Who owns your business website?



PHOTO: Anemone123


If the question “Name the department that owns your business website” were a Family Feud question, answer number one would be different in each group of 100 respondents. Some groups would say IT, some would say product marketing, some corporate and other brand marketing, product management and even sales.

A passionate, principled argument can be made for any of these departments depending on many factors including company size, industry, product type, goals, resources, and skills. However, the way to establish the best ownership model is to assess and answer a few key questions:

Where do you sell?

This is the most important question. If a business has a product that a customer can purchase online, the website owner should be the person or team responsible for budgeting for ecommerce revenue. If the business is selling something offline through a sales organization, the website owner should be the team responsible for the pipeline build budget. Typically, this is the corporate marketing team, which also includes the design, creation, or branding team.

Related article: Can Your Website Still Be The Backbone Of Your Digital Experience?

What are the capabilities of your web platform?

This is going to be a controversial topic to discuss, but the technology that supports your website will determine who is able to own the website.

If you have a website built at home without modern web technology, the average marketer is unlikely to even be able to own the website. In this case, you need an IT manager who can handle the complex technical requirements.

If your website is built on a modern CMS or DXP with zero or weak code capabilities, it is very possible that someone without any technical knowledge could easily handle the day-to-day operations of your website.

How technical is your marketing team?

The modern marketer has been forced over the past five years to become more and more technical. This has led more marketing departments to make websites their own, and more marketers to learn basic coding languages ​​like HTML and CSS. If your marketing team members have development experience, it is much easier to consider turning the website ownership over to marketers.

Without a marketer with technical skills, it is almost impossible to consider website owner marketing. While marketing can own the copy and design, the real owner must be IT if IT is required for all updates, no matter how complex. In businesses where the most important element of the website is a portal, an IT ownership model may make the most sense.

Related article: Do CDPs Really Make Marketers Independent From IT?

Do you have an internal or external creative team?

The reporting structure of your design and creative teams can have a big influence on who owns the website. The team that owns the creation has a strong influence on the website because the design and user experience is such an important part of your website. As mentioned, design, creation and branding often live within the marketing department of the company, but if this function is outsourced through product marketing, this could be a deciding factor in determining who owns the website.

Website ownership deserves the right team or individual

Considering the visibility and audience of your website, there’s a good chance that many employees in your organization will want to claim ownership or, more likely, try to influence your website content and strategy. As with any key initiative, having well-defined roles and responsibilities leads to the successful achievement of business goals. For this reason, and the ones above, make sure that website ownership resides with the right team and the right person within your organization. This team or person should have goals aligned with those responsibilities and should be someone who truly cares about the visitor experience of your website.

Justin Sharaf is Vice President of Marketing at Jahia Solutions, a global digital experience platform (DXP) provider with customers in more than 20 countries. With a background in analytics and technology, Justin believes that building a fundamental database of data and technology helps optimize marketing programs and enables marketers to be more effective and efficient in their work.


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