Your Website - Still the Bullseye

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Despite the rush to embrace Social Media, smart marketers know that their website is still the central focus of an ROI-generating digital strategy.

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  • Back in 1994 a friend invited me over to show me something. She had a picture of a piece of jewelry in a window on her pc. She clicked a button, the machine made a noise. I asked her what she just did, and she told me that she just made that piece of jewelry available for purchase anywhere on the planet by anyone with a computer. That was my introduction to this brand new thing called the world wide web, and I knew it would change everything. In those early days (and for many agencies still today), the web was about pretty pictures, animated graphics. It was the next generation of display advertising… another broadcast vehicle to show potential customers what your company sells. Having a website became the sum and circumference of most company’s web strategy. And for many, that’s still the case. When I first saw the web, the thing that convinced me that it would change everything was seeing it as something much greater than that. What I saw requires some background.
  • In marketing 101, we learned that your brand is not your logo. It’s the promise of an experience. Everything you do either reinforces that brand or it erodes it. While that experience may begin with a process to establish trust and value, and continue to provide service and support, the ultimate goal of every company is to engage in meaningful, win-win commercial relationships. And that entire chain of experiences IS your brand.  Initially, most used the web merely as a digital brochure, a portal to display enough information to motivate prospects or customers to leave it, and go and engage in the real transactional aspect of the relationship offline. My vision of the web refused to leave it at that, instead aspiring to find and implement the technology, functionality and user experience necessary to move the brand experience entirely to the digital realm for the ever growing segment of that brand’s customers and prospects that prefer to do business in that realm.
  • Since I began my company in 1996, that has been our goal. That’s why our first website for Usingers in 1996 had e-commerce, before there were existing shopping carts. The Usingers brand was reinforced, albeit primitively by the website.  Working with Usinger’s, and understanding the concept of brand as an experience, and the technology to take the web to that level, helped us develop a set of questions that we’ve made sure we needed answered to build any web presence for ourselves and our clients. It’s a list of questions that is based on a strategy that understands that the brand isn’t the logo, but rather on the promise of an experience. Knowing the goals, target, SWOT and Message, allows us then to ask these questions not only about the site in general, but also each individual element and the UX in the site to bring it all together, HOPEFULLY in a way that will reinforce, and not erode the brand. I’ll be referring to it here, and again. You’ll see how it is constantly changing, but always remains relevant. This is your takeaway.  
  • Who will be coming?How will they have gotten there?  What are they looking for? How do we guide them to the desired transaction? How do we move on from the transaction to continue the relationship? 
  • For years, the access to the website was via a desktop, and then a laptop. So the “How will they have gotten there” was simple: People saw the URL in an ad or on a business card and entered it in the browser, or did a Yahoo or Google search and clicked on the link. So for the “How will they have gotten there” part, our job as web developers was to make sure that it looked good and was accessible in Windows or Mac, IE, Netscape and Safari, 640 x 480 or 800 x 600 pixel desktop resolution. In those early days a full 2/3 of all website projects we worked on were driven by the IT department! But as the technology and trends began to expand, “How will they have gotten there” took on a new meaning. People got to the site multiplied: from Traditional Media and Search Engines, to links in promotional emails, PURLS, QR codes, Social Media, Shazam and other traffic generating methods. That marked the tidal shift to marketing now leading the charge.  As the technology continues to advance, using web technology to expand to include more and greater aspects of the total brand experience, and so we’re not only looking at the marketing Message, but actually immediately and directly delivering the product and the service to the visitor. That shifts the paradigm now to also include the sales department. And customer service. And the accounting department.
  • How will they have gotten there has also changed: Desktops > laptops > smart phones > tablets. The “solution?” Responsive web design. Stupid HTML tricks. People are coming to a site using different browsers and the biggest a lot of agencies/developers, and web teams can think is: Watch how this home page design automatically resizes and rejiggers as I simulate the desktop, then a tablet and smart phone. Seriously?  Forrester’s presentation framed a great argument for beginning your web site plan with mobile first. And their approach to the kinds of user experience based on the mobile experience was also good. And actually any responsive design begins with the mobile experience and then “retrofits” the desktop UX.
  • But focusing just on Mobile, while critically important in today’s world may be as short sighted as designing for desktop was just few years ago. Wayne Gretzy was attributed a quote that I used in a blog (and actually was the first topic Bill thought I’d be speaking on when he contacted me a few weeks ago): “Skate to where the puck is going, not to where it is. It ain’t where the puck is, it’s where the puck will be.” It was predicated on the observation that what your company is doing with the web is a lot like a hockey game. If your only focus is a web site based on an assumption that all your visitors are sitting at their desks viewing your site on a 1024 x 768 resolution desktop monitor, you’re skating to where the puck was. Even if you’ve begun to toy around with making your website more mobile friendly, you’re still skating to where the puck is.
  • And where the puck is going, quickly and inevitably is beyond mobile as well. The future includes thousands of smart devices (internet enabled TV’s, autos, boats, exercise equipment, kiosks, point of sale terminals, etc.), all giving your customers, prospects and referrers multiple touch points to access your “website.”
  • Who will be coming?How will they have gotten there?  What are they looking for? How do we guide them to a the desired transaction? How do we move on from the transaction to continue the relationship?
  • The Old marketing Axiom … 80% of my money spent on marketing is wasted, 20% is well spent. The problem is figuring out which is which… justified overpriced marketing budgets and excused waste and inefficiency. The web condemns that approach to its deserved death.Trackability, Measurability, Accountability, Improvability all exist to provide the ability to see how well your tactics are doing.  
  • Old days of the web: “Hits.” Now: There is so much data that virtually every department that is involved with the web as a business strategy execution tool can evaluate (track, measure, hold accountable and improve) its effectiveness.
  • There are really no longer Social Media strategies, email strategies, Search Engine strategies. Those have all become tactics and tools. Even Web or Marketing “strategies” have been relegated to a tactical position under the Business Strategy as a whole.Marketing just drives people to where a transaction happens. The web IS now where the transaction happens.If you’re still using your website as JUST a marketing tool, you’re missing the true power I saw 18 years ago. Successful businesses are increasingly embracing that power today!  
  • Your Website - Still the Bullseye

