Q&A with Marketing Director, Mark Bruce

Summer is here! Are you ready to start enjoying the warm weather?  How about your website — are you ready to kick it into high gear?  Well, as the final installation of our website series, here’s a Q&A with Mark Bruce, founder and president of HiTechPR, on website strategy.

We asked Mark some commonly asked questions about marketing websites, and we hope his answers will help you with your own website.  Let’s get started . . .

  1. How long have you offered website content services?
    Ever since the Web went “live” for normal human beings — around 1992-3.
  2. How do you kick the process off?
    We start with research, including an analysis of key messages, audiences, desired actions, goals, objectives, and strategies. Then we sync the client’s objectives to our plan and make sure that we’re delivering.
  3. What sort of variety have you produced in your websites, and do you have any favorites?
    Each site involves a different purpose, audience and message. Variety is inherent in every site because each should be a unique reflection of its organization. Funny thing is the sites I like always morph overtime; many have transformed into new versions I can barely recognize. That’s one of the cool things about the Net — nothing good stays static, and if it is, it’s obvious that the organization the site represents is drifting and not making headway.
  4. When designing a site, what kind of things do you take into account?
    We take into account the client’s goals and the measurable objectives. Messaging is the next step. The last thing we look at is layout and design.
  5. Have you noticed any current industry trends?
    They’re too numerous to mention, but what stands out at this moment is the convergence of websites and social media.
  6. What would you say to someone who is implementing a site for the first time?
    Carefully plan each step and always keep your major goals and objectives in sight. Don’t get swayed purely by technology; it’s still about content.
  7. What is your typical role with these types of projects, and what’s the hardest part about it?
    The hardest part of the journey is often political; generating buy-in from every team member on every word, photo and menu tab is often trying, not to mention the litany of last minute enhancements that surface with the evolution of the site.
  8. How do you handle scope creep with a client?
    We document the entire project in detail, prior to the start date.    At that jumping off point, we inform the client that we can always go beyond the current project specs but it will involve additional resources.
  9. How do you define what your clients expectations are, and how do you measure your level of success?
    We utilize collaborative goal setting and agreement on measurable, and therefore reasonable, objectives upfront.  This usually ameliorates disagreements later on.
  10. If you have had a client that hasn’t liked the end result, how do you handle that?
    If the upfront measures I’ve cited are in place, then both the client and the agency are responsible for the finished product.  Hopefully the client has signed off on each stage along the way as well. If, after these steps are taken, the client is still unhappy with a detail or two, we would complete the project at no further cost to the client.

Wow, a lot of great information to make your website plans or changes more concrete!  We hope you enjoyed hearing from Mark and his experience in the industry. If you would like to know more about his company, HiTechPR, check out his website.

As we look to the next blog, we will dig into some more hot marketing topics.  In fact, if there’s anything in particular that you would like to learn about, let us know, so we can put it on our research list.  While we start working on that, if you’d like to unearth some interesting summer reading, have a scoop of Motel of the Mysteries by David Macaulay.  It’s about archaeologists of the future, who uncover artifacts from today.

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