In 2023, Blue Griffin Marketing completed a website redesign for the Texas Asphalt Pavement Association (TXAPA). The organization connects and serves hundreds of asphalt producers, contractors, suppliers, and other key players in the asphalt industry.
Emily Adams is the association’s director of marketing. As a former marketing agency owner, she had high standards and specific needs regarding a website redesign.
Functional challenges of a cookie-cutter association website
For years, TXAPA relied on a pre-build website solution specifically made for professional organizations.
Most industries have similar products: websites catering to the niche needs of dentists or chiropractors or cleaning companies… These templated platforms can indeed address some unique needs for their specific clientele, but they are quite limited in many areas.
Emily explained that her old system catered more to association administrators and not the actual members. And the website’s cookie-cutter solutions could no longer fit the complex needs of her large association.
“[The association website] was a robust tool, but it was just really out of date, and the user interface wasn’t very friendly either … everything seemed overly complex and difficult and not really targeted at what we specifically needed.”Emily Adams, TXAPA Director of Marketing
Breaking out of the box with a new look
Templated industry websites also offer very little flexibility in terms of aesthetics. As a graphic designer herself, Emily was keenly interested in a sharp-looking website she could make her own: “There were a lot of constraints to the old template. If you needed something specific and the website didn’t have it as part of the template, well, you were just out of luck.”
Over the last few years, TXAPA has grown to include hundreds of articles, resources, videos, podcasts, and more. The site had a tremendous amount of content, and organization was essential. We worked closely with Emily to develop a strategy and ways for users to navigate the wealth of information through various menus and custom post types.
“I wanted it to be more modern-looking and to showcase some of the things that we’re doing … For me, the bottom line is always the ability to control the user experience and make sure that it is as good as it can be.”
A collaborative approach to a complex project
When Emily brought us on board, it was an all-hands-on-deck situation. We’d have to bring our very best design, technical, and marketing skills to make the project successful. Because it was built on an existing member database, we also connected with third-party developers (Ventin and Forge512) to handle the advanced back-end functionality.
In particular, Emily shared how the Blue Griffin “micro agency” model provided the perfect level of professionalism and personal attention required for her project.
“Sometimes, with a big marketing firm, it almost seems like they’re a little too slick, and you don’t really have as much of a good working relationship … you just kind of feel like you’re engulfed in some big process. I can’t say enough about how Blue Griffin wanted to hear what we needed and give us what we needed. I felt like I was being heard and I was being supported.”
With such a complex project, proactive communication and management were essential. “When we met together, Lucas was very laser-focused and covered all the bases. So, I never felt like something was slipping through the cracks, or he didn’t get it or didn’t listen.”
A successful launch
After a lot of hard work, the site launched in early 2023. And in December, members began using it to successfully update their information for the 2024 directory.
“I love it; it’s great for me to work with and looks beautiful on a mobile device, which is super important,” shared Emily. “I think it looks clean and neat, and it has the things that we asked for. It’s something that I can endlessly adapt to whatever we’re doing from a marketing perspective.”
Today, we continue to work closely with Emily and her team as new needs come up, and she appreciates the ongoing partnership.
“I think it’s important to have marketing companies that you can partner with. A website like ours isn’t like a one-and-done situation; it requires constant evolution. Blue Griffin is a good long-term partner.”