Page 1

Considerations: Website as Marketing Hub

When we talk about the website as a hub, then, it is not as a replacement to all other marketing channels. It is really more of a method by which we can measure relative success across all channels. There has been much talk about using the university website as a marketing hub. What does that really mean, though? Does it mean that one should direct all traffic to the website? Does it mean that the web should replace offline marketing? Is the purpose of it brand consistency? How much effort is required to effectively do that? Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you should treat your university website as the hub of your marketing efforts and what it really means.

Offline-Online Conundrum

People enjoy receiving letters in the mail. Some people still enjoy writing letters (believe it or not). Some people prefer the telephone to an online donation form. Every person has their own communication channel preferences. That is OK! They are entitled to their preferences. However, the Internet has become the standard by which we examine everything. With the Internet, we are able to measure so much more than before. When we talk about the website as a hub, then, it is not as a replacement to all other marketing channels. It is really more of a method by which we can measure relative success across all channels. Measurement and strategy can then better inform brand consistency. This can easily be applied through website measurement tools such as Google Analytics. Without an analytics tool, success cannot fully be measured.

Measuring Relative Success

When we think of measuring the success and failure of marketing campaigns on the Internet, we think of external indicators. For instance, if Jim receives postcard X and goes to the website listed on the postcard to register for an event, then postcard X is a success. This makes perfect sense! However, this model breaks down when there are many different channels and many different messages that Jim receives. If Jim receives a postcard, an email, and a letter all asking him to register for the event, it is difficult to determine which channel pushed Jim to register. And if each channel sends Jim to the same website, then there is no real way to measure what tipped Jim over. Let’s start by simplifying our definition of measurement. In the line of thought from

305 Second Ave Ste. 216 | Cedar Rapids, IA 52401 | www.convergeconsulting.org


Over time, with analysis of the patterns, you can begin to shift your marketing dollars towards the stations that provide the best results.

You can even test the messages to see which messages are most effective.

Douglas Hubbard, let’s think of measurement as simply a reduction of uncertainty. This frees us from the bonds of having to use a precise measurement with exact certainty in every instance. Some instances merely call for a reduction of uncertainty.

how successful each channel really is. Over time, with analysis of the patterns, you can begin to shift your marketing dollars towards the stations that provide the best results. We’re thinking with the end goal in mind—results, results, results.

With this new consideration of measurement, if Jim receives postcard X, an email, and a letter all asking Jim to register for an event, with each piece sending Jim to a separate webpage, then the webpage on which Jim completes the event registration form very well points to what influenced Jim enough to take the next step. The mailing that causes Jim to take action and complete our goal is, by our definition of measurement, successful because we have reduced our uncertainty of its effectiveness.

Improving Visitor Experience

If we were only looking at Jim, then even with the reduction of uncertainty that we could glean from him, our uncertainty would still be pretty high as compared to a large group of people. Over time, though, given the same criteria and sent to a large group of people we could begin to notice trends. Looking deeper into the analytics we could begin to determine that the postcard caused 40% of the recipients to visit the webpage, but only 7% registered for the event. However, 35% of the recipients of the email visited and 15% registered for the event. By examining the results of each channel and comparing them both to the other channels and also to historical data for the same channel, we can begin to make better decisions about the marketing efforts. We can reallocate funds and energy to the successful channels for each campaign. This can yield much better results. Apply the same concept to testing each source. Perhaps you use the same or similar messaging on three different television stations. If you test each by sending each one to a different web page on your website (hub), then you can compare the relative success of each TV station to one another. While not all viewers of the TV ad will actually go to the web page specified in the ad, some will. Those that do go will give you a better indication of

By utilizing your website as an effective marketing hub, you can better ensure consistent quality of your brand standards. If you drive them to your website through a specific campaign, your website is able to reinforce the brand messaging within that campaign. Through A/B and multivariate testing methods you can even test the messages to see which messages are most effective. By using multivariate testing you can test headlines, images, and calls-to-action all at the same time. You can find the exact results of which combination of headline, image, and call-to-action provided the greatest amount of results. While this might be possible through traditional print methods, performing the test on the website is far less expensive and provides faster results. Most importantly, however, you are improving the user experience of your website by using the winning combination since you will be using the headline, image, and call-to-action that most commonly resonates with your target audience. Even by merely performing incremental changes, you can vastly improve the usability, clarity, and brand consistency of your website as well as your larger campaigns overall. You were able to accomplish this by effectively using your website as your marketing hub.

Use the Hub

We have looked at ways of measuring which channel is most effective, which source, and which message. We could not easily do this without using the website as the marketing hub. The measurement tools on the website— both analytics and website optimization tools— provides a means by which we can reduce our uncertainty of how a campaign is performing. We can confidently shift our focus and funds to the better performing channels and maximize the potential of the campaign while it is still going on, rather than only guessing at the results after the campaign has finished. Reduce your uncertainty, and be sure to use your marketing hub.

305 Second Ave Ste. 216 | Cedar Rapids, IA 52401 | www.convergeconsulting.org

Considerations Marketing Hub C  

Measuring Relative Success When we talk about the website as a hub, then, it is not as a replacement to all other marketing channels. It is...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you