an effect web agency white paper

the role of the web in integrated marketing
four components marketing directors should include for a successful web strategy

a results-driven web agency

table of contents (links)
Executive Summary .................................................................................................. 3 Introduction.............................................................................................................4-7 Defining Goals and Measuring ROI ..................................................................8-9 Design and Implementation ...........................................................................12-15 Attracting the Target Audience .................................................................... 16-18 Ongoing Strategy for Growth ........................................................................19-21 Concluding Summary .............................................................................................22

2

the role of the web in integrated marketing

executive summary
This white paper is for the marketing executives who want to lead their organizations to greater brand awareness, better prospect interactions, and increased sales by leveraging the full power of the web. As the lines between media continue to blur, effectively reaching potential customers requires a comprehensive, tactical web strategy. When blended together, tools such as a corporate website, blog, social media, search marketing, mobile applications, and video help organizations connect with their audience in meaningful, interactive ways. Web strategy needs to collaborate seamlessly with traditional marketing efforts to form a unified message and appearance. A holistic web strategy not only reaches the target audience in an efficient and cost-effective manner, but also provides the best channel to track results, measure ROI, and make adjustments.

connect:

effect

blog

twitter

facebook

| email

3

introduction
Integrated marketing strategies have become a necessity for marketers as consumers continue to abandon mass marketing vehicles in favor of more niche, web-based channels. Integrated marketing starts with selecting the communication channels (advertising, sales, public relations, social media, etc.) that would be best suited to reach the target audience with the message. To be effective, all of the communication tactics that are employed should be based upon the same communication hub. This allows for the message to be harmonized under the same concept with a unified voice. The impact of this cohesive message on the target audience is more powerful than if any of the tactics were used in isolation. Because the web is now central to most consumers’ (both B2C and B2B) search for product and service information, its critical that a solid web strategy become the foundation for integrated marketing campaigns. It may be helpful to think of a integrated marketing strategy like the wheel of bicycle. Each communication channel acts as a spoke within the wheel. At the axis is an organization’s online strategy, which is fundamental in making the wheel turn. The spokes cannot turn the wheel alone. Rather, they provide supplemental support to make the axis turn more easily. The spokes and axis must work in unison in order for the wheel to spin as it should. If the axis is not strong then the wheel could break, rendering the spokes useless.

4

the role of the web in integrated marketing

David Card, a leading expert on marketing and consumer behavior of Forrester Research also acknowledges the need for marketers to put a strong emphasis on the web as it applies to integrated marketing. Card said, “Marketing leaders must work with their teams, agencies, and media partners to update their vision of integrated marketing in order to counter the effects of the meltdown and to harness social media. Tomorrow’s integrated marketing: ■ Is multichannel ■ Uses branded content ■ Employs social media ■ Creates a feedback loop that ideally will enable on-the-fly message and media tuning 1

“Marketing leaders must work with their teams, agencies, and media partners to update their vision of integrated marketing in order to counter the effects of the meltdown and to harness social media.” David Card, Forrester Research

The following four core components are a critical part of establishing a comprehensive web strategy, as a part of an integrated marketing approach: ■ Defining goals and measuring ROI ■ Design and implementation ■ Attracting the target audience ■ Executing a plan to continually evolve the ongoing strategy to achieve growth

connect:

effect

blog

twitter

facebook

| email

5

integrated marketing in action
A great example of a brand that has found the most successful integrated marketing efforts are a result of a strong web strategy is Glacéau Vitaminwater, a leader in the enhanced water market. Their target audience is comprised of youth, teens, and adults who are interested in healthy drink options. The majority of the audience tend to either be athletes themselves or sports fans. Vitaminwater employed traditional marketing vehicles such as print and TV advertising but the real thrust of their campaign targeted online channels. At the foundation of their strategy was their website which was created to be more than just a collection of pages with static content. It was intentionally designed to create an engaging experience for visitors. Users could interact with Vitaminwater’s various flavors, read the story behind each flavor, and learn about its nutritional benefits. Visitors could also participate in current promotions and contests. A key contributing factor to growing their market share with their audience was an aggressive focus on social networking giant, Facebook. Most of Vitaminwater’s advertising drove their audience to their Facebook fan page. They choose to use Facebook as a landing page over their own homepage because their marketing team recognized not only how heavily trafficked the site was by their target customers, but also the potential of the social medium to drive their campaign viral.

