Daniel Burstein

Website Strategy: 59% view the website as a marketing channel

In the MarketingSherpa 2012 Website Optimization Benchmark Report, we shared how marketers view their website strategy …

Q: Which of the following statements are representative of your organization’s website strategy?

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Why do you have a website?

“I usually start by asking new customers: ‘Why do you have a website?’” said Søren Sprogø, owner, Afdeling 18.

“Any answer but ‘To make more money!’ is wrong.”

“Next question of course then is, ‘How can your website help you earn more money?’ Now that’s the big one, and it can be discussed for hours. But by building your website around this question, you ensure that it supports your business and that it is measurable,” Søren concluded.

 

The website to build community

“I’m interested that none of the options so far mention community,” said Kerry Skemp, co-founder, SnapHop. “In my experience, that’s often a major goal for websites: to serve as a central hub for interaction between customers and potential customers. That’s hard to pull off, but it’s what many people want to do!”

“You bring up a great point that a major goal for websites should be as a community hub,” responded Todd Lebo, Senior Director of Content & Business Development, MECLABS. “If the primary goal of your website is marketing or as an informational resource, community must be part of your design. And if your goal is to learn more about your customer, how can you have a one-way conversation with your community? I would argue that regardless of the goal of your website, you need to encourage and facilitate community involvement. I also agree that is hard to pull off, but very rewarding if you can do it!”

If your goal is community building, here are a few articles that you may find helpful:

Social Media Marketing: Social login or traditional website registration?

Social Spam: Don’t let spammers interrupt your customer conversations

Social Media Marketing: 7 steps for using contests and sweepstakes to promote your brand

 

Reflect brand identity

“Since priorities vary for every business depending on the business type and primary objectives, obviously the quantity and ratio of information to lead/community generation features must also vary. What may be effective for one company website may not be right for another. The trick is to identify your business objectives, and tailor the content and design of your website to maximize interest and/or action from the audience you’re targeting,” said Noya Lizor, Director of Marketing, PowerInbox.

“I think that aside from functionality and content, a business website should also reflect brand identity. Many businesses don’t have a physical shop-front for their product or service, which means that the only way for users to interact/buy/learn/be entertained/etc. is via the business website. So, if as a brand you claim to stand for something, then your website design and tone of voice should reflect that something in order to be truly effective. Not all websites manage to do this successfully, but those that do are the most memorable in my mind.”

 

A changing piece of the digital ecosystem

“In my opinion, based on the data, I should say that more than 30% consider that a website is used for marketing proposes,” said Jorge Cunha, Digital Analytics Consultant, IT Tech BuZ.

“Companies realize that a website should be a hub for marketing strategies, because of the several digital channels (like all kinds of social networks), that need to act as integrated digital channels and the need to measure the value of each channel.”

“I also see that companies are in a maturity phase that they understand that customer research begins inside the website, acting as a principal point of self help for customers.”

“Nowadays, customers are informed persons, and they want to search first before they buy (online or offline).”

“I think that is a missing point when companies don´t see their website as a brand research lab and a research lab, maybe because they don´t see a website as a changing piece in the digital ecosystem,” Jorge concluded.

If you would like to feature your tips and analysis about MarketingSherpa research in a future blog post, sign up for the MarketingSherpa Chart of the Week newsletter and provide your insights to a chart that resonates with you.

 

Related Resources:

Marketing Research Chart: Website optimization’s effect on offline marketing strategies

Digital Marketing: Understanding customer sentiment

E-commerce: Manufacturer’s revamped website strategy leads to 26.3% lift in sales

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  1. December 5th, 2012 at 11:13 | #1

    Great article! I couldn’t agree more. When I hear business owners refer to their websites as “purely informational”, I get perturbed because they’ve spend the time and money to create the web presence, so why wouldn’t they want to receive a ROI on it?

    I’m excited to see that 59% of marketers view their websites as marketing channels. That shows that businesses actual see the value in content marketing. We should expect that number to continue to rise as website marketing should be a top marketing priority in 2013.

  2. January 29th, 2013 at 08:37 | #2

    I agree. Websites are made primarily to market products and services, that’s why we see a lot of small business websites doing their best at showcasing their offerings to customers. But let’s not neglect the use of websites as an informational resource and a community builder. Visitors would be happy to read useful and valuable information straight from your website.

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