    1. 1. Your Website:Still the Bull’s Eye Tom Snyder Trivera Interactive Wells Fargo Advantage Funds September 20, 2012
    2. 2. 1. Who will be coming? 2. How will they have gotten here? 3. What are they looking for? 4. How do we guide them to the desired transaction?5. How do we move on from the transaction to continue the relationship?
    3. 3. Skate to where the puck is GOING, not to WHERE IT IS.It ain’t where the puck IS, it’s where the puck WILL BE.
    4. 4. 1. Who will be coming? 2. How will they have gotten here? 3. What are they looking for? 4. How do we guide them to the desired transaction?5. How do we move on from the transaction to continue the relationship?
    5. 5. • Trackability• Measurability• Accountability• Improvability
    6. 6. Cost per Acquisition Links clicked (heat maps)Bounce rates EyetrackingPer visit Goal Values Internal searchesMicro conversion rates Number of backlinksMacro conversion rates Quality of backlinksROI Google cache dateSales Google bot visit frequencyLeadsConversions Hits Pages indexed PageRank “pass rate”Subscribers Alexa RankReturning visitors Compete RankPageviews per visit BookmarksTime on page Social media sharesTime on site Tweets (Twitter mentions)Bounce rate Niche social sites’ votesFunnel abandonment rate Reviews feedbackNext pages Blog mentions
    7. 7. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat… Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory -Sun Tzu
    8. 8. 1. Who will be coming? 2. How will they have gotten here? 3. What are they looking for? 4. How do we guide them to the desired transaction?5. How do we move on from the transaction to continue the relationship?

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