What to Ask in a Website Kickoff Meeting
Tips from Marketing Experts
The website kickoff meeting is the crux of the working relationship between client and agency. Essential to the web design process, it is the ideal opportunity to identify the scope of the task and everyone involved. To keep everyone focused on the goal and unified in purpose, preparation is crucial. These eight questions are a great foundation to building the website kickoff meeting agenda.
This is meeting of discovery is the time to explore the potential and determine the limitations of the project. Be sure to invite all the right people–not only the top tier management but everyone who has a stake in the project. Set an agenda, ensure that the client has had it well ahead of time, and use it to guide the meeting.
Here are eight questions to ask that will maximize everyone’s time and ensure a productive partnership.
Questions to Drive Home the Discussion
1. “What on your site is currently working?”
Well, something must be working otherwise throwing in the towel rather than a redesign would be in the cards. Asking this will elicit what isn’t working as a matter of course but this question will start the process on a positive note.
2. “What do you most want to change about your site?”
This encourages the client to vocalize a vision. Allow them to dream big for a couple minutes, then be prepared to rein them back to reality–later. The free flow of ideas should paint a picture of the overall vision, company direction, and tone and style of the target goal. Save the practical issues for later. This is just about establishing a vision.
3. “Who is your audience?”
We want to align with all, not part of the client’s demographic–sidelining anyone is a missed opportunity from the outset. Understanding the needs of the client and how to improve their customers’ experience is the heart of the project, essential to client satisfaction and positive outcomes.
4. “What is your goal?”
This is probably the most important question for any website development plan. Are you trying to sell something? Create a sticky site? Or generate leads through an email or newsletter? Find out what the client wants each visitor to do. Knowing the answer will determine the best way to engage customers and spearhead the web design.
5. “How would you describe your company?”
These answers will help to establish tone and voice and allow you to build a site in conjunction with the client’s brand. Answers such as, “fun” and “corporate” will determine what the website presentation should be–bright and lighthearted, or serious and direct.
6. “What is your most important benefit?”
Remember, customers are interested in benefits–they don’t care much about the features save for how it solves their “problem.” Try to get the client to answer this question in less than three seconds. This will tell you what deep impressions they have about the company (service or product). Exploiting the customer benefits (and indirectly, the product features), the website should grab the site visitor’s attention.
7. “How do you fit into your market?”
Who is the competition? Do you have any alliances? Understanding the successes and failures the competition will provide a wealth of knowledge about the market. Likewise, you may be able to build on the strengths of alliances that stretch the reach of your initial audience. Together, perspective from these sources will help you discover gaps or new niches.
8. “Within your market, what is your favorite and least favorite site, and why?”
This is a really quick way to discover what inspires your clients. How do their favorite sites look and feel? What is the user experience like? With a little research, you can determine what compels users to return to these sites–what’s engaging and what’s not.
This may also be a good time to address your clients’ expectations so knowing what they like personally and professionally will ensure you deliver a project that they truly feel comfortable with and that does what it needs to do.
The website kickoff meeting is the opportunity for you to show that you know your stuff. It’s the time to educate the team, develop cohesive plan, and inspire a: “We Got This Covered” attitude. It’s a process that will pay dividends in the quality of the web design process, the working relationship, and, ultimately, the work produced.
Successfully kicking off a web development project takes insights, communication, collaboration, and experience. Now that you know what to ask in a website kickoff meeting, you can use these questions to guide your client to a definitive plan. Are you building your own site? These questions will help you solidify your goals. Still need some guidance? Contact our professionals at Agency Partner today to see how we can help you realize your dream website.
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