Masterfully written by: J. Bader
Everyone Has An AgendaWhen we watch our favorite television programs like 'CSI' or 'House', we knowingly and even gladly allow ourselves to be manipulated. When we watch the evening news we are also being manipulated, knowingly or not, by the selection and presentation of stories that have been filtered through a series of network agendas ranging from the benign time constraints of a thirty-minute broadcast to the more suspicious dictates of network and sponsor interests.
Websites are vehicles for communicating content to an audience as well, and like your favorite television show, or evening news, that communication is not neutral; it comes with an agenda and that agenda should be yours. If your website designer is not developing your site within a framework created to communicate your marketing information, then you are not getting the website you need. If your website designer is merely a technical programmer and not a communicator then you have picked the wrong supplier.
Whether you are selling an idea, a product, or a service doesn't matter; what matters is you are trying to convince your audience that what you have to offer will benefit them in some way. You are manipulating your presentation to your advantage. That does not mean that you should be dishonest or deceitful, but rather just skilled in getting your message across.
To manipulate, as defined, in part by wordreference.com, means to 'control or influence skillfully, usually to one's advantage'. Like it or not that's the job of a professional website designer: to skillfully influence an audience to the website owner's advantage.
Website designers constantly hear complaints from business owners and marketing executives that their websites are underperforming and their ROI is anemic. This is not surprising when so many websites are developed based on attracting traffic rather than skillfully influencing audience opinion. You can attract all the traffic your server can handle but if your message is lost in a labyrinth of search engine-friendly requirements it will not influence, persuade, or convince anybody of anything.