“Why is Web Performance important enough to justify a business?” This is a question I was asked by a friend sitting at a holiday meal last week, and one myself and others in the Web Performance industry get far too often.
“Do you have all night?” – I retorted sarcastically.
Rolled eyes and a deep sigh personified my friend’s reluctance to hear a long, geeky explanation. After all, what would a marketing expert at a big company care about the importance of web performance?
Sure, she’d never catch Don Draper optimizing CSS and JS, but with the explosion of Ecommerce and online advertising, web performance couldn’t be more vital to big companies like hers going into 2014. Rather than lecture, I decided to ask her a few questions:
Me – “How much is your brand worth?”
Her – “A few billions.”
Me – “What would you do to protect your brand?”
Her – “Everything.”
Me- “There’s your answer.”
Businesses are “open” 24/7/365 online and customers are constantly judging brands based on their site’s performance (speed, availability, and reliability). Are you fast, are you up, are you getting me what I asked for? Answering “yes” at all times is critical to your brand’s reputation and revenue. Relating to my marketing friend, I explained that with so much at stake, performance has become the 5th P in today’s basic marketing mix online, along with product, price, place and promotion.
Knowing that performance drives success at every level of the company, executives from Amazon, Etsy, Priceline, Google and Microsoft and many others have conscientiously developed a ‘culture of performance’ from the ground up. They understand that web performance is not solely an ‘IT thing,’ but a company thing and maintaining quality across the board has contributed to their massive growth.
Expecting a nerdy diatribe, my friend’s apathy shifted to intrigue once I explained the business impact of the technical optimizations we do. With more at stake for your brand and revenue than ever, Web Performance is a little sexier.
“So, what’s next in Web Performance?” My friend asked. Now that’s the kind of question I like.