6

the role of the web in integrated marketing

By channeling their target audience to Facebook, the marketing team was able to establish a permission-based presence in the daily lives of their targets. This created a connection on a very personal level which wouldn’t have been possible through traditional media or even through the corporate website. Vitaminwater turned their audience into brand advocates by making their fan page a cool, fun place to be. They offered Facebook exclusive content, posted insider videos and photos, asked for input and feedback via custom apps, and encouraged participation and expression from their 944,000+ fans. To further strengthen their brand, Vitaminwater used cohesive design, visuals, message, and voice consistently across all of their media channels.
1. “Media Meltdown Creates New Mandate for Integrated Marketing,” Forrester Blog. August 2009.

connect:

effect

blog

twitter

facebook

| email

7

defining goals and measuring roi
establishing smart goals
For marketing managers measuring return on investment (ROI) for their various marketing efforts is a big part of the their job. With the right web partner providing effective tools and analysis, measuring ROI with web-based marketing efforts is easy compared to traditional channels where audience interaction is much more obscure. The first step toward measuring results is setting goals. According to search marketing expert Carrie Hill, “The most successful online marketing campaigns use an idea and a goal and leverage that idea and goal as much as they can before it’s exhausted.” 1 Effective goals need to be SMART Goals - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Bound. Solid examples of SMART web goals include: “Increase traffic by 60% in six months” or “Add 1500 new subscribers to the newsletter over the next year” or “Connect with 10 people per week on Facebook.” Defining web goals is a job best completed before designing a website or other web based marketing tool. Setting goals as an after thought can lead to extended development time, additional incurred cost, and poor performance. Also by proactively establishing goals, web designers can tailor the site structure in a way that will best help achieve the goals set forth.

1. “Going the Distance -- Integration of Your Marketing Efforts”, Searchengingewatch.com. Sept. 2009.

8

the role of the web in integrated marketing

Planning how to reach these goals is surprisingly simple by breaking the down the goal into more easy-to-understand steps. Let’s use XYZ company who sells printing press machinery as an example. Establish a SMART goal ■ Increase web-based revenue by 20% ($20 million) in 12 months.

Knowing the average annual customer purchase amount, determine how many customers are needed to make up the increase in revenue. ■ $500,000 average annual purchase x Y customers = $20 million. ■ 40 customers are needed

Using historical business data, the average rate of converting a perspective into a client can be determined. Let’s say for this example the conversation rate is 30%. ■ 30% conversion rate x Y number of perspective customers = 40 customers ■ 133 perspective customers are needed Knowing on average that 2% of website visitors will convert into perspective customers, determine the number of web visitors needed. ■ 2% x Y number of web visitors = 133 perspective customers ■ 6550 web visitors needed annually or 554 web visitors per month

connect:

effect

blog

twitter

facebook

| email

9

measuring effectiveness
Determining ROI and overall effectiveness of online efforts involves analyzing both quantitative and qualitative data in order to clearly see the bigger picture. Tracking and measuring results also helps marketing managers to make informed adjustments about future marketing efforts. For example, tracking how many visitors reach a goal page on a website can help determine how effective the visual presentation is at guiding users toward the goal page. Another trackable metric is how many people reach a specialized landing page that was inserted in an advertisement. This helps determine specific ROI on that ad. Tracking can even be as specific as determining which search engine keywords bring people to a site, as well as which keyword deliver visitors who make a quality interaction with the site and contribute to goal conversions. Tracking efforts with search marketing can be measured both as a website climbs in the rankings and by observing the surge in traffic that occurs as a result. Determining how well natural search engine traffic compares to pay-per-click results, social media, and offline marketing can be viewed by measuring goal conversion ratios from these various traffic sources. Measuring social media effectiveness involves tracking how many followers, fans, or connections an organization has. In addition its important to keep track of how many engaged conversations are taking place, as well as how much of a website’s traffic is being referred from social media sites. Another key indicator of social media success is to measure how many people are subscribing to a blog. It is also possible to track sales back to their lead source and compare those revenues with the resources expended to convert them to determine ROI.

