With the speed of the economy and production, the short shelf life of news and the countless opportunities for innovation available to spread news about a product, cause or idea, I believe the need for speed in marketing now outweighs design.
The term “don’t worry be crappy” comes to mind when clients pitch me an exciting idea, opportunity or dream they have to market something online. I say, let’s get SOMETHING going. As Seth Godin, author of “Tribes” wrote this week, ‘Make a decision – It doesn’t have to be a wise decision or a perfect one. Just make one.’
And once the decision is made and the site is launched, THEN we can start to measure and tweak and perfect the design.
You may know that you can now see how people found your website via your traffic counter and tools like Google Analytics. You can see which pages they visited, their points of entry and exit and even the length of time they stayed on your site. Unlike any other form of marketing, a website gives you LIVE, HONEST and TRANSPARENT stats that you can bank on and work from. Contrast this against your advert on page 1423 of the yellow pages or the advert you run on TV or Radio. Sure, sales people can give you stats of viewership or listeners but the accuracy of this doesn’t come close to what a website can give you.
Back to speed.
Can a website be launched and built overnight? Yes.
Can it play an integral part of a campaign, cause or product launch? Yes.
Would the general public be happy with an average looking website as long as they can find and interact with what they are looking for? Absolutely
Still don’t agree?
Did the owner of the first car care much about design or was he just grateful he was able to use this contraption?
Or the first mobile phone?
Or the first injection of penicillin?
Or the first phone call overseas?
Now, I’ll just add that if design doesn’t take the product or website further, then you definitely fail and the world misses out. I’m grateful for my iPhone, Car that goes faster than 10km/h and modern medicine – but I’m grateful that the first mobile phone came out when it did because then design could step in and enhance things.
It’s been said that around 25% of searches done on Google everyday are new searches. People looking for things that have only just come out, or they’ve only just heard of, or they’ve realised there could be a website for.
So maybe you have an idea, a concept, a campaign or idea you want to test and launch and measure interaction with. A website might be a good part of the plan – my advice is to be faster to market. Then measure, tweak, change, cut, copy and design around response, traffic and feedback… but don’t wait forever.