In our past few posts, we’ve discussed how investment managers can use their websites as a substitute for content in their digital strategy, as well as how templates can accelerate the redesign process in a cost-effective way.
But when, exactly, is it imperative to revise investment management websites?
In our view, there are three circumstances which make a website redesign project vital.
When firms launch new products or broaden/narrow their business focus, they must give their image a fresh coat of virtual paint alongside the new content and pages they need to market themselves.
For example, let's say a manager has traditionally worked with high-net worth investors. They realized that their approach is scalable to institutions as well, and have decided to offer a new product. Here, a site redesign in vital for a few reasons:
- Individuals and institutions need to see and hear different things. A retail marketing message applied to an institutional setting is a kiss of death;
- If the direction of the business is changing, it implicitly means there is an evolving conception of the firm's mission. Thus, potential clients need to understand that new vision, which requires new messaging, refined content, and the impression that your firm is moving forwards – all of which is easily accomplished with a website redesign; and
- Unless the site was redesigned within the last 12-18 months, it will likely look and feel dated – not exactly a great way to demonstrate change. And this leads us to...
Technological or Design Obsolescence
Like our smartphones and computers, what’s cutting edge one month can easily become outdated, insufficient, and obsolete in the next.
Consider Moore’s Law (the observation that computer processing power doubles every 18 months). The everyday implication here is that the newest applications and programs count on that increased processing power to function properly.
As such, an older computer's or phone’s capabilities might not be able to handle the needs of the software, which compromises performance.
In other words, old, in this case, means slow.
It’s often the same with your website. Ever-greater functionality and continual downward pressure on cost means that over a two year period, new websites can simply do much, much more than old ones, particularly in enhancing the user experience through
- faster-loading pages;
- increased ability to embed multimedia content, and
- easier navigation
Importantly, it’s not just functionality – but the sophistication of website design continues to march forward as well. A website that’s been sitting online for 2 years often looks, feels, and performs worse than a brand new site.
Let’s say one of your biggest competitors just revamped their website. It looks and performs fantastic. The redesign process enabled them to rethink how they describe themselves and their value proposition, which led to a more cogent, persuasive, and three-dimensional description of who they are, what they do, how they do it, and why.
In comparison, your site looks dated and reads even worse. Undertaking a redesign, in this case, is an imperative if for no other reason that you need to keep up with the Joneses.
But the costs (in terms of both money and manpower) of undertaking a rebuild on a regular basis can be prohibitive. Happily, as I noted in a recent post, investment managers can easily hack the process in ways which can allow them to allocate the resources for regular website updates.
In DQCOMM’s experience, firms with as much as $10-$15 billion in AUM often maintain a start-up mentality, preferring to spend as little as they must on anything unrelated to the core investment management function.
And while that might help firms maintain some cost control, managers have to recognize when business circumstances require a new investment in the firm’s digital presence.
Investment management websites are among the most vital marketing assets and it is thus penny-wise and pound-foolish to neglect a website when business imperatives are best served by undertaking a site redesign.
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