The central message of 2014 for digital marketers couldn't be muchclearer:  give customers the information they need on whatever devicesthey're using.

That theme surfaced again Tuesday in a CMSWire webinar sponsored by Ektron, "Website Redesign: Strategy First, Tactics Second." Two Ektron executives, CEO Bill Rogers and CMO Lou Jordano, provided a roadmap they said will help marketers attract more business from different types of customers. You canwatch the webinar here or at the end of this story.

"It's tactics that win marketing battles, but strategy that winswars," said Jordano, who led the first part of the presentation. "You have to have your website strategy clearly in mind before kicking offany redesign or rebranding project." 

Why Do a Redesign?


Jordano identified four major reasons that marketers start on the road to redesign: optimizing for mobile, adapting to organizational changes, updating look and feel, and putting management tools into the hands of marketers.

"These are really not binary choices here. It's not one or theother," said Jordano. "There's typically some combination for why people want to redesign or rebrandtheir websites."

The effort is complicated by the addition of quickly evolving communication channels.Jordano cited an Aberdeen Research report that found 58 percent of marketers usenine channels, including five that are digital: web, mobile, email, social andvideo.  He offered tips on the first four of those digital paths. "The operable principle here is brand and messaging consistency throughall these channels and formats," he said.

Regarding the web, he noted the growing need for marketers to be able to control sitecontent without depending on help from developers. "You really want to thinkabout putting the true power of campaign management into the hands of the folkswho are creating the content and writing the copy," he said.

For mobile, he said, the key goal is to deliver the same experiences, tailoredto any tablet or phone through responsive design. "Ideally, you'd use anapproach that relies on adaptive images and immediately create a lot ofdifferent sizes of that image to fit the screen real estate of differentdevices," Jordano said.

With email, the CMS can serve as a "single source of truth," hesaid. "You pull the content ideally that goes into your email subject lines,for example, and the core content can come directly from your content managementsystem."

Social has the potential to undercut other channels because the look and feelof a particular network is likely to differ substantially from the channelsdeveloped by the company. So it's important to be able to pull content from oneto another,  he said.


5 Strategies

To help marketers juggle those factors, Jordano offered five designprinciples that factor in different types of users, the customer journey,personalization tools and the multichannel world of marketing today.

Learning Opportunities

  • Know your audience and the user journey. This starts by responding quicklyto the needs of the customers who come to the site and providing assets thatanswer those interests. "Your marketing person really should be able tocreate many of these assets, like your call to action, your landing pages,your thank-you pages," he said.
  • Develop great content for each step in the journey.  "You want to have thingslike infographics and blogs and ebooks and white papers and webinars likethis  one," Jordano said. "And lots of  videos. As much video as you can."
  • Consider creating personalized, multichannel experiences. "Thekey takeaway here is we need to be able to work across lots of different typesof mobile devices," he said. "The need to project your brand in acompelling fashion and consistent way across all these device types is going tobe really important."
  • Make the website marketer-centric. "The marketing folks arethe ones who are going to interact frequently with systems like Salesforce andyour marketing automation email system," said Jordano. "So making surethey can interact with them quickly really saves time down the road in terms oflaunching campaigns and what not."
  • Continuously analyze outcomes. "The goal is to have analyticsin context so you can quickly uncover those actionable insights," he said."Understanding what has worked and what is working now can help youunderstand what is going to work."

High Energy

Rogers provided a short case study about OVO Energy that reflected Jordano's ideas. OVO was established a few years ago to challenge the"Big 6" energy providers in the UK.  "They really wanted tooffer an alternative," he said.


At first, the company found it was difficult to get customers to switch to its service, even though there were many complaints about the incumbent providers.Then the company surveyed the market to find cost savings and trust in thecompany were key issues for the consumers.

"When you start to look at your customers, you have to think about whatkind of questions are they actually asking," Rogers said. "Ultimately,what you're doing is creating a number of groups. You start surveying people andyou build personas of the type of the people who are coming into yourorganization."

OVO then built user journeys and mapped its content to those, using its webcontent management system to create personalized content for the different typesof users coming to the site.

Rogers said OVO's quote-and-switch conversions rose to 0.98 percent from 0.26percent in 2013, while its visitors rose more than 200 percent to 1.1 million.

Title image by  (Flickr) via a CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license.