As discussed in “The Clock is Ticking on Big Advertising Agencies & Outbound Marketing,” the continued growth and evolution of the Internet as a marketing channel is putting the squeeze on bulky, legacy ad agencies and traditional outbound marketing. Large companies like Coca-Cola and Procter and Gamble are retooling their marketing philosophies and budgets, putting further pressure on old-school agencies. These big advertising agencies aren’t the only organizations feeling the heat either. The kill-zone is expanding to include the local web design and development shops.
Most average-sized cities have six to a dozen or more companies available to develop business websites. Many of these development companies have their own custom content management system (CMS) used to deploy websites. These can be problematic because they are often expensive while lacking features, scale, flexibility and sufficient support.
Joomla, Drupal, Wordpress and others are available for those that don’t use a custom CMS. In addition, there is a plethora of DIY and cheap readymade template solutions available to businesses. Examples include Weebly, Intuit and Yellowbook360.
Pricing can vary from free to tens of thousands of dollars.
There are a lot of web development solutions available today, but which one is the best? Many would answer that question with, “It depends on the goals of the company.” Regardless of the specific goals of the company, its needs fall into one of two categories: generation two or three online marketing. The problem is that most fall for a generation one solution, with bells and whistles, without even realizing it.
Most of the web development solutions mentioned above have one thing in common – they come out of the box as a generation one web solution; also known as a brochure. However, some solutions offer landing page development and lead capture, but that alone does not make a website generation two or three.
In order to make the transition to generation two a robust content marketing campaign with lead capture, identification, nurturing, qualification, scoring, and segmentation is required.
This approach down-range (on the Internet) draws the enemy (web surfer) into an AO (website) and eventually to a choke point (landing page) where they are engaged (converted to a lead) with overlapping fields of fire (content) and the likelihood of surrender (customer acquisition) is optimized through the use of artillery (lead nurturing) – Fire for Effect!
None of the solutions described above provide all of these functions alone.
Having a brochure website, deploying social media campaigns, SEO, PPC and email marketing does not move an online campaign from generation one to generation two, either. These tactics merely increase traffic and provide little predictability or scale to lead generation or new customer acquisition.
In order for a web development company to move a client from generation one to generation two requires the use of a CMS, CRM, marketing automation software, multivariate testing software, email service provider, publishing software, PPC software, social media management software, SEO software, analytics, IP tracking and advanced behavior tracking.
Utilizing all of these different tools and platforms is an inefficient approach to online marketing, creates silos and provides comparably gracile returns when juxtaposed with the alternative.
As demonstrated in The Content Marketing Manifesto, a robust content marketing campaign (five to 21 pieces of new content per week) delivers web traffic, leads and customers in a consistent and upward-mobile fashion. It acts as a force multiplier by exponentially driving traffic and conversions from organic search, social media, email, referral and direct sources over time.
Once businesses figure this out, web development shops that provide no content marketing solution will start to lose ground to those inbound marketing agencies that do.
Rather than inefficiently deploying the multitude of online tools described above in order to execute generation two or three online marketing, a consolidated approach is ideal. Web marketing tools from companies like HubSpot, Eloqua, Marketo and Act-On represent various consolidation levels of the tools above.
Each solution offers a much higher level of efficiency, scale and support with proven, predictable returns; as opposed to the custom CMS solutions and the patchworked software mentioned above. They also allow for the efficient deployment of generation two or three online marketing.
Web development shops have two options to escape their inevitable demise – specialize or become an inbound marketing agency. There will always be a place for specialization in the online marketing world. Web development shops can create the next great widget, social media plugin, game, mobile app or mobile platform. Or, they can be the hired guns of app development by offering their services to companies in need.
The other option is for web development shops to drop their custom or open source CMS, push their support and hosting out of their wheel house and rely on proven, scaled and efficient generation two or three online marketing technologies (the better mouse-trap).
This will get them started on the path to becoming a full-fledged inbound marketing agency. They’ll need to provide content creation and distribution services, design, content/sales funnel mapping and robust lead nurturing. These are the services that will be expected by tomorrow’s clients, because a successful online marketing mission necessitates delivering the right content to the right person on the right channel at the right time. That's what right looks like. Hoooah!
Image One: Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson
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Image Three: Judge Rock
Join us for an exciting new webinar on Wednesday, July 11 at 12PM EDT, 9AM PDT. Backed with real data, we'll prove that content marketing in an invaluable business tool and is the foundation of successful Internet marketing. We'll also discuss how content marketing affects organic, referral, social media and direct traffic to a website.