Examining My Former Employer’s Social Web Strategy : Part 3

@Kevin | Strategy

In the first two parts of this series I shared with you the basic outline for my companies social web and internet marketing strategy. There may have been a few traditional things mixed in there as well… I’m lazy and just didn’t feel like editing. Now I am going to compare my list to Jeremiah’s, I think we are on the same page for a lot of things. Some however, I haven’t thought of or I don’t feel that they are worth the time and effort.

The reason why I am doing this is that I think it is a good exercise for me to compare what I have drawn up versus what someone else has drawn up. I think this is something everyone should do when looking at their marketing strategy for their company to start the new year, hopefully these posts inspire you to do that.

(Note: Under each numbered section is Jeremiah’s brief explanation. I feel that these give a great overview of the section I am about to discuss, these are taken from his site. I am not taking credit for these explanations.)

1) Corporate Domain

This has been a standard since the late 90s, nearly every company, mom and pop boutique now has a web presence. The primary purpose of this is to provide the public with information about your company, it’s products, and anything else they may need. Corporate websites often compose of several features that are listed below.

A) Corporate Site- We are okay here. If we didn’t have a corporate site I wouldn’t even have a job, so this first basic step is covered.

B) Portal Strategy- Doesn’t really apply for my company or for current social web marketing according to Jeremiah.

C) Microsites for Segmentation- We have created three sites that focus on specific products and deals we have. We are planning to launch two more this year. Content creation on these sites has become hard to balance when you mix in the blog as well. This honestly is becoming a full time job in itself.

D) Interactive Web Marketing- My company has done a poor job in creating any type of interactivity. In fact creating a poll on their blog page was a major first step. I think this is something that is hard to pull off for a small business and while larger companies can pull it of well it is a struggle to create flash/ajax based games or apps that can be used on your site or others. This is currently something that isn’t on our radar due to price and programming constraints.

E) Intranet- We have extremely poor internal communication and this is something that I left off my general plan because I feel it is such an uphill battle to remedy. However, I do believe that this is really important but I know that this is a step my company isn’t ready to take. Getting a standard operating procedure and other internal corrections is much more important.

F) Extranet- We have private spot on our site reserved for specific customers that marries our corporate blog with other announcements, this was an important project in the second half of last year and will continued to be maintained.

G) Regionalization- International landing pages is our first step int global expansion and dominance.

2) Search Marketing

Ever heard of Google? Many prospects use google in the ‘hunt’ phase for a product. By paying a third party or a search engine directly you can obtain a strategy to get your website listed in search results. I’ve heard a variety of stats demonstrating success of natural vs paid results, however the ROI is usually positive. It’s likely your competitor is also present on the Search results page. View my few posts on Search Strategy or contact Andy Beal, David Berkowitz or Brian Keith.

A) Search Engine Optimization (SEO)- We do a piss poor job of this and I have led a charge for an overhaul of our corporate site, it needs to be done in the worst way. Our site looks and operates like it was built in 95.

B) Search Engine Marketing (SEM)- I am throwing PPC in here and we have been really successful in driving sales using PPC. Basically for every ten cents we spent on PPC advertising we make generate a dollar in sales.

3) Out Bound and Syndicated Web Marketing-

Used to help ideas spread off the corporate website, this list of tools extends reach by direct channels, and as well as ‘pull’ techniques where users opt-in. Be savvy when using these tools to respect the best interests of your customers, otherwise it’s one-click to unsubscribe or spam.

A) Email Marketing- We limit this to opt in e-mail lists that usually are used to tell about new products or special deals. If anything we don’t e-mail enough. One thing that I have seen that we run into is that our IT department did not set up a best practices for bulk mail and we have run into some problems with large e-mail providers. Something that they are working on fixing. This is just a word of warning to make sure that you are following best practices when do large send outs.

B) Invasive Marketing- Nope, wouldn’t touch this.

C) Syndicated Content and RSS- We only have this on our microsites not on our main corporate site which I see as a huge problem, hopefully with the redesign we can rectify this.

Tomorrow: Rest of my evaluation of my social web marketing plan.