Trending Now

How a smarter website can improve your marketing effectiveness, Part II

It’s time for part two of the three-part series of posts I began next month. (All of which are a collaboration with long-time colleague Scott Hornstein. We owe a tip of the hat to Wayne Cerullo and Phil Shelp for their help and insights.)

We began our last column by discussing how a smarter website can make a difference to your bottom line by increasing engagement, leads, and sales; and by discussing how your approach to building your website is a key part of the success: are you creating a library or a cocktail party? Are you creating a billboard or a conversation?

With those ideas as a backdrop, we continue exploring the unrealized potential in many firms’ websites. Perhaps the biggest missed opportunity is in allowing your website to stand alone.

Your website should never stand alone –  it will always be more effective as part of a larger marketing effort. That means integrating it with your email marketing, social media, and CRM platforms. Also integrate it with your marketing automation system, if you have one.

The goal is to personalize each prospect’s experience based on their behaviors, and what you can learn from their behavior about their interests and the best ways to move them through their buying process. (Yes, it’s their buying process that matters. Your sales process/cycle/funnel isn’t important to them at all.)

You can further increase effectiveness by not treating your audience as a single, undifferentiated monolith. Design your site to meet the needs of your most important audience segments – individually. That may mean separate sets of content for each segment, or it may mean packaging the same content slightly differently to shift the emphasis for each audience segment to the information that is most compelling to them.

Of course, that means doing the work to identify each segment’s pain points and the content they’ll find most compelling. Let’s start with what we call the Prospect to Product Connection.

The Prospect to Product Connection
The Prospect to Product Connection is the insight that allows you not only to identify your best prospects, but to engage with them and win their confidence, their trust, and their business.

Finding that insight requires external research with current prospects and customers to generate a persona that goes beyond basic customer profiles. You want to identify each contributor to the buying process – there’s nearly always more than one role involved on the client side. You are looking for the key prospect insight that gives you a competitive advantage by identifying the needs, attitudes, and motivation of the real people you want to do business with. These insights drive

  • “Persona-lization,” or the website’s ability to speak directly to the individual/persona.
  • The account persona, or an overview of all participants and a map for how the account moves through the decision cycle; who is involved and when.
  • Persuasion-oriented content. Tell the visitor why they should care, why they need to change to solve their issue, and why you’re best suited to implement that change.
  • Use the KPI to identify the big idea. Communicate the big idea. Roll out the big idea.

What’s Next?

Next time around, we’ll dig a bit deeper into the metrics that matter and more. Until then, don’t forget about our website assessment tool, which you can use to see your site through your prospects’ eyes.

Andrew Schulkind

Since 1996, Andrew Schulkind has asked clients one simple question: what does digital marketing success look like, and how can marketing progress be measured? A veteran content marketer, web developer, and digital strategist, Andrew founded Andigo New Media to help firms find a more strategic and productive mix of tools that genuinely support online brand goals over time. With a passion for true collaboration and meaningful consensus, his work touches social media, search-engine optimization, and email marketing, among other components. He views is primary goal as encouraging engagement. Getting an audience involved in your story requires solid information architecture, a great user experience, and compelling content. A dash of common sense doesn’t hurt, either. Andrew has presented at Social Media Week NY and WordCampNYC, among other events, on content marketing and web-development topics. His technology writing appears on the Andigo blog, in a monthly column on, and for print and online publications like The New York Enterprise Report, Social Media Today, and GSG Worldwide’s publications LinkedIn & Business, Facebook & Business, and Tweeting & Business. Andrew graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy from Bucknell University. He engages in a range of community volunteer work and is an avid fly fisherman and cyclist. He also loves collecting meaningless trivia. (Did you know the Lone Ranger made his mask from the cloth of his brother's vest after his brother was killed by "the bad guys?")

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top Back to top