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Chats with Marketing Leaders: Zooming Out and Understanding What’s Valuable to Your Customers

Robin Gandy, July 8, 2024

A website that doesn’t consider its users is less likely to turn visitors into customers. This week, we’re learning from an expert on understanding customer journeys and how it impacts your website goals.

We had the opportunity to speak with the VP of Marketing at Irwin, Marissa Homère. With nearly three years at Irwin and a background spanning telecom and agency work, she shared insights on setting website goals, mapping customer journeys, and executing marketing initiatives. 

Let’s dive into our interview with Marissa!

The Importance of Setting Goals

Websites play diverse roles depending on your business, from transactional e-commerce sites to informational hubs. We asked Marissa why setting goals for your website is important. Goal setting is crucial for understanding what’s working, tracking short-term and long-term efforts, and understanding your customer journey. 

Marissa emphasizes that most importantly, you need to set goals that are relevant to your business. For example, a highly transactional business will have different goals compared to a company whose website serves as an informational resource. 

“Understanding how it fits into the actual buying or consuming journey is the most important critical factor of that.”

Knowing where your website fits into the buyer’s journey and setting appropriate goals ensures that each touchpoint effectively contributes to the overall business objectives. 

Mapping Customer Journeys

Mapping the customer journey involves understanding the various stages a customer goes through before making a purchase. This process is vital for setting goals that align with the customer's needs and behaviours. Marissa explains how they map out multiple touchpoints with their buyers over the course of their journey. 

“By identifying key touchpoints, such as content downloads or demo requests, businesses can set goals that guide customers smoothly through the buying process.”

 This approach ensures that every interaction is purposeful and contributes to building a long-term relationship with the customer.

Challenges and Common Mistakes

Marissa believes one of the common mistakes businesses make when setting website goals is short-sightedness. Many companies expect immediate results from significant investments in their websites. 

“Short-sightedness is probably the killer of a lot of great ideas because as soon as those things don’t materialize for you, which can be pretty quick.”

Over-measurement can also be detrimental. Focusing too much on minor metrics, such as pixel placements or color changes, can distract from the bigger picture. Instead, it’s crucial to understand the long-term impact of website content and how it aligns with overall business growth.

Consider your buyer’s journey, and make sure to zoom out and understand the bigger picture. What really matters to your audience? What value can you deliver immediately and throughout the whole journey? Make sure you remind yourself and your team of what’s really important as a whole (For example, delivering helpful content), rather than focussing on immediate results.

Reviewing and Adjusting Goals

Website goals should be fluid and frequently reviewed to ensure they stay aligned with the company’s evolving strategy and market conditions. According to Marissa, the goals for your website should be completely fluid and re-evaluated as often as necessary.

“Regularly revisiting goals allows businesses to adapt to changes in the environment, economy, and company direction.” 

This flexibility ensures that the website continues to serve its intended purpose and contributes effectively to the company’s growth.

Starting New Marketing Initiatives

Starting new marketing initiatives requires a balance of immediate revenue-driving programs and long-term brand-building efforts. It’s important to operate with two buckets: “now” and “next.” The “now” bucket focuses on initiatives that drive immediate revenue, while the “next” bucket invests in brand-building for future growth.

Alignment with senior leadership and clear communication of the benefits of each initiative are crucial. As Marissa notes, 

“Alignment is the biggest and most important process, getting alignment with senior leadership and making sure they understand the benefits of those things both in the short and long term.”

What’s Next?

Setting effective website goals is an important process that requires careful consideration of your business model, customer journey, and long-term objectives. By mapping out these journeys, avoiding common pitfalls, and regularly reviewing and adjusting your goals, you can ensure that your website remains a powerful tool for growth. 

Balancing immediate revenue-driving programs with strategic, long-term brand-building initiatives is essential for sustainable success. Remember to continue to consider what matters to your users at various points of their buyer's journey. 

Written by

Robin Gandy

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