It's Time to Fix What is Broken with Today's Foodservice Equipment Manufacturing Websites
Web design for foodservice manufacturers is not keeping with pace of innovation.Traditional web design process is broken and delivers lackluster experience and results.There are new methods to adopt in web design approach that will greatly enhance experience, effectiveness and ROI.
A Contrast in Innovation
Foodservice Manufacturing is introducing new product innovations at an ever increasing rate. NAFEM 2017 was one of the best attended industry conferences in recent memory, with more innovations in equipment than ever before. As a matter of fact, FES Magazine reported that there were 144 new products featured in the What’s Hot! What’s Cool display alone. For the first two days, we couldn’t get any conversations with our industry partners due to just the sheer volume of foot traffic in their booths. And to a person they all said the same thing - interest & awareness was way up, and it was a spectacular show for new contacts.
Contrast that with the typical Foodservice Manufacturing website. Yes, that one - the go-to source of your company information the other 727 days between NAFEM shows. There is little to no innovation. It’s outdated in adherence to standards, underperforming as a sales and marketing tool, lackluster in appearance and usability. Web Innovation for manufacturing websites is a stark contrast to what we’re seeing on the product innovation front. Often no one even remembers who built it, who’s responsible for updating it - and no one wants the headache of tackling it as a project. But is it any wonder why when you consider the broken process of traditional web design?
What have your experiences been with web design, development and maintenance. Consider the last time you were involved at any level in a web design project. Do these experiences sound familiar?
- Long Development Times. That first Gantt Chart showing that dream timeline looked pretty good, didn’t it? Then it doubled. Then it doubled again. Pretty soon after all the hangups along the way, you were pushing anything and everything just to go live.
Exceeded Budgets. So how’d that development budget work out for you? Budget busting web builds are not the exception - it’s always been the norm. Expanded scope, features left on the table that need to get worked in… this is the norm, not the exception.
Broken Expectations. Do you remember the lackluster end results? Everyone is just thankful it’s all over, it’s live and it’s off the to-do list. Patch yourselves up, brush yourselves off, say good bye to that rotten agency that "just doesn’t understand you,” and hopefully not have to deal with that again for several years.
Sites That Languish With No Innovation for 3-5 years. Often this is more. The web moves at increasingly faster rates in regards to new standards and best practices. As recently as a year or so ago theFuze redesigned a website for a major equipment manufacturer that had not been overhauled in 15 years! The sad truth is that in theFuze's research on potential partners, this is an all too common story. No one wants to expend the time, energy & resources to tackle a migraine-inducing web development project every few years.
The Fix is In
So if the traditional web design approach is broken - what should you be looking for to provide a fix?
Minimize risks associated with traditional web design. Your agency should work with you to avoid the risks of traditional web design by taking a systematic approach to decrease the time to launch, and focus on real impact while staying within budget. Abandon the mindset of the traditional web design process. Consider that there is a better way that is being championed by a growing number of agencies that will make the web design process simpler, faster, more affordable and able to keep up with innovation in trends and information delivery. Not to mention the dollars you’ll save in prescription migraine medicine.
Continuously learn and improve. You should be constantly researching, testing and learning about your visitors to inform on-going website improvements. Treat your website as more than a brochure. Sharpen it to be a lead generating, data gathering engine that delivers tangible ROI. Let the data driven insights generate intelligent action to improve. Tools exist to automate much of this and can be readily implemented by your partner agency.
Collaborate with Marketing & Sales. As we learn from data, make sure information flows freely between marketing, sales and your agency partner. Growth-Driven Design is integrated thoroughly with sales goals and marketing methods. When we learn more about our online customers, it helps improve tactics and strategies for both sales and marketing.
To that end, reset the thinking that websites are just marketing tools. They should also be very effective sales tools - adjust development and ongoing improvement budgets accordingly to include input and budgets allocation from both departments. Implement regular content offers to cultivate and nurture leads along a specific buying path. The end result will be in more leads to close for your sales staff.
Partner with Agencies that Understand You. Look for partners that have experience in the industry. Can they write content and do research on your behalf? Can they strategize with sales and marketing teams so that not only the website, but other sales and marketing strategies align? Will they be a liaison to help innovate the sales process, and work with marketing to create real solutions?
Adopt a New Mindset
With a better understanding of a new process, integration of data and selection of an agency partner that understands foodservice, updating a dated and ineffective website can actually be a good thing. With new web standards and methods of marketing arriving almost every month, set your goals in 2017 to launch an effective foodservice manufacturing website that can drive real business.
Learn about theFUZE IGNITE web process and see if it’s a good fit for your foodservice manufacturing company