Targeting Firm Audiences
This is the second post in the “Preparing for a Redesign” series. Over the course of the series, we’ll be sharing some of the advice and suggestions that we provide to firms who are planning a site redesign.
The design and implementation of your website should center on the needs of the site users – your clients and stakeholders. A deep understanding of the targets for your marketing and business development is critical to setting the direction for the market positioning, visual design, content strategy and information architecture of your redesigned site.
That is why we recommend taking a detailed look at your firm audiences as early as possible in the redesign process – even before you engage a design or technical partner. Early availability of this information will accelerate the project, and it will ensure that the functional and creative designs are well tuned to the goals of the site.
As you prepare for your project, dedicate some time to considering your site’s potential user groups. Typical groups for most B2B law firms include:
• Prospective clients
• Current client
• Firm Alumni
• Graduate Recruits
• Firm Members
• Referral sources
• Partner firms & affiliates
It’s critical to consider the relative priority of these groups in how you approach decisions about your site. Arrange your target audiences from most to least important, and then consider how your team currently serves these groups:
- Should you define critical groups in more detail based on their needs or expectations?
For example, is it important for you to consider various industries within your prospective clients? Do you need to offer more or different content to “key” current clients?
- How might your core messages change for each group?
Certainly, it’s important to present a consistent identity across all audiences, but does your positioning shift as you address a more specific audience?
- What sort of content is developed for each audience?
Our research suggests that prospective clients look for experience and other credentialing information. Current clients, on the other hand, are more interested in thought leadership and demonstration of ongoing value. Aligning your content to your audiences will allow you to see where you need to focus your efforts.
- Are there areas of overlap between audience groups?
Are there opportunities to gain efficiency by targeting multiple groups at the same time?
- Do you need to make specific changes in your approach to a particular audience?
How can your site improve your engagement with one or more groups?
Sharing this information with your design and implementation partners will position them to give you the best possible advice on the visual appearance and content strategy for your new site. Even more important, a clear understanding of your audience priorities will ease many of the decisions you will need to make as you proceed through the project.