Friday, November 30, 2007

Time For a Facelift?

By Tim Kane, Makovsky + Company

I used to work for one of the legends of the advertising business, a woman known for her incredible talent, her great wisdom and her extraordinarily ageless beauty. Long past the time when a woman is expected to settle into a more matronly mien, Nina was still turning cranky captains of industry into tongue-tied schoolboys.

Naturally, this was a subject of great discussion around the agency. How did she manage it? Had she been nipped and tucked? “Of course she’s had work done,” a competitor once sneered. “It’s just that … you can’t tell where.”

When I finally got up the nerve to ask her, Nina didn’t hesitate. “I had a little lift,” she admitted. “When I was in my thirties.”

In your thirties?

“Well, you have to get the work done before anybody notices you need it.”

As I said, she’s wise as well as beautiful. And I was reminded of that wisdom today, as Makovsky + Company officially celebrated the launch of the newly revamped www.makovsky.com. Because the time to give your website a facelift is not when it starts to look a little long in the tooth, or when your customers and your constituents start having trouble with it.

The truth is, our original website was perfectly fine. Nobody was complaining about it. But the site did have a few wrinkles: It wasn’t as client-focused as it could’ve been. It wasn’t as easy to update and navigate as it should’ve been. It needed less copy in some places, and better copy in others.

And so, long before anyone started clamoring for changes, we redesigned the site. We made the navigation more intuitive, and the content richer and deeper. We added new content management software. We gave it a look and feel that was a more artful expression of our identity, and a more accurate reflection of our brand.

Nina’s already visited. “I love your new site,” she wrote. “And your picture looks exactly like Russell Crowe.”

Yes, she’s still beautiful.

But I think her eyesight is starting to go.

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