you raise funding last?
    • How much have you raised?

    This is called the Credibility Gap, and it’s the responsibility of marketers to overcome.

    Your job as a marketing leader is to identify when, where, and how customers are assessing your credibility and then being proactive, deliberate, and strategic about how you build brand trust across your marketing mix.

    So how do you know if you're doing it right?

    The story, design, and technology of your website send strong signals about your brand’s credibility.

    It’s where most prospective customers first interact with your company, or it’s the first place they look for more information after they’ve learned about your products.

    But before we look at exactly how your brand can be damaging your credibility, let’s start by unpacking how we – as humans and as customers – perceive credibility.

    A Framework for Understanding Digital Credibility

    Let’s look at the core components of trust. Then we can see what levers and strategies should be part of our playbook for creating trust and closing the Credibility Gap.

    A seminal study from Stanford’s Persuasive Technology Lab found that credibility–specifically in the digital space–is constructed of four key components.

    1. Presumed credibility - Industry, verical, product categories, and brand strategy
    2. Reputed credibility - Social proof, social media, reviews, testimonials
    3. Surface credibility - Design, UX, messaging, content
    4. Experienced credibility - Product quality, service

    Looking at each facet, we can understand both the role of brand credibility in the buyer’s journey and which strategies and channels are related to each.

    Being Strategic About Building Trust with your Website

    Nearly every company’s website experiences some of these challenges.

    But, these problems don’t happen in a vacuum and they’re not tactical hiccups that you can fix in a day by adding a logo bar to your site.

    The brand credibility problem is the product of a broken process for designing and building websites that doesn’t consider credibility at a strategic level.

    At eight25, our playbook is built around strategy. As a central part of that strategy, we assess, understand, and build brand credibility into our entire process, from storytelling to design to technology.

    There are four key steps in our process that help us align around building credibility and reinforcing the brand narrative as a central piece of the website strategy.

    1. Identify the gaps

    Credibility is cultivated through consistency.

    If your messaging and positioning are inconsistent or don’t align with how you’re already perceived by potential customers, then you create confusion.

    During our discovery process, we dig deep into understanding your ideal positioning–the perception that you want to exist–and the gaps that exist in both your current marketing strategy and in conversations you’re having with potential customers.

    This helps us define clear gaps in your strategy that we can address in our messaging hierarchy.

    2. Align the messaging hierarchy

    Once we understand the gaps, we can develop a framework to address those inconsistencies.

    We build a unified communication and messaging strategy that’s rooted in the brand strategy and aligns your business with your buyers.

    This helps us close the gap and make sure that all of our key communications and key messages are anchored by the overall brand and business strategy.

    3. Mapping the page-level journey

    Before we delve into wireframing and design, we want to overlay the messaging strategy that we developed above with the specific pages on the website.

    Starting with a single page – like the homepage – we use our messaging hierarchy to construct a journey that informs how the content itself should be structured.

    4. Define the site-level journey

    Finally, we create a Journey Deck

    This resource extrapolates our messaging strategy across the customer journey to encompass all of the relevant pages on your site, building a framework for how your ideal customer profiles will move through the site and how we will build and maintain credibility.

    Using this framework, we can identify opportunities to bridge the Credibility Gap using strategic elements like social proof, case studies, and content that establishes your brand as a thought leader.

    Maximizing Brand Credibility in your Website

    For over 10 years, we’ve been honing and crafting our playbook. We’ve looked at traditional approaches to site design and developed a modern, smarter approach to driving business results.

    A high-quality website is table stakes. But not all sites are built equally.

    A strategic website delivers results:

    • 40% increase in revenue
    • 37% drop in bounce rate
    • 81% traffic increase year-over-year
    • 2x conversions

    We understand your brand’s credibility is hard-won and fragile. We know what's at stake. We understand that CMOs (marketing leaders) live and die by brand credibility.

    That’s why we use proven frameworks to protect–and improve–one of your most critical business assets.

    See the work we’ve done for companies like Aeva, Samsung, Armis Security, IntelePeer, Plexure, and hundreds of other companies.

    Schedule a Consultation

    With a full team of marketing experts at your disposal, anything is possible

      Why Do Customer Focused User Journeys Matter?

      8 Min Read

      Strategies For Top B2B Enterprise Websites

      What customers really want to know is how you will solve their business problem. Some
      technology companies are solving a problem your customer doesn’t even realize they had.

      The Challenge

      Over 76% of visitors to websites say the number one priority is being able to find the information they are looking for. 

      This doesn’t mean you need to install the best search engine on your website,  actually, it's the opposite. A great website is able to present the information a  persona is interested in learning about in a meaningful way without them even having to “search” for it. 

      Visitors to your website are coming to learn more about your offering. If they aren’t clearly presented with the information they are looking for in a meaningful way, they leave. 

      Make no mistake, the first impression of your brand is crucial to the success of your website.  

      Three major errors on your site: 

      1. Your site describes your brand or products and  services differently than your people 
      2. Decision-makers are confused 
      3. You haven’t articulated your niche or vision 

      Why it matters

      Reduce bounce rates 

      Most buyers are evaluating multiple options including your direct competitors and potentially even incumbent solutions you are looking to disrupt. You need to be able to position yourself as a forward-thinking solution while mature enough to replace an incumbent provider.  

      Leave a lasting impression 

      The user experience navigation should feel intuitive for new and returning users. When users end their session, the website should leave a lasting impression about your brand,  company strengths, and value propositions.

      Increase conversions at  the top of the funnel 

      Buying software for large organizations goes beyond your target persona. If your website doesn’t make you look like a mature organization your champion has to work harder internally to sell the benefits of your solution internally to their management team.

      Differentiate from  competitors 

      Most buyers are evaluating multiple options including your direct competitors and potentially their current solution you are looking to disrupt. You need to be able to position yourself as a forward-thinking solution while being a mature enough company to replace an incumbent provider. 

      Your customers’ first touchpoint is your website. You need to anticipate your customers’ needs and design structured conversion paths with the information they are looking for. Ultimately driving lead-conversion through top-of-the-funnel content and bottom-of-the-funnel CTA’s such as a Free Demo or Trials. 

      Schedule a Consultation

      With a full team of marketing experts at your disposal, anything is possible