E-marketers go for content & personalisation
Marketers are prioritising content creation and personalisation in their web site investment strategies for the next 12 months and putting social media on the backburner, according to a survey of 250 marketing decision makers by EPiServer.
Increasing the amount of information available topped the list of the top three areas of focus (58%), followed by providing more personalised content (45%), then developing a member or customer portal (37%).
Perhaps surprisingly, social media barely features in the website strategies of UK marketers for the next 12 months. Only 8% of respondents said providing a hub for social activity was a key purpose of their website, putting it at the bottom of their list. Less than half (47%) stated they run any social media activities at all.
The most common objectives for a web site presence were focused on more commercial aspects, with "driving sales leads" being cited by 39% and "converting web site visitors into customers" by 34%. Dealing with customer service enquiries was also highlighted as a goal by 30% of respondents.
Encouragingly, 30% of marketers said their budgets for digital marketing are growing, which bodes well for those hoping to increase content creation and introduce user communities. However, this road may not be easy as the three biggest challenges in managing web site content were keeping content fresh and engaging (63%), understanding what visitors want (37%), and putting in place personalised content (20%).
"As the web continues to grow in importance, delivering engaging online experiences will become increasingly important for businesses that want to engender brand loyalty," said Maria Wasing, vice president of marketing for EPiServer. "However, as the survey demonstrates, there are some major challenges to overcome. But, by taking the right approach and combining content, community, commerce and communication, marketers can meet the heightened expectations of online visitors and customers."
A guide entitled 'Online Strategies 2010' based on the survey's full results has been made available for download from EPiServer's web site - click here (free registration required).