Working with various types of organisations over the years to develop a new website, we've found a common thread. You've progressed beyond the online brochure idea and explored the possibilities that a content management system offers, but are you making the most of your investment?
Just as most of us wouldn't buy a $2,000 laptop and use it only to send emails, it's a pity to see a major business investment left dormant until a few years down the track when we notice it is tired and out of date, and needs a major investment again. We simply need to change our thinking, so that our web marketing processes are seen as an ongoing business activity, not a one-off project. Here are some things to consider:
Allocate people resources
The internet is taking over as our number one marketing tool, even in the industries which are embracing it more slowly. That's good news: it's environmentally friendly and the costs of sending out new information are relatively low because there are no printing or postage costs. So we can keep information flowing to our clients and potential clients, but we need to allocate people resources to do this.
If you have a content management system which allows you to update your content, use it to continually provide new information or opportunities for your clients. Combine it with a Spam Act compliant email marketing system to keep in touch with your customers and point them to your news. Better still, build your own community through the use of social media. Keep in touch with your web developer for advice about new applications which may be incorporated into you current site.
Use marketing principles to assess the results of your campaigns. Our Drupal websites integrate with Google analytics so you can measure the click-through responses to your website promotions or email marketing campaigns, as well as measuring the rate of conversion to sales. You can vary all sorts of things: eg the timing of the campaign, the mode of delivery, the use of pay-per-click advertising, the position on your home page of your promotion, and track the results so you can repeat your best efforts.
Hold your website accountable
Look at your website as a business tool and make it prove its worth. Is your website integrating with your other business systems or are you having to double-enter data? Could your website be set up to replace some of your business software: so many applications are becoming web-based now anyway. An intranet is just another form of website, and you can have a Drupal intranet without ongoing licensing costs.