Problem: TAM’s Technology provider (Visions) alerted them that they were abandoning maintenance on the existing website, forcing them into an expensive redesign. The offered replacement platform was updated, but still, based on an antiquated code base system which offered no citizen engagement, costly customizations, and limited flexibility. Concurrently, TAM’s messaging left the public confused about TAM’s role in the community.
Case Study: TAM’s previous provider alerted them of abandoning old maintenance contracts while offering an expensive redesign quote ($50K + additional fees of over $6,000 for just the “option” to add a video frame to the home page). TAM recognized that staying with this technology platform would limit them and be extremely costly. It also proved to be difficult for staff to manage, was not the user-friendly, lacked modern engagement features, and all the website designs utilized similar looking templates. These issues created a challenge for TAM to convey the uniqueness of their brand.
Additionally, these technologies are currently popular for civic agencies; however, often chosen out of habit rather than investigating new ideas behind civic engagement. This thinking is changing. For TAM, this choice was too limiting and didn't give the creativity offered by more modern Open Source technologies that include "off the shelf" solutions. On the advice of a colleague, TAM contacted The Marketing Machine.
Solution: We chose a flexible open source technology for development and provided 80% of TAM’s custom needs by using “off the shelf” solutions that could be wired in a matter of days as opposed to hand-coding over weeks. The development of their new website was completed more quickly, less expensive (about 50%) while offering flexibility to swap unique features when desired. Also, because we possess skills both in marketing and technology, we provided the creativity and technology which streamlined processes for their outreach goals.
Today, TAM has a beautiful, state of the art, flexible website managed in-house, where they engage with citizens how and when they want.