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Rethink Your Website: The Marketing Side of a Customer Experience Platform

by Article by Dan Moyle Dan Moyle | June 24, 2020 at 9:00 AM

Welcome to part two of exploring using your website / CMS as a customer experience platform. You can go back to part 1, the introduction, here.

This post will explore what a customer experience platform, built via your website and CMS,  looks like through the lens of marketing.

Thinking of your website and the CMS behind it from a marketing and demand perspective feels very familiar.

What's going to be more unfamiliar as we go forward however, is when your team starts to leverage it a bit more from a sales and then a service perspective. When we think of them from these different lenses, there are different needs that show up that might otherwise be missed. 

For a few years now we've thought of the website from a "smarketing" perspective, aligning sales and marketing. It's time to grow beyond that and think about your CMS from a Revenue Operations perspective, bringing together marketing, sales and service, then combining that with an operations mindset. 

Let's Start with Marketing and Demand Generation

Historically, your website was created so that you essentially had a glorified brochure. That was step one.

Step two was when you started thinking about it from a demand point of view.

"How can we start attracting the right people at the right time?"

For marketers at brands around the world this started out with writing some blogs, creating calls-to-action to put on the blog posts, pushing viewers to a landing page and using an offer and a form to capture the context or info and then nurture the heck out of them until they become a customer. What's interesting is that process really hasn't changed over the years other than adding in pillar pages and even un-gating some additional content. Sure, as marketers we injected conversational marketing into the mix, too. But in general that's the world we operate in right now. That's modern marketing.

When we think of marketing from a website and CMS point of view, it's it's very familiar. We have to get them to the website, we have to have the highest possible conversion numbers on our landing pages and then what kind of automation and what kind of nurturing we can do in order to get a salesperson on the line.

So when we think of marketing's goal for most brands, it's not to get a customer in most cases (unless you're eCommerce).  Marketing's goal is to essentially get a sales qualified lead, so it can be it can be passed off to sales on a silver platter.

Think of your website from a Demand Gen Point of View

When we think about it from a demand point of view, it's "Maybe I already know Dan Moyle at Impulse Creative, or I know he exists, how can I target Dan Moyle? And then how can I entice him to reach out, visit my website, and see my product or my service and make him want to have a conversation with sales?"

Your homepage does not have to be an answer to everyone. It can be the answer to the one person on the other side.

Marketing tool brands like Drift or Terminus talk about this from a software point of view. "Our software can enable this." But we see virtually no one talking about how your website is still statically the same.

This is where marketing and your CMS can really come into play. HubSpot makes this easy to do. But you still have to think about all the complexities of it.

If you have that contact that comes in from email, if they come in from the source email, then they're known by you and your system. There's a campaign that someone shared, essentially, with smart content with contact contact personalization, because you've got the contact relationship manager (CRM) hooked up to the CMS.

You've got the ability to combine those two things into one customer experience, which really is the marketing side of this experience in general. The key is, your homepage does not have to be an answer to everyone. It can be the answer to the one person on the other side. In other words, you could have a "We help companies grow" on your home page by default. If you don't know who the contact is, it's general.

But when you know the contact, you could essentially say "We help Acme Co. grow. Here's how."

Maybe that could come across pretty creepy if "it's the first date", if you're just getting someone that comes to the site. But you could find ways to make that button, for instance, unbeknownst to the user, point to a industry page that is relevant based on the industry.

As a CX Platform, your website contextually changes based on the information that's known. That becomes really powerful. But it's also one of those things that if you don't have the contact side of the customer experience platform put together you're not going to be able to do it well. And that's really the big catch here.

The importance of housing your data all in one spot becomes incredibly important.

If you have a tool, like Terminus allowing you to get in front of contacts, those contacts, as they're being referred back to your company  will have some kind of data attributed to them. Maybe it's contact ID or actual contact information. Maybe it's just knowing that a specific user clicked on an ad and got to a page, where that page acts the same way for them as an anonymous person that would otherwise go to that same page. If it's the same experience for both, there's a huge opportunity to improve your marketing, improve the experience and increase conversions.

What's Next for Marketing and the Website/CMS?

What's next for marketers thinking about the website and CMS in the customer experience world? 

Remington says first, it has to be flexible. And that's one of the beauties of the HubSpot CMS Hub. It's incredibly flexible. You're able to change essentially whole elements on a page if/when you need to.

Here at Impulse Creative, one of the things that we're doing in our quests for that effortless customer experience is to automatically recommend content for you based on our interactions and data, along with what you've said you want to accomplish (either explicitly or implicitly).

For instance, maybe you come in on a page and you convert on something like our how-to guide for inbound marketing, but you also come through on our social media for business guide.

Those two actions, which for mere mortals we'll say, are necessary form submissions. What context do you know about someone that has done those two actions? They've downloaded a use case or a case study on how inbound marketing helped the manufacturing industry, and then they download as social media for business ebook, they care, they essentially care about acquisition.

So if we know that we could say, we can hedge our bets to say 80% of the time people who like these two things are interested in acquisition-type activities. Then you could essentially play like Amazon and say, "People like you also enjoy these types of articles."

Marketers get really active activated, if you will, to try and close the deal for sales. In effect pushing for buy now, when that's not really their job. Their job is to tee up the qualified lead. And so if you do this the right way, you're recommending that extra content. And the sum of the whole is greater than the parts. Now all of a sudden, we start to know if they engage in that stuff that things become more valuable, but then also send more data to the sales team.

So while much of this feels familiar because we know the website and CMS from a marketing perspective, there's still much room for growth with CX. 

Part 3 is next, where we'll explore the Customer Experience Platform from a sales perspective.

▢️ Go to Part 3β€”Rethink Your Website: The Sales Side of a Customer Experience Platform