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Nov 20, 2012

Marketing Research Chart: Marketers’ goals for website strategy

SUMMARY: We wanted to learn about the website’s role in overall marketing planning, so we asked marketers which of the common goals were most representative of their organizations’ Web strategies.

Share your own analysis in the MarketingSherpa LinkedIn Group for a chance to be published in a future blog post.
The crux of website optimization’s success is the wealth of data available online, as well as the strength of testing to push your marketing teams to expand digital strategies. We wanted to learn more about marketers’ Web strategies and the roles websites play in overall marketing plans, so we asked them the following question …

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

View Chart Online

Click here to see a larger, printable version of this chart

This chart illustrates that most marketers continue to envision their company website as a distinct marketing channel, on a similar level to their PPC, SEO and social channels. As the above data shows, marketers were able to choose more than one response to this question. Many marketers also considered their website an information resource or marketing hub; however, few marketers saw the website as a tool for gathering customer and business intelligence.

How does the website fit within your overall marketing structure?

Interestingly, 40% of firms indicated they utilize their websites as informational resources. In this case, they would then use the website to close sales by providing information, or specs on specific products, before shoppers proceeded to their carts.

What takes precedence on your website: converting (selling/lead capture) or providing information? How does the industry you market to affect that?

Or, like many marketers, is your website a home for both direct selling (or lead capture) and providing information? If so, how do you classify the website for budget reasons?

If you don’t use the website as a distinct marketing channel, what are your reasons? Do you see more value in paid ads, or other channels, to generate traffic and appeal for your products? Is it not necessary in your organization to break out into line items your different channel investments?

As seen in the chart, 29% of marketers desire a centralized, “hub-and-spoke” vision for their digital strategies, where the website (occasionally in conjunction with a blog) would act as a central structure, around which companies arrange all marketing campaigns.

What benefits have you seen from employing this type of structure? What other campaign elements (such as blogs, social media, print, etc.) have benefited from using your website as a central hub?

Should you be using the website to learn more about your customers and brands?

Despite the wealth of available optimization tools, such as segmentation and message testing, only 9% and 5% of respondents indicated they use the website as a customer or brand research lab, respectively.

Have you been able to successfully garner such data from your website? Have these insights affected your customer theory or brand strategy?

What are your other thoughts on this data? Share your own analysis in the MarketingSherpa LinkedIn Group for a chance to be published in a future blog post. Include your feedback as either a comment or a link to a blog post where you offer advice based on this data.

For more information about website optimization, be sure to download the free excerpt from the 2012 Website Optimization Benchmark Report.

Useful link related to this research

Marketing Research Chart: What are the most prevalent website optimization priorities?

Digital Marketing: Understanding customer sentiment

Homepage Optimization: No single metric will do

See Also:

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