Where websites became critical for business success
As a business we really started seeing the rush to market for businesses building websites around 2008-2009, whereby even though website development had been around for over a decade, the transition away from traditional advertising was in full swing and businesses were fast coming to grips with their target audiences desire for them to be found independently on the world wide web.
Sure there were online directory products such as Yellow Pages Online which could present the information about a business adequately, however in a lot of cases to be taken seriously- and most importantly, convert visits to enquiries, consumers were wanting to view granular detail on a business’s products and services prior to making contact.
Naturally a lot of money flowed through the doors for local web design firms from businesses around them seeking this online presence. Website design was in a lot of cases rudimentary and compared to today’s standards very basic in design and functionality. However, for the times and the consumers experience to date they were more than adequate and served the purposes of delivering content well.
Gcomm.Digital still has one website in existence, built in 2008, one lady owner and original miles- the name of which may be divulged over a beer. But from there the humble website quickly evolved, such elements- like payment gateways for online stores, became very accessible to the SME and with that business owners were able to keep up at least with what was available to them, and learnt what value for money looked like in this space.
Was outsourcing effective in 2008?
The advent of such outsourcing portals like Upwork (formerly o-Desk) offered inexpensive options for website design and development changed the game somewhat and whilst this presented a significant financial upside to businesses, the old adage ‘you get what you pay for’ rang very true, and unfortunately the SME business owner so found that what was promised most often was not the same as delivered. To put some shape around this, a web project you may have paid a few thousand dollars to a local firm was now on offer for a few hundred dollars. The work was largely performed out of countries such as India, Bangladesh, and Sri-Lanka, and the quality in most cases was substandard when compared the local option. Quite often these outsource operators would hit a snag with development, and the project would not progress any further, and in some cases they would completely cut communications with the client- leaving them high and dry, and out of pocket.
But why is all this important?
If you look around the home and office and count the many and varied devices, operating platforms, browsers, screen widths, connection types, telco carriers, that potentially a website would have to operate smoothly within- every 1% of performance you can gain makes an exponentially larger difference in outputs. You wouldn’t ask your doctor to tune your car, so it makes sense to have an individual or firm who have the experience and track record to take care of your online presence. This is where an agency starts to make a lot of sense…
Why local matters.
So now we are coming back to an experienced local firm. In the days since the first websites were launched by a local operator it is evident from my ramblings above that a lot has changed. No longer is it just a fixed width webpage, we are now dealing with mobile responsiveness, multifunctional capability, and even sales funneling with dynamic landing pages- you are going to need a skilled front end developer. No longer are we dealing with your website being somewhere on the ‘net for consumers to find you, we want every visitor to have a meaningful experience and most of all, convert- introducing UX/UI specialists. Add to that you actually want to generate new business from an advertising perspective- enter the Digital Marketing team.
So I’m guessing the picture is becoming a little clearer- the superhuman required to not only possess the various skill sets required to deliver, but actually handle all those tasks for multiple clients- simply does not exist. So engaging a digital agency that carries the specialist staff required to execute on integrated strategies is now what makes the most sense. This does not necessarily mean you have to start at the top end of town, many smaller agencies, such as Gcomm.Digital employee staff with the collective ability to execute on 90% of most strategy requirements. The other 10% we fill through our collaborative alliances with other specialist providers. A great example of this is image rendering, used for instance to show a large property development in visual terms- however the property has not yet been built. As we do not have the volumes of work to carry an artist of this ilk, we use a collaborative partner to deliver these specialist requirements. Most importantly though, our client doesn’t miss out on the face-to-face engagement as we brief these specialists in with them present at client meetings.
How do we come into it?
Gcomm.Digital have been in the game since 2008, and whilst some work disappeared to outsourcing as detailed above- not all of it did- it just meant there wasn’t quite as much work, and we really had to present our point of difference. And we certainly don’t discourage using outsourcing partners, there is some really great things happening in the Philippines over the last few years in new highly skilled IT crews being established. However, in our experience the business owner/ marketing manager has a tough time if this is their first time using offshore partners. Agencies such as Gcomm.Digital have become a preferred choice in navigating the digital landscape, because we engage with our clients and we leave out the technical jargon. We are transparent with our campaign reporting and we teach our clients how to understand what all the numbers mean. You could even go as far to say this is our retention strategy- we do what we say we will do, on time, and with no smoke and mirrors.
Get in Touch!
Paul Gregg, Account Director
1300 905 449