This is the second in a 3 part series on how you can make your website a lot smarter, and work a lot harder.
In our experience, companies that implement these ideas have seen a 10% – 20% improvement in results – engagement, leads, and sales – within the first 6 months.
Your website does not stand alone, but must be part of a larger marketing effort, from email marketing to social media and integrated with your CRM or marketing automation platform to personalize each prospect’s experience based on their interests and past interactions, moving them along the consideration journey.
Your website should address the needs of each audience segment separately. Once you’ve identified which executives contribute to the purchase decision, populate areas of your site with information that most directly addresses their considerations.
Your website must provide strong competitive differentiation based on who your prospects identify as your competitors and stressing the differentiators they find most compelling.
Three Critical Success Factors
I can’t give you the dissertation on smarter websites, but I can share these the three critical components of smart websites:
- The Prospect to Product Connection
- Metrics that Matter
We’ll cover CSF 1 today, and 2 and 3 next week.
CSF 1: The Prospect to Product Connection
Let’s get very serious about what connects your products to your prospects. What is the insight on how to win your prospects and not just identify them when they cruise by.
New external research with current prospects and customers will generate a prospect persona for each of the contributors to the buying center. Each is an archetype, with substance, form, and personality. They provide a window into a company’s consideration journey and buying process.
This research also generates a Key Prospect Insight (KPI) which provides the competitive superior insight into these real people regarding their needs, information behavior, attitudes, and motivation – the prospect to product connection, which drives segmentation, personalization.
Prospect personas 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, by persona, why they should care, why they need to change to solve their issue, and why should we change to you.
- Positioning. Use the KPI to identify the big idea. Communicate the big idea. Roll out the big idea.
The Next Step
Actually, there are two next steps:
- Get a better grip on the prospect-centricity of your website by taking our website self-assessment. Looking with Your Prospect’s Eyes
- Look for next week’s post, Part 3: Commitment
*I’d like to acknowledge the help and assistance of Wayne Cerullo, Phil Shelp and Andrew Schulkind in developing this post.
This series is adapted from a post originally appearing on the MENG blog.