10

the role of the web in integrated marketing

Since not all social media interaction will translate directly to a sale, it’s also important to measure the chatter or reputation of the brand online. Tools such as Google Alerts and Backtype can search and monitor public perception regarding a company.

connect:

effect

blog

twitter

facebook

| email

11

design and implementation
Website design and implementation standards have come a long way in the last 10 years. What had previously been a world of disjointed and cluttered information, is evolving to clean and simple - even elegant. Modern designs are unique and polished, and are focused around creating rich, engaging user experiences rather than page after page of static content. By analyzing current trends and research it’s evident that consumers expectations have also changed. Consumers are more demanding in terms of what type of content they want and how they want it delivered. In order for marketers to meet the needs of consumers they must reach out to them with a fluid, flexible, cross application effort. Shantanu Narayen, Adobe Systems CEO, said, “We are moving into a new world where from print and just a single screen, we are truly witnessing an era of interactive applications that have to work within the browser, as well as outside the browser, across multiple devices. It’s an exciting time for us.”

objective presentation
Websites have also become more user-friendly and easy to navigate. Professional designers are intentional in creating objective presentations. An objective design successfully channels web visitors down a specific path to reach the defined goals, as opposed to nonobjective design that would involve simply placing images and text on a page without much forethought.

concise message
Consumers have extremely short attention spans. They are constantly bombarded with messages they don’t want and don’t have time for. To cut through this clutter web text needs to be concise, meaningful, and easy-to-read. Since web users skim rather than read wordfor-word, it’s important to only give the user the information they need and avoid the fluffy sales copy.

12

the role of the web in integrated marketing

According to Jakob Nielsen, leading web usability expert, “On the average web page, users have time to read at most 28% of the words during an average visit; 20% is more likely.”

video & motion graphics
Marketers no longer have to rely on the written word to convey their message. Complex or detailed processes are often best expressed visually. It allows quick, precise communication that generates true understanding. Webbased video is a great way to connect potential customers in a meaningful way with a company’s personality and story.

“On the average web page, users have time to read at most 28% of the words during an average visit; 20% is more likely.” Jakob Nielsen, Web usability expert

Having a video presentation on a company’s website is a win-win for both the company and the target audience. It enables the company to differentiate themselves from the competition and to powerfully convey their message in a cost-effective format. From the visitors’ point of view, video can be entertaining and easier to understand than static graphics or print and makes information more easily absorbed. Whirpool does a great example of providing product features and benefits to their visitors in short, enjoyable video segments. Another example of how businesses can leverage video would be a distributor using an interactive motion graphic presentation which would allow customers to see how the ordering process works and to get quotes on the site. Sales people could use it when they are out on a call or at a tradeshow. The ways in which businesses can leverage video are endless. In addition, it’s clear that video is a favorable format for information (and entertainment) with web users consuming videos at a record rate.

connect:

effect

blog

twitter

facebook

| email

13

Online video usage has increased by 53%1 from 2008, while nearly 79%2 of the total U.S. Internet audience has viewed online video.

applications
Dynamic functionality pieces like custom-built applications can help users find information easily and quickly. They can also add a level of engagement and interactivity that can keep brands top of mind.

“Online video usage has increased by 53% from 2008, while nearly 79% of the total U.S. Internet audience has viewed online video.”

