Hub and Spoke of Website

In 1990, almost all advertising and media buys centered around direct mail, broadcast (e.g, television, radio), print (e.g, catalog, flyer), and display (e.g., newspaper and magazine). Closed ecosystems existed but media buyers, marketing executives and managers, and creative folks were not interested. By 2010, in addition to those same platforms, advertising and media buys extended to QR codes, paid and free social media, SEO and adwords, and e-mail. Closed ecosystems now sparked the imagination (and opened the wallets) of media buyers, marketing executives and managers, and creative folks.

The forms - traditional and nontraditional - need each other if a marketing plan or an IMC plan is to bear fruit. The stand alone website should be avoided at all cost. Instead, the website should serve as a hub for all the promotional spokes.

These spokes include

  • Analytics

    Everything on this list is trackable and/or measurable. Google Analytics provides data on search rankings as well as blog traffic. Constant Contact includes click-through rates as part of their service. Redemption or response rates give insight into behavior.

    Surveys allow companies to gain insight into customers' attitudes (cognitive) and feelings (affective) toward the company's market offering, competitors' market offerings and even an ideal market offering.

    Comments on social media as well as comment boxes can be analyzed for key words and context. This data corresponds to data collected from focus groups.

    Of course, these activities can be associated with the expenses to introduce and maintain these promotional elements as well as the revenues from these activities.

    The savvy marketing manager keeps a collection of analytics known as a dashboard.

  • Traditional Media
    • Broadcast

      Radio and television include broadcast. Your textbook includes advantages and disadvantages for both these advertising vehicles. All spots should be stored and accessible through the company's website and available through third-party sites like Vimeo and YouTube.

      Broadcast can also be a good source for publicity. Morning shows and talk shows are always looking for guests. Locally produced news shows such as the content on WOSU represent another good outlet. These appearances should be accessible from the company's website.

    • Direct Mail
      People who sell online and electronic coupons believe with all their fiber that direct mail is dead. However, not everyone has access to online or electronic coupons. Not everyone wants that information cluttering their e-mail inbox or having to go to a website to get a 50 cents off.

      Third-class mail remains very inexpensive and measurable. Plus, you can reach your target market with it.

      Catalogs offer many of the same advantages as magazines. However, you have to pay for the production of the catalog. For some companies, that expense makes a catalog unattractive.

      Your website should offer similar or additional description and pictures as the catalog. If you add an ordering placement and fulfillment component, then you have added an e-commerce function to your website.

      Note: many smaller retailers use Amazon or eBay as an e-commerce site because of a lack of resources. Yes, resources consistent with R-A theory.

    • Print
      Magazines and newspapers comprise print. Sometimes, people refer to this concept as display ads. Your display ads should be included on your website.

      You could also include additional images that were not included in the print campaign. In this instance, your content would drive traffic to your website.

  • Non-Traditional Media
    • Blogs
      Blogs like the one used in this course represent a way to engage your customers. Content, though, remains tricky. You have to create value for your customer through interesting content such as stories, pictures, and videos.

      Absolutely let customers comment because the comments can provide more insight into customers (see Analytics above). Without the comments, you cannot engage the customer and have eliminated a reason for the blog.

      A blog can be used instead of a website. This trend, however, appears on the wane.

      In addition to a blog, a microblog allows for quick, more immediate communication. Look at the difference in content between this course’s blog and microblog.

      Blogging efforts appear more effective if one person from the organization handles all blogging and social network activities to ensure a consistent voice and message. Multiple voices tend to dilute the effectiveness of an organization’s blog.

    • E-mail
      Many organizations prefer the e-mail blast because it is treated as a low-cost alternative to direct mail. Unfortunately, a lot of these blasts are so much spam or unwanted messages.

      Your website should allow customers to opt in and opt out of receiving your e-mail blast and to tailor the content you send them. Some customers want to receive every message from your company. Others want only coupons or sales announcement.

    • Feeds
      A few customers will not visit your site. Instead, they want your content pushed to their website. RSS feeds meet their needs. A few lines of code will keep these customers informed of your company’s deals, specials, and announcements. While these customers are consuming your content, their activity will not appear in your analytics report.
    • Mobile
      Nothing says “I do not understand the internet or care about my customers” than a website that has not been optimized. When a website has been properly optimized, pages render appropriately regardless of the customer’s mobile platform.

      If you want to chase away your customers or ding your company’s brand, then skip optimization.

    • Social Network
      Facebook is the best known and most used form of social networks. Others exist. None, though, match Facebook’s size as measured by number of users and activity by users.

      Starting a fan page is a required minimum. If you want your customers to engage, then you need to provide content while allowing customers to share their own content. If you understand that statement, then you understand how a fan page differs from a blog and a website.

      Remember, unlike a blog and a website, social networks like Facebook are a closed ecosystem.

    • Search
      When a customer seeks information about your company’s product, your company should be at the top of the search list. If your company does not appear within the first two pages of a search result, then you few if any customers will find your product.

      A variety of tricks exist to ensure search engines find your website. None, though, can match a paid service like Adwords or buying search terms. These terms can be expensive depending on the market.

      To stay within budget, look through your log files and traffic data to determine what words or terms customers used to search your site.

      To turn a retail adage, you cannot tell if no one can find you.

Hub and spoke of social media effort