Web design firms must work towards a deeper engagement with clients
10th August 2018

20 years ago, when we started in this field, the website was a neat little marketing tool for businesses. A ‘nice to have’ but not necessary item for the marketing manager. But over the years the value and functionality of the corporate website has increased and so has the engagement of the web design firms.

Happily we are moving towards a place where web developers become an integral and important part of a client’s business setup.

SAAS and APIs are redefining the interactivity of a traditional website

The boom in Software as a Service and their related APIs have made websites far more interactive and connected with the needs of the visitor/customer. The customer now interacts with the CRM or ERP through the website using API calls, reducing the response time as well as reduction in manual intervention. The website becomes a gateway for customer interactivity instead of only being a type of digital brochure. Web developers facilitate this flow and help clients have much deeper engagements with customers.

Cloud has blurred the lines between software, websites and web applications

With more businesses moving on the cloud for their software needs, lines are blurred where the software ends and the website or app begins. Eventually, everything (and when I say everything I mean all business processes) will be online, interconnected and interdependent. Stand alone software applications are quickly dying, unable to cope with the requirements of a connected world. I know some clients still desperately trying to cling on to their traditional systems but they are playing a losing game. Web design firms can play a key part in this transition.

A deeper and more meaningful role for the web design / web development firm

Over the last few years our engagements with clients has grown deeper and more mult-faceted. Where we were only called on to create a pretty site, we are now becoming contributors to the business processes of the client. We are evaluating and suggesting tools and in many cases creating them for the client. We are ensuring greater interactivity between the various divisions of a client’s business. We are happily moving from ‘only design’ to ‘design and business development’.

It's an important step for any web design firm as traditional marketing becomes more automated.

Sadly, digital marketing has succumbed to automation with many campaigns running on autopilot. Where once the web agency brought in creativity and design, now templates and feature rich marketing automation services reign. Our roles are being reduced to supervisory rather than creative. But the good news is that where traditional marketing opportunities are drying, business service opportunities are multiplying.

Clients expect a much deeper understanding of business and tools from web designers now.

You might be great at web design but if you do not have the knowledge and tools to connect it to the client’s business, then it’s of no use. More and more of our interactivity with clients and prospective clients revolve around business processes rather than the traditional design aspect. Clients expect us to know and understand major trends in automation, AI, Big data, Cloud, and yes of course design. This creates much richer interactions with clients and also better opportunities to serve them.

In conclusion.

We see a happy trend where the role of the web designer or web developer is much deeper and richer. We are becoming indispensable agents of change in client organizations and our finally getting our due. However it requires constant reinvention, constant innovation and constant vigilance to remain relevant to the client.

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