For example, a personal injury law firm may implement a contact application on their website that would gather important information about a visitor’s accident and then direct them to the appropriate contact method or to a library article to learn more about their options. Another example is eBay Desktop developed with Adobe Air technology. Once downloaded, the application allows users to experience enhanced browsing and bidding capabilities that are not available in standard web browsers. This tool helps eBay stay top of mind with their customers by allowing users to get real time updates about bids and products, rather than continuously watching bidding activity on the eBay website.

mobile devices
As wireless Internet has become more readily available and affordable, the amount of users consuming content on mobile devices has also increased. According to the Pew Internet Wireless Internet Usage Report,“Use of the internet on mobile devices has grown sharply from the end of 2007 to the beginning of 2009.”

14

the role of the web in integrated marketing

In addition the study also found that, “32% of all Americans have gone online with a mobile device – meaning they have used a cell phone or other handheld device to check email, access the internet for information, or send instant messages.” When developing a comprehensive web strategy it’s important to research opportunities that may exist for mobile applications and sites that can reach the growing mobile audience.

search engine friendliness
When employing a comprehensive web strategy, optimizing websites and social media tools for search engine friendliness should be done before the project launch. By giving pages a clear content focus, the site will be able to establish credibility and compete for priority ranking in search engines more effectively than if search engine optimization considerations were retro-fitted later.
1. “A2/M2 Three Screen Report,” Nielsen/NetRatings. Q1 2009. 2. “Hulu Continues Ascent in U.S. Online Video Market, Breaking Into Top 3 Properties by Videos Viewed for First Time in March,” comScore Press Release. April 2009.

connect:

effect

blog

twitter

facebook

| email

15

attracting target audiences
The most well-designed, user-centric website can only bring value to a company when people visit the site and complete an action. The more traffic a site gets from qualified visitors, the more sales and relationship opportunities result.

natural search engine optimization
One of the most cost-effective ways to increase the amount of qualified traffic to a site is through the use of search engine optimization (SEO), since 70% to 80% of a site’s traffic comes from search engines. Even with the ever-increasing role of the web in everyday life, search is the second most dominate user activity, topped only by email. 49%1 of web users employ search engines daily. Clearly, search engines retain tremendous power in reaching a target audience. In order for search marketing to be effective it’s important that a website appears on the first page of an organic search result. Because 36%2 of search engine users believe that companies whose websites are returned among the top results are the leaders in their field, 68% of search engine users click a link within the first page of results. Therefore, the higher a site appears within the results the more credible the site become in the eyes of the user and the greater chance a user will visit the site. This heat map provided by Google measures composite eye movement from common search engine users. It further illustrates that the majority of users give attention primarily to the top search results. Notice how greatly the top few results dominate the attention of the users.

16

the role of the web in integrated marketing

pay-per-click
Pay-per-click (PPC) is a very viable marketing tactic to drive qualified traffic to a site, especially in the short term. Often a company will utilize PPC in conjunction with SEO until natural SEO efforts lead to increased ranking for their site. Studies have consistently shown that 75%-80% more people click on organic listings versus PPC ads. But while many strategies tend to decrease PPC usage over time, PPC is often useful when launching a new product or pushing a time-sensitive promotion. Another way in which PPC can be helpful is in split testing research of message and keyword strategies, which can shorten costly experimentation time for any new business venture.

social media
Social media is an undoubtedly hot topic for marketers right now. The social media audience is equal to 122 million people in the US, about 64%3 of the total Internet audience. Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter are becoming an integral part of the lives of target customers. People engage in social media, not only for social interaction, but also with the intent of receiving and sharing information about the products and services that impact their lives. Social media gives marketers the ability to connect with their customers in a way that was not previously possible. It has removed boundaries and allows marketers to correspond directly with their customers, in a format where customers feel comfortable and empowered. The result is a mutually beneficial relationship that lets a customers’ opinions and voices be heard, and gives marketers a platform to build exposure loyalty and advocacy for their brand.

