Is your website the responsibility of IT or Marketing – and how do you decide?

It is mid 2013 now and this is a question that still seems to be unresolved in many business owner’s minds. Of course there are technical aspects to the hosting and setting up of websites, but the purpose of most websites is not to make the IT department’s job easier (or even to give them something to do), it is to make sales and marketing easier.

Your website is there to communicate with the wider world about products and services that are available from your business and, if possible, to directly and immediately sell those goods and services. When was the last time you asked your IT manager to go and sell some of your goods or services?

IT manager checklist Let’s take that one step further. Imagine calling your IT Manager into your office now, handing him some brochures and then telling him that from now on it is his responsibility to promote your goods and services and he should now get on with it.

Now imagine his face when you say that. What happens next do you think: an angry response, a resignation, or possibly worst of all – perhaps he trundles off to ‘get on with it’?

Surprisingly enough, being an expert on Active Directory, user group security policies, or configuring of sub nets does not necessarily mean you will be good at web page design, writing good copy, or presenting information about your business’s goods and services in the most positive light.

In fact the opposite is often true. The studious technical nature of good IT management does not usually come with an outgoing nature that is naturally good with people. Frankly, you will usually find that IT managers manage IT because they enjoy the exacting technical nature of the work and, had they wanted to get into sales, they would be selling IT now not looking after your network.

So why would anyone give a sales and marketing job to an IT expert?  The answer is, of course, that they wouldn’t. At least not intentionally. The difficulty is that for many business owners, a website is a problem to solve rather than a tool to solve a problem.

As a ‘problem to solve’ it looks like a techie type job because it involves coding and stuff. However, as a ‘tool to solve a problem’ of how to get more sales, other considerations such as presentation and content have to be considered.

Corporate branding, product or service descriptions, market targeting, enquiry handling and on going promotion are all marketing issues rather than technical ones.

Asking the IT Manager to do a Marketing Manager’s job not only confuses everyone, it also means that neither the IT management nor the marketing management job is being done well.

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