Well, that might be taking it a bit far. But, gone are the days of brochure websites that just provide information about you and your products. Your website should be more than paying for itself in lead generation, whether for retail sales or new business leads.
In our economy, your marketing dollars have never been more critical to your success, and spending them wisely means knowing that they are producing results. What used to be “just another channel” has now become the hub for all of your marketing efforts. Why? Because it’s measureable, you can see results immediately, and you can make informed decisions on how to spend your marketing dollars.
Take the example of a mid-sized company with a standard brochure website. The site says who they are and what they do, but doesn’t connect these things with their marketing programs.
- They write press releases, but don’t link them to the products they offer.
- They have product information, but no context about how these products are used.
- They email customers, but don’t have corresponding pages on their site that support the emails they send.
This is a typical situation where the website is a postscript rather than a lead generation tool. The site content needs to support each outreach program so potential customers have context and more information when doing their research.
Using these examples, an integrated marketing program would:
- Perform keyword research to understand how potential customers are seeking the products they offer.
- Post the press release on the site, using these keywords, with links into the products it discusses, and supporting testimonials and case studies for the reader to get context and learn about successful implementations.
- Create a landing page on the website for each marketing activity. The landing page will ensure potential customers have clicked to the right place, offer expanded information about the subject or promotion, and contain a form to collect contact information so a follow up can be done from your sales team.
- Make the site content tell a story. Ensure that each product description ties to a corresponding implementation or case study.
What’s great about using this best practice is that it’s entirely measureable. Using web analytics to track marketing activity extends across online, print, and broadcast activities. By creating that special landing page link back to the site, you will immediately know the impact of your message and be able to predict an outcome. And, most importantly, know what’s successful.
Watch for my next post that discusses the importance of CRM software and how integration with it can provide another valuable measurement in this equation