connect:

effect

blog

twitter

facebook

| email

17

Currently 88%4 of marketers are using some form of social media in their businesses, but up to 72% are new to social media have only been doing so for a few months. Recently SquareSpace, an online publishing software company leveraged Twitter to generate buzz and interest about their brand. They enticed Twitter users to post about them by offering Twitter users a chance to win one of 30 free iPhones by simply including “#squarespace” in their posts. SquareSpace never anticipated their campaign would work so well. In one month’s time they increased their Twitter following by more than 37,500 people. This resulted in “#squarespace” jumping into the top-trending Twitter topics. Even more encouraging was the 80% increase in traffic to their website and a 21% increase in a conversion goal - trial subscriptions. Social media helped them achieve these measurable results and improve the intangibles of brand awareness and advocacy.
1. “Search Engine Use,” Pew Internet and American Life Project. August 2008. 2. “Blended Search Results Study,” iProspect. April 2008. 3. “Blended Search Results Study,” iProspect. April 2008. 4. “Social Media Marketing Report,” Michael A. Stelzner. March 2009.

18

the role of the web in integrated marketing

ongoing strategy for growth
proactive approach
The best marketers know that an integrated marketing approach with a strong web strategy is an ongoing process of planning, implementing, testing, and modifying. The web is a rapidly evolving tool and it’s important to be proactive when seeking out new technologies. Here are some practical ways marketing directors can begin employing a proactive approach to their web strategies. ■ Review web analytics for a detailed picture of how many people are coming to the site, where they are coming from, and what they are doing while they are on the website. Solid website analytics programs include: ■ Google Analytics ■ StatsAdvisor ■ Survey customers for their likes and dislikes about the website, as well as their communication preferences. ■ Invest in research and evaluating the websites of companies who are are successful at web-based marketing. ■ Keep up to date by reading insightful blogs or white papers on improving web strategy. Must reads include: ■ Mashable ■ WebProNews ■ MarketingSherpa ■ Marketing Profs Daily Fix ■ Partner with a web strategy agency

connect:

effect

blog

twitter

facebook

| email

19

web strategy partners
There are many options when it comes to partnering with a company to develop a web strategy as a part of an overall marketing effort. They can be broken down into three basic categories:

1. Standard Web Developer:
■ Provide short-term solutions ■ Geared towards completing development projects ■ Build basic to mid-level websites ■ Offer a la carte services such as basic SEO or web hosting ■ Lack resources to develop all-encompassing web strategy ■ Rely on customers to have their own plan ■ Focus on budget, not ROI

2. Web Agency:
■ Integrate web strategy with overall marketing program ■ Develop a comprehensive web strategy, including all relevant ingredients such as SEO, social media, pay-per-click, site development, custom applications for the web and mobile devices, etc. ■ Partner in understanding the client and their customers for long-term relationship to deliver measurable results and ongoing growth ■ Design and build mid-to-high-end sites ■ Function as a specialized annex of customer’s organization ■ Test, measure, and prove ROI ■ Focus on achieving the desired results

20

the role of the web in integrated marketing

3. Boutique Agency:
■ Serve Fortune 1000-type client with massive budgets (Coca-Cola, Nike, etc.) ■ Implement super high-end graphics and functionality ■ Update constantly with creativity and bleeding-edge innovation ■ Experiment with new web tactics and tools to enhance brand and presence on the web ■ Employ microsites and social media applications in ever-changing campaigns ■ Start at $100,000 or more per campaign, plus ongoing upgrades and improvements

connect:

effect

blog

twitter

facebook

| email

21

concluding summary
Undoubtedly, the importance of the Internet will continue to grow into the foreseeable future. Investing in a comprehensive web strategy is no longer optional. For mid-sized companies that want to grow it is essential. There are great benefits that come from making the web the foundation of an integrated marketing program. Consumers of all types now use the web for as their primary source for information on the products and services they buy. And with budgets being watched more closely than ever, the web offers the best opportunity to focus outbound messages, generate meaningful interaction, track ROI, and make timely adjustments. For today’s marketing professional, effective web strategy is the most efficient tool for building and maintaining awareness and leads.

22

the role of the web in integrated marketing

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful