If you could name one thing that was really missing from your Digital Marketing strategy, what would it be?
The general sentiment is that most companies feel like they are either totally missing the boat when it comes to Social Media (either that or they feel like they are missing the point) or are struggling to understand how to be more efficient with their Search Engine Marketing. Some fret that they are not building strong enough customer databases and using e-mail marketing as effectively as they should be. Those are all legitimate and real concerns. But, odds are it is something much more rudimentary than that. Odds are your website is not quite where it needs to be.
Is it boring to talk about a corporate website? Isn't it that much more exciting to hear about what a company is doing on Twitter or how successful they have been in producing videos and posting them to YouTube? In the end, we're faced with a very undeniable reality: most websites suck.
Correction: most corporate websites suck.
It turns out that saying most corporate websites suck is not a personal criticism, it's a simple reality of how we - as Marketers - see ourselves and our competency when building and developing these digital marketing strategies. Just today, Marketing Charts ran a fascinating news item titled, Frustrated by Difficulty, Half of Marketers Forego Analytics, and while it's going to get people like Avinash Kaushik, Bryan Eisenberg and the good folks at the Web Analytics Association all hot n' bothered, there was something even more interesting towards the end of this news item:
"Though online investments are the focus of many campaigns, one-fifth of respondents claimed that their website was only 'basic' and not at the core of its marketing activity. With increased investment predicted in online marketing channels, companies need to better understand the importance of the website in effectively underpinning its online presence... 'Marketers must not forget that their own website is the destination that many of their activities drive customers and prospects to, and they need to be extracting the maximum value this cornerstone of any forward-thinking company's marketing activity,' Eldridge added."
It's hard to measure the success and efficacy of your Digital Marketing initiatives if we're feeling like our own home base could use a little renovating and extreme makeover.
The problem is that many people built their online presence with a one-time budget. While they may have factored in ongoing budget for web hosting and occasional updates, this strategy has left them paralyzed. Even if they were running some basic web analytics tools, they simply don't have the budget available to pull the actionable insights out of the data, optimize their website, test some of the theories, learn from them and build.
Basically, we're dumping money into campaigns and new Social Media channels, but not spending the bulk of our time (and money) making sure that the final destination for these potential customers and community members really delivers on what the brand is and stands for.
Why are we doing that?