Marketing Objectives for Your Web Site

The company model defines how your Web site fits into your company – how it will help your organization grow. Direct revenue is a favorite Web site business model, but it’s not the only one. Some business models include:

– Direct Revenue / e-Commerce
Some of the most known Web site objectives relate to e-commerce or other kinds of direct revenue from the website. That is, the purpose is to establish a direct source of revenue from orders or advertising space.

– Build Brand Image
A long-term marketing objective for your website may be to improve sales by building an image for your product, manufacturer, and/or business. Increasingly, this is an explicit goal for large companies with ample budgets.
Small-budget companies can follow suit on a cheaper scale by building a picture during the natural course of advertising. You can achieve so by consistently presenting similar design elements and”personality” at every point of contact with the world – whether that contact be physical or virtual.

– Boost Customer Support
Your website can increase revenue indirectly by improving customer service. When clients are more satisfied, they tend to spread the word about your products in addition to purchase more often themselves.
Clients often do product research on an internet site then later place orders via catalog, telephone, sales representatives, a physical retail store, email, and/or fax. In all these cases, a Web site indirectly contributes to building the organization.

– Reduce Operating Costs
A Web site can help your business by reducing prices. Automated customer service functions – Web-based FAQ, order status reports, product specifications, etc. – can lower the amount of customer service calls, reducing customer service labor costs.
A Web presence can also lower operating costs by streamlining communication with your business partners. Business-to-business companies can create secure Web space to communicate and collaborate with customers.
It’s even possible to have individual, personal sites for major customers. A central”meeting place” that archives communications and other customer-specific information can cut down on administrative costs related to”phone tag”, queries, and/or the need to keep all players”in the loop”.
On the supply side, you can reduce costly business disruptions by providing key sellers Web-based access to your inventory or other real time info.

Customer Stages: Awareness, Interest, Trial, and Duplicate
When placing your marketing goals, it might help to think in terms of awareness, interest, trial, and repeat. These concepts are often used in advertising to describe the phases a new client (or site visitor, in this case) goes through on the path to becoming loyal to your organization.
The possible visitor should first know your website. Once aware, you need to spark an interest with the possible visitor, inspiring her/him to trial, or react to a call to action on your website. After (s)he visits your website, that person gets faithful by revisiting in the future.
You might be able to effectively build your company by focusing on a couple of awareness, interest, trial, or repeat visits, then changing your focus over time. If your site is brand new or known to very few people, as an example, your plan is very likely to focus on ways to increase interest and awareness.
A focus on interest and trial may be in order, but if you receive an above-average amount of”window shoppers” – visitors who never buy (or don’t respond to another call to action).
Additionally, if you sell multiple products or something that needs replenishing from your website, focus on repeat purchases may be more successful.

Setting Your Marketing Objectives
While there are different approaches to setting goals, my preference would be to create a single objective for a website that may encompass more than one approach to business building.
From the marketing strategy, I include different strategies and tactics to address each strategy suggested in the website objective. I also like to notice in the objective the client stage(s) and business model(s) I will concentrate on in the marketing program. This makes it much easier to decide upon the best marketing strategies.
Another strategy is to address the customer phases individually, in a summary or write-up. With either approach, you should view your marketing strategy as evolving over time. As the business environment and situations change, your focus should change too.
As soon as you get past the launch stage of a new website, by way of instance, you’re in a better position to evaluate site traffic, so your plan may change from focusing on awareness and attention to building loyalty and trial. Similarly, a better comprehension of site visitors may direct you to change your business model to more closely manage your business’s and Internet customers’ needs.