If you answer “YES, my site should exist even if it doesn’t generate revenue!” there arise other burning questions. How do you define a site strategy and measure its performance? What does a success story look like if it’s not directly tied to revenue? If you haven’t read the first blog in this series, you can find it here.
What is an Integrated Corporate site?
The typical purpose of an integrated corporate site is to grown and sustain the brand. The focus is on the customers and prospects while still providing access to corporate content.
Corporate users, customers, and prospects share the focus of an integrated site. Integrated sites typically reflect the following principles
- Deeply integrated with parent brand
- Products and corporate interests are included in main site navigation
- Typically belong to the same domain and folder structure as corporate pages
- Can rely on the same technology infrastructure and support
- Benefit from close brand association and search equity
- Maintains cohesive branding across multiple business groups and products
- Greater opportunity for up-sell and cross-sell
- Site can become overly complex
- Priorities between corporate users and customers can be hard to sort out
- If poorly designed and executed, neither the corporate nor the customer audience has a good site experience
A strong integrated strategy is employed by Dow Chemical Company. All corporate content, and many of the product and solutions are integrated onto one site. For those products and solutions that are not fully integrated, there is a landing page on the corporate site with links, where appropriate, to the separate sub-domains (building.dow.com, coatings.dow.com, pharmaandfood.dow.com, etc.). Each of the separate sub-domains use strong brand association with the parent site.
The Good: the integrated strategy that Dow achieved makes corporate and product information discoverable either through content on landing pages or links to separate domains. This also means that the products remain closely associated with the parent brand.
The Bad: while the site is clearly geared toward customers and corporate users, it does not make it easy to become a customer or for some types of products tell the customer where to buy the product. It also adds a layer of complexity to the site. A corporate site that employs an integrated strategy needs to remove barriers for customers and prospects.
Another example is Intel with that is product-focused integrated corporate. Corporate content are grouped together in the navigation under “About”. The emphasis of this strategy is on the products and support of products that are sold by Intel. Separate sub-domains are used for discrete content or user-actions (e.g. downloads) with strong brand association in the header or footer of the parent site.
Measurement for Success
With an integrated corporate site maintaining a close relationship between corporate and product content, the measurement of an integrated corporate site can be complex.
Success is defined by clear objectives defined for each of the corporate content segments (e.g. investor relationship, careers, etc.), as well as for the products that are featured (integrated) on the site. For example, if the objectives for the careers content is to generate more online applicants, how well does the site support this objective? For product content, how well does the site support customer interactions whether to a shopping carts, product download or trial, media interactions and more?
Not only is the success defined by specific online metrics, but also include the qualitative data such as ongoing brand awareness and customer satisfaction studies. Combined, the qualitative and quantitative data helps to measure the overall success and identify emerging trends as well as opportunities for improvement.
In the Series