Online marketing for business—do it right, and make it personal!

Posted by ImageWorks Creative Team May 10, 2010

A shift towards online marketing!  Duh, didn’t see this coming.

In a recent study of employees involved in the marketing of their company, Unica found that 85% are shifting more towards web based and online marketing. Additionally, 85% listed web based and/or online marketing as somewhat or very important.

What is even more interesting to me is that nearly 90% of these companies plan on personalizing their website towards their target market. What does that mean? I will tell you, young Jedi.

5 Key Steps towards personalizing your website:

  1. Interactive Home Page —You can find details at but basically web 2.0 is about letting the customer drive the experience; it’s not about broadcasting what you think they want to hear. This is done through a website design that is interactive and reacts in an intuitive nature to their expectations and needs.
  2. Outside-In Navigation Design with embedded Calls To Action (CTAs)— A customer doesn’t want to see a navigation that reminds them of high school calculus. Keep it simple….try to avoid multiple menus, especially ones that crisscross, like an Excel spread sheet. If they don’t get it in seconds they will go back to Mr. Google and search for your competitors. Additionally, the main categories should not only leave no doubt where a user can find pertinent information, but also expose the subcategories in an orderly and exclusive way.
  3. Modules in CMS that allow home page offers and site-wide content to be updated on the fly. These modules let you link in landing pages, whitepapers, videos, content, etc that can appeal to your customer’s exact needs. Best of all you can measure the results and make adjustments accordingly.
  4. Targeted Landing Pages these pages are easily created to synchronize with any product, service, offer, promotion, event, etc. They are highly “personalize-able” to your customers’ exact needs. And they’re measurable.  Expect this trend to grow as well as long tail search terms that will result in first page rankings for such pages.
  5. Sub Pages that rank directly to certain keywords that are consistent with users desired search terms — Instead of sending visitors to your home page, visitors now use long tailed search terms (more descriptive  and less competitive). Design your online architecture to maximize descriptive keywords to particular pages that represent such products and services. Additionally, a linking campaign to such pages will help.

While the above steps deal with what happens once a visitor LANDS on your site…first we need to uncover what strategies are successful in driving in relevant and qualified traffic.  Based on our own site and the traffic trends we observe for ourselves and our clients, IWS recommends the following:

Our Top 5 Online Marketing Strategies for 2010 (Just our opinion, but backed by past results and current indicators. Wager?)

  1. Email – Still far and away the best ROI
  2. Organic SEO
  3. PPC Advertising
  4. Content Publishing
  5. Social Media Marketing (#4 and #5 are joined at the hip)

Marketing research groups like Forester and Marketing Sherpa provide great research and case studies on this…and the top three haven’t moved in years, however, expect to see Social Media make a big play as it gets lumped into the category of “PR”. Sharing information across the dozens of highly popular networks is making a huge splash in the way we market…and it’s no longer for celebrities and retail products, its time to get social in B2B and even B2G!

Stay tuned:

Look for more insight into the top 5 strategies above and exactly how to do each of them and get rockstar results. WE will try to make this a monthly series, completely free. In the meantime, use our menu bar on our website and you can gain insight into each of these tactics at

Upcoming Webinars:

“Brand Rejuvenation for SME’s” (So Easy a Caveman, oh never mind, they had no internet!)

“B2B Email Marketing Tactics, Strategies, Tales and Short Stories"

is a marketing strategist, speaker, author, and founder and CEO of ImageWorks, a leading web design and online marketing agency based in DC, CA and Fla. Scott has worked personally on over 1,000 branding projects for companies and agencies of all sizes. He also claims to still be able to dunk a basketball, though this is unconfirmed.

We’d love to hear your own views on this topic. Why not let us know what you think in the comments below?

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