Welcome!

Blog Feed Post

The Corporate Website: Reports of Its Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

“Company websites will be gone in the next two years.”

I heard this statement uttered at an event not too long ago by a marketer I know well, and I was taken aback. Sure, I thought, maybe she was just rabble-rousing a bit—trying to get a rise out of people on a shuttle ride to our next event. But whether she believed it or not, it struck me as amazing that we would even consider the topic. While much has changed since the early days of “brochureware,” the corporate website is still, and should remain, the linchpin in the arsenal of most B2B and B2C marketers. In fact, a Gartner survey reports that marketers still rank the corporate website as the most important tool for a successful marketing campaign. For many companies, the website is one of the first and most important touch points a prospect or existing customer will have with your brand. In fact, seven of the last 10 new Right Source clients have asked us to address their website before we jumped into anything like content marketing, search engine optimization or social media.

Now, a little history about how websites got here.

The Dawn of Websites

Websites have come a long way from where I remember them in 1997, coding static HTML and many an animated GIF. If you want to have some fun, look back in Archive.org, the Internet’s way-back machine. At the time, there was a land grab of sorts—it was important to get something up on the web that looked as much like your printed collateral as possible, so that whoever was using this web thing might be able to find your business. There were no real Content Management Systems (CMSs) to speak of, which meant that most marketers who wanted to update their sites either had to wait patiently for IT or rely on outside firms to make updates.

The Rise of the CMS, Search and Social

Fast-forward a few years to the rise of the affordable CMS, and with it the growth of the technology-enabled marketer. Marketers no longer had to rely on outside firms or that overburdened IT staff, giving them freedom to publish more remarkable content—and to experiment more. The corporate website evolution—and the rise of brands as publishers—was beginning. At the same time, the importance of search engines was multiplied when we needed a way to organize this exploding amount of information.

But the corporate website was truly tested with the growth of social media as a channel. Why pay for a website when blogs, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other properties were all free—and already had a built-in audience?

RIP Corporate Website?

Here’s where the crux of the earlier referenced debate comes in—why shouldn’t companies just build their presences in social media and kill the website?

Many brands look to not just leverage social media but put all of their eggs in that basket. Social media properties offer the opportunity for brands to build their presence without having to worry about the technology at all—free blogs hosted on Blogger, free brand pages on Facebook, etc.

Why worry about your own website, self-hosting a blog, paying for servers, etc., when somebody else will do that all for you, and all at no charge? So, why is this such a bad idea?

The Re-Imagined Corporate Website

By now, many of us have read the Gartner research stating that by 2017 the CMO will spend more on IT than the CIO. Whether you believe this to be wholly true or just directional progression (I believe the latter), there’s no question that marketing continues to rely more and more on the core components of content, data, and technology. An effective, modern corporate website helps marketers in each of these areas.

Content  

We cover content marketing in amazing detail on our blog, so I won’t go too deep in this post. Suffice it to say that a great many of the benefits of content are lost if they never live on a property that you own. The content (and links to that content) don’t directly help your domain from a search engine standpoint, don’t live in an environment where you can control the brand, and are subject to somebody else’s whims. If Facebook decides to change the rules on you, you’re stuck. If Google shutters Blogger, you are out of luck. If Yahoo decides they want to run Tumblr differently, too bad for you. You get the idea—a significant portion of your content needs to live on properties you own—whether that’s a blog on your site, a resource center/content library, etc., or you are taking a huge risk with all of that content that you consistently work so hard to create.

Data and Technology

From the ubiquitous use of the term Big Data, to the importance of website analytics, to the rapid growth of data-driven (and content-driven) marketing automation tools, marketers are now being asked to serve as data scientists. Marketing budgets are determined based on metrics, analysis and ROI, not who has the prettiest creative. Corporate websites, and their associated technology, serve as the central station for the collection, analysis, and delivery of many of those data components. The re-imagined website serves as the main marketing hub, handling everything from housing lead generation forms and managing lead scoring activities, to coupling your web usage information with Big Data initiatives. Your website is one of the best sources and destinations for your data-driven marketing. Are you really comfortable with this repository of information and data being outside of your control? Would you be 100 percent certain that you could get the data you wanted when you needed it to show results?

Long Live the Modern Website

We’ve come a long way from the days of static brochures serving as the corporate website. The explosion of content as a primary marketing channel, the increased importance of Search Engine Optimization, and the use of technology and data in marketing have evolved the website into a critical central marketing hub. “Company websites will be gone in the next 2 years?”  I think the exact opposite. While off-site channels will continue to have their place, the most successful marketers will continue to understand that the modern corporate website is here to stay.

Is your website equipped to deliver on the powerful intersection of content, data and technology? Drop your thoughts in the comments below.  If you’re unsure, consider executing a web presence auditcontact us for more information.

 

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Will Davis

Right Source Marketing helps organizations build their marketing strategy, organize the structure to accommodate that strategy, and deliver the specific services to execute that strategy. We do this through a unique model that provides senior level strategic consulting as well as specific services that cover every area of an organization’s marketing plan.

Latest Stories
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to gre...
DevOps is under attack because developers don’t want to mess with infrastructure. They will happily own their code into production, but want to use platforms instead of raw automation. That’s changing the landscape that we understand as DevOps with both architecture concepts (CloudNative) and process redefinition (SRE). Rob Hirschfeld’s recent work in Kubernetes operations has led to the conclusion that containers and related platforms have changed the way we should be thinking about DevOps and...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
The next XaaS is CICDaaS. Why? Because CICD saves developers a huge amount of time. CD is an especially great option for projects that require multiple and frequent contributions to be integrated. But… securing CICD best practices is an emerging, essential, yet little understood practice for DevOps teams and their Cloud Service Providers. The only way to get CICD to work in a highly secure environment takes collaboration, patience and persistence. Building CICD in the cloud requires rigorous ar...
Companies are harnessing data in ways we once associated with science fiction. Analysts have access to a plethora of visualization and reporting tools, but considering the vast amount of data businesses collect and limitations of CPUs, end users are forced to design their structures and systems with limitations. Until now. As the cloud toolkit to analyze data has evolved, GPUs have stepped in to massively parallel SQL, visualization and machine learning.
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
"ZeroStack is a startup in Silicon Valley. We're solving a very interesting problem around bringing public cloud convenience with private cloud control for enterprises and mid-size companies," explained Kamesh Pemmaraju, VP of Product Management at ZeroStack, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Enterprises are adopting Kubernetes to accelerate the development and the delivery of cloud-native applications. However, sharing a Kubernetes cluster between members of the same team can be challenging. And, sharing clusters across multiple teams is even harder. Kubernetes offers several constructs to help implement segmentation and isolation. However, these primitives can be complex to understand and apply. As a result, it’s becoming common for enterprises to end up with several clusters. Thi...