Who should own your website? Marketing? Sales? Digital? Headquarters? Regions or countries?Group or op-cos? I’ll stop there as the list could go on, but the point is that there are lots of internal interests involved when it comes to the website. Of course that’s no surprise given that every company’s website is their shop window to the world.
But the question of who should own the website is more important today than ever before. This is because the purpose of a website is going through yet another period of change.
Let’s start with what all too many website are today: sales tools. Whether a B2B eCommerce site or a cookie-cutter B2B site – you know the type I’m sure: “we are the leaders in abc and here are all the products or services we sell”. Throw in an “about us” and a bit of news and hey presto, one incredibly sales based website.
So why has marketing historically been the website owner given it’s a just a sales conduit? Maybe it’s because it’s seen as the communications, creativity and colouring-in department? Whatever the answer, the reason that marketing should own the website today is very different to whatever reason marketing might have been responsible for it in the past.
To explain why this is the case, it is important to point out what was largely missing from the vast majority of traditional websites: engagement. When marketing sought audience engagement, it went elsewhere. Social media platforms, sponsorship, events, campaigning or indeed anywhere else other than its prime piece of real estate. The only role the website would play in all of that would be to act as the destination to send the engaged audience to…although even that did not always happen.
This is a complete missed opportunity and it’s time for change.
If you create engaging content then the best place for that engagement to happen is your website. What I am talking about here is content that your audience wants to read, watch or view because they find value in doing so and are prepared to come back for more. This is, of course, the essence of great content marketing and there are numerous examples emerging of where both B2C and B2B companies are doing this really well.
And by the way this is not to say that, for example, social media should be ignored. Far from it, but instead such platforms should be viewed as a stepping stone and driver of engaged audiences to your website. And once there, you can plan and fulfil their journey towards your commercial goal which, conveniently for the audience and for you, can take place all within your site. You then have the ability to use powerful analytics to see how your content is performing, where your audience is on the journey and, from a marketing perspective, how this is supporting sales enablement and sales attribution.