Life is constantly moving, it's an endless collage of sights and sounds. Thousands of sensations bombard us every minute of each day. Fortunately for us, our brain dismisses the majority of them as inconsequential. It does this to protect itself from a sensory overload, there is simply too much incoming data to process it all. Science calls this "selective awareness."
In the everyday world of Ecommerce, "selective awareness" can be a disconcerting challenge to businesses presenting themselves, or their wares, via a website on the Internet.
" BUT...the truth of it is, this affords any company the opportunity to distance itself from the legions of other sites on the Internet!" This is the belief of Jon Pierre Francia, CEO of Mov'n Pictures, Inc.based in Pleasant Grove, Utah. His company (MPI) specializes in animation, film and video for a client list that includes some of the largest advertising agencies in the world.
"The first thing a website must do is capture the attention of the visitor. I say capture, because the site must do more than just tweak the curiosity of the viewer, it has to take it prisoner." Francia stresses the importance of the website not only being visually eyecatching, but persuasive enough to conduct the visitor eagerly through the entire site. The presentation should be an empirical and articulate progression of information that fulfills the entire purpose of the site.
The value of movement on a website
He goes on, "animation can provide a dimension of energy to a website. It will add the fullness and texture of a living presentation." We don't exist in a static world, passing through it one picture frame at a time. We're immersed in life and it flows and ebbs. A well designed website should duplicate life. To be successful, and accomplish its purpose, it must be an interactive experience for the visitor, not simply a passive observation.
Francia has a strong background in marketing, and early on recognized the immense potential of the Internet. For a time, MPI had an executive on staff managing their website and macromedia, but that individual left the firm. It occurred at a difficult time! Francia had just positioned a media campaign promoting MPI. Soon, the publicity would impact the marketplace and potential clients would be looking for the company's website, and that aspect of the business cried out for attention.
He realized that he would either need to bring someone on board and develop the internal infrastructure for web development...or seek outsourcing help. Outsourcing was the only sensible answer! He simply did not have the time, or resources, to construct the internal apparatus necessary to expand MPI's core business.
Outsourcing the Website Development
But where would he get a Website Developer with the right qualifications. He began his search by "letting his fingers do the walking." He found Kiora in the yellow pages, liked their ad, they were nearby, and it was a place to start. He confessed later that "he struck paydirt" with that phone call.
Mike McFarlane and his partners at Kiora met with Francia, and the right chemistry was evident. Kiora displayed for him their portfolio of designed websites and outlined the background of each one. Francia discussed his limited budget with the partners and the SLA he would absolutely need. Site downtime could be disasterous! He also told them of the impending influx of new business to MPI from the looming promotion campaign, intimating a very narrow time frame.
The outsourcing effort by Kiora began immediately. In chemistry, there is a reaction called "synergism." By definition: it is that the total effect of two ingredients when combined is greater than the sum of their individual values alone. MPI and Kiora became just such a synergistic effect.
Francia says, "Kiora's response to my needs was remarkable. They were always available when I called. Their initial designs were right on target. They listened to my ideas and suggestions and implemented them...and they stayed within budget. Over time, as we worked together, an interesting situation developed, we found that the two companies complemented each other almost perfectly."
An outsourcing synergism in action
Francia turned over the management of MPI's website and interactivity to Kiora. He was free to focus on his primary business; animation, video and film. But the relationship didn't stop there. The firms, by working together, could offer clients a well-rounded package of services that neither could fully provide individually.
With his background in marketing, and his connections in the marketplace, Francia generates potential website development business. Once interest is expressed by an initial contact to MPI, Kiora takes over management of the potential client. Together, the two firms are capable of full website design and development.
What are the keys to finding and using an outsourcer? "Personal contact and questions." Francia asserts. "Look at their past projects carefully, and ask about their availability for rapid response to situations that might arise. Websites that are outdated, or down, are tantamount to locking the doors to your business."
He adds, "I hope that everyone will strike gold in their search for an outsourcer...I sure did!"
Lessons from the Outsourcing Primer:
- Outsourcing can provide affordable skills for a business on a slender budget; building new infrastructure can be costly and unnecessary.
- Not all website design outsourcers are the same in experience or skills.
- Inspect well a prospective outsourcer's portfolio of past work.
- Take time to construct a good SLA, one that both you and the outsourcer can live with.