PPartner Post

Website Management & Custom Marketing Development: What’s the Difference?

Kyle Cavaness author profile image
custom marketing development featured
custom marketing development featured

Broadly speaking, businesses are “online” in two different ways.

One could be called the “traditional” approach. 

You own a business. You need a website. So you hire a web designer, or a website manager, or you task your in-house marketing and/or IT team to set one up for you.

Other companies, however, leverage their online presence differently.

Marketing agencies, eCommerce vendors, SaaS providers, and other online businesses use specialized tools and customer data to target and convert interested audiences. And to do that, they often need custom projects and technical expertise that goes beyond creating a website or setting up a Shopify store.

4 Ways Website Management & Custom Marketing Development are Different

Let’s take a closer look at four differences between a website management partner and a custom marketing developer that business owners should be aware of.

1. Stability & Scale

Ironically, lots of companies that engage with a website management partner want a website that they won’t have to think about much. These business owners are looking for a stable and secure online presence with pages, links, and forms that work on all devices. 

Businesses that need custom marketing development, however, need something that will function flawlessly at a high level. They need campaigns and components that can scale, integrate with other systems, and perform complex back-end tasks to reach targeted audience segments.

2. Passive vs. Active Audiences

Most small- to mid-sized organizations are looking for the online equivalent of a well-kept storefront window. You want interested shoppers to see that you’re open for business and actively responsive to customers.

Securing a functional, well-managed website is the most effective way to do this. It creates a central location for customers to get information and a hub for your social media profiles to link back to. And it ensures that your company is “findable” via search engine results and direct traffic. 

In other words, if you give someone a business card or write your company name down on a cocktail napkin, they should be able to find your website with minimal effort or fuss.

Custom development, however, is an entirely different animal. You’re not just making yourself available to whoever wanders in. You’re actively pursuing traffic with ad placements and other paid strategies.

And to make the most of that paid traffic, you might need custom projects ranging from landing pages with dynamic content to multi-currency eCommerce functionality to integrations with a CRM or email campaigns.

3. Projects vs. Progress

Advanced development for marketing and advertising projects usually involves a lot of moving parts. One part of the team is developing creative assets, another is buying ads and monitoring campaigns, and another might be building and optimizing landing pages. 

When marketing gets complex, you’ll need a custom marketing development team that can function seamlessly as part of your organization. This can even include tasking projects to them in your project management system or sharing Slack channels.

On the website management side, however, small- and mid-sized organizations are better served by a more holistic approach. Your web management partner should update your website regularly, but most of those tasks happen in the background without the business owner’s involvement. 

These websites should still progress over time to maintain a high-quality customer experience. But lots of small business owners don’t have the bandwidth or the budget to invest in technical development and marketing campaigns at that scale.

And speaking of budgets... 

4. Expense vs. Investment

Most companies that work with a website management partner see their website as a necessary business expense. A website is something they need to have and are willing to pay for — but not too much.

Typically, a website management partner shouldn’t cost much more than $100/month. 

Companies that need advanced development for projects, however, are going to spend a lot more because they expect a higher return. Custom marketing development agencies cost thousands per month because you’ll get functions and features that go far beyond off-the-shelf WordPress plugins.

These businesses and agencies invest in campaigns, and all of the behind-the-scenes efforts that go into making them work, because they’re going to track the results. And once those projects and products go out into the world, they’ll generate conversions, sales, and revenue worthy of their budgets. 

Final Thoughts

Choosing between a website management partner and a custom marketing developer comes down to one crucial question — what does your business need?

If you’re a new business or relatively new to the online space, a partner who can get your website up and running quickly and effectively might be the best option. 

But if you’re looking to expand your existing digital footprint and can’t find what you’re looking for in a template or tool, a custom build might be your best bet. It all depends on what will serve your business best. Answer that question and the rest will follow.

NOTE: AdLeaks partners include NOVU, a website management partner, and Lab270, a custom marketing development agency. AdLeaks earns a commission from purchases made through affiliate or partner links on our site.

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About Kyle Cavaness

Kyle is AdLeaks' Content Manager and a writer and editor with more than 10 years of marketing and content development experience. He specializes in turning complex concepts into memorable content. (This is not a good example of that.)

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