A survey recently conducted by BtoB Magazine reveals that business-to-business marketers are planning to increase overall marketing budgets in 2013 and the number one reported focus is website development. 70% of all respondents, in fact, are planning an increase in spending on website development in 2013. What is also interesting is that of the marketers surveyed, 82% reported back that demand generation and customer acquisition were the primary goals of their marketing programs. Though email marketing, social media, and online video also rank as top digital marketing tactics for this year, the company website remains the leading channel for lead generation and promotion for marketers.
So, what are all of these marketers actually doing with all of this money spent on web development? We've seen a growing demand for the following:
Nothing ticks visitors to your site off more than usability issues. When 45% of all American adults own a smartphone, you can be sure that your site is being visited via mobile device. If your site delivers a frustrating mobile experience, your onsite marketing efforts will be lost. Marketers are making an effort to close the experience gap and that requires web development and design.
In addition to the mobile experience, overall site usability is key to driving conversions. Navigation issues, overly complex layouts, and a lack of integration with backend systems result in a disjointed user experience and reduce your ability to keep visitors on your site and for those sites that haven't been revisited in two years (or missing backend integrations altogether) are ripe for this sort of development. In 2013, we're seeing not just these optimizations to user experience, but also a requirement to develop a platform that provides usability to in-house staff to empower them to make content updates without relying on (or paying) an outside firm to make those changes. Migration from a proprietary site to a content management system, such as Drupal, enables in-house marketers to take control over their content and keep up with an ever-changing web.
As marketing turns more and more toward content to drive engagement and leads, an organization's website must be able to not only support the content, but also to deliver effectively to visitors. This requires a robust platform that will store videos, blogs, articles, whitepapers, you name it, and allow marketers to tag those content types in order to associate like-material so that visitors can navigate the site content in a more personalized way, tailored to their specific interests.
These are just a few of the many development options that companies are exploring to enhance their online marketing. Website development is a constant effort and there is always room for improvement. There are increases in need and decreases over time, but in order to keep your site performing optimally and in pace with your competition, it must be viewed as an ongoing project. The results of the BtoB Magazine survey reinforce that many marketers have already realized this. What are your plans to enhance your web presence in 2013?