Strategy

The Senior Executive’s Guide to Site Migrations – Step 2 of 4: Build

The-Senior-Executives-Guide-to-Site-Migrations-Step-2-of-4-Build
This video is the second in a series of videos designed to help you execute a successful site migration project. If you missed the first video in this series, watch it now: Step 1: Plan.

Extensive planning is critical to the success of your site migration project. But, once you have a plan, what’s next?

The second step of the 4 steps to a successful site migration is Build. In this phase, you’ll partner with others across your organization to put your plan from Step 1 into action.

Watch Eric Enge, Principal of Digital Marketing at Perficient, and Matt Ruud, Director of Digital Marketing, explain why you’ll need constant engagement from other departments during this step and how this collaboration will help you build a site that realizes its long-term potential.

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Questions? We Have Answers.

A website migration or re-platform is a complex project and there are a lot of considerations that must go into the process. We have migrated and re-platformed hundreds of websites. If you have questions about your site migration project, we’d love to answer them and discuss how we can help position your team for the best chance of success. Contact us to get started.

Transcript

Eric: A site migration requires a lot of upfront planning, which is why it’s the first step in our 4 steps every marketing executive needs to take to ensure a successful site migration. If you missed our video on this topic in Step 1, you can watch it at the link below.

In this video, we’ll outline Step 2 – Build. You have a site migration plan, but where do you go from here? Let’s dive in.

Eric: Hello. I’m Eric Enge, Principal of the Digital Marketing Solutions business unit at Perficient. And I’m joined in this video with Matt Ruud, our Director of Digital Marketing. Last time we discussed planning for a successful migration. Now, in this video, we’re going to be discussing the process of building the site. So, it’s simple as plan your work and work your plan, right?

Matt: Not really. Even if you stick to the plan of what you wanted to build, you’ll likely need some key elements to make sure it’s actually going to be successful. Good engagement, teamwork, constant QA for marketing efforts, and sharp, quick decision-making.

Eric: Yeah, in fact, we’ve seen the key to successful build phases is really constant engagement and communication, which is easier said than done. So, how do we increase the likelihood that it happens?

Matt: You really have to keep the lines of communication open and honest. Informed parties are successful parties. So, get everyone together, make introductions, know who point people are, and foster communication throughout. Also, don’t inject marketing at the end of the project. Incorporate them into the greater process throughout the entire build. If you try to shoehorn it in, it’s just not going to work.

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Eric: So, in other words, integration is what’s essential. I mean, marketing must have a seat at the table the entire time. It’s not just a pure technology project, so to speak. Would you say that this should be leadership though or subject matter experts?

Matt: I’ll give you the standard SEO answer. It depends. But honestly, each will provide some value in the appropriate setting. Ensuring that the right people are in the right seats at the right time is going to give you the greatest chance of being successful, especially if you don’t have your team play outside their strengths, their quality is going to be better and won’t suffer.

Marketers are rarely devs or SIs, and vice versa. So, having them work in the area of their expertise is going to work out better for everybody. That being said, you should really be preaching holistic approaches within your marketing team. Having them work as a collective team towards a shared collaborative goal is going to make things happen better and faster. The more you encourage that sharing and the collaboration, it’s going to reduce rework and redundancy, making the whole thing more efficient.

Eric: Right. And similarly, interaction with design needs to be thought out too. These two teams really must work collaboratively and use the data to drive their design and experience decisions. And it’s really important also to test on target users and build in a way that allows for easier testing and measurement throughout the process.

And in addition, build in the way that allows you to sort of crawl through the process, testing simple elements or individual landing page destinations and things like that, because those things can lead to big wins or increased understanding of how you’re going to accomplish the broader migration objectives.

And consider having a strategic outlook sitting atop the entire effort. Again, as I talked about in the first video, remembering that there’s broader business objectives along the lines that we need to satisfy with this project. So, for that reason, we often assign a strategist to act as a liaison between the client, the development team, the internal marketing teams, and the design teams for that matter, to ensure that everyone keeps their strategic end goals of the project in mind throughout the whole process.

Matt: So, what do you do when the rubber hits the road and you’re actually in the development process? What can you do then to make things work better?

Eric: Well, you got to make marketing’s goals core to the project by making it, well, part of the project. So, I mean, just integrate as much as you can. So, integrate into the development process seamlessly. Is it a waterfall, agile, or Kanban approach? Hopefully, there’s some framework guiding the overall efforts.

And, get the marketers up to speed and in sync with the developers, really, from day one. You’ve got to keep a finger on the pulse of everything that’s going on to stay in line with upcoming pushes and releases. Understand what’s going to be worked on, you’ve got to review requirements, explain integrations or dependencies, answer questions.

And as we’ve already talked about, open the lines of communications before development begins, even, in case there are already some questions. And be ready to review and sign off as soon as it’s done. And finally, an iterative approach to review what’s going on to ensure things are done right and check that your work is complete, whether it’s QA or otherwise.

Matt: But something will always go wrong. It’s inevitable. What then?

Eric: Well, know what you won’t sacrifice. Eventually, you’ll have to make choices about what to keep in at launch, or if you need to delay launch to accommodate some specific objectives, you need to know those things in the project that are effectively unmovable. Like, you will push the date if you can’t get it done by a certain time.

And then you’ve got to verify that strategic plan against design and development milestones, and checking whether or not you’re achieving what you wanted. And remember, what we wanted is tied back to, is it serving the broader business objectives of this whole migration project? And inevitably, you need to have some fallback positions as needed, right? I mean, sometimes there are things you’re going to have to drop out, and they’re worth dropping out because they’re not one of those unmovables. And sometimes you have to roll some of those features back or take a forked path, you can’t allow the nice-to-haves to endanger those core objectives.

Matt: Yeah, I completely agree. And hopefully, for everyone watching this video, everything is going to go well, and your site build is going to progress smoothly. However, if that doesn’t happen, which honestly is probably the most likely scenario, we hope what we discussed today will help get your project back on track. Let’s summarize the key points that we covered today.

First, the key to a successful build is constant engagement, including marketing at the table throughout the entire build process from the beginning.

You should also consider having a strategic outlook sit on top of the entire effort. You want to be enabling tactics but not be driven by them. You want that strategic person to kind of beat the drum and ask about does this achieve our strategic objectives over and over and over again.

You need to maintain an iterative approach to review to ensure things are done right. Be checking things as dev signs off on them, as they go to QA or otherwise. Don’t wait until the last minute to make sure things work as expected.
And then finally, constantly review your strategic plan against design and development milestones. Your plan from the last video is still the most important driver here.

And once you’ve built your site migration in partnership with others across your organization, you’re ready to think about launching it. But, it’s not as simple as just pressing a button. Watch our next video, which details key consideration for step three of the four steps to a successful migration – Launch.

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