[tweet_quote]The Decline of the Website[/tweet_quote]
If you haven’t noticed the gradual decline in the role played by the website? Then take another good long gander. For instance, you are going to watch a movie. You know what you want to watch, but have no idea where it will showing.
Previously, you would have browsed through different cinema websites to see which one was showing the movie that you wanted. Every website was different, and kept afloat by a team of busy web designers.
Today, people don’t look up movies the same way. There are apps on mobile devices that aggregate movie listings from different sources. People may even just Google or Siri it without visiting the cinema website.
The same applies if you want to know how your favorite team played in last Sunday’s match. For example, you would need to enter the LA Lakers website to know their fixtures and results. But today, you can just use your mobile app to check for results and fixtures, or even Google it.
Content is shifting from design. Instead it is now being shared via APIs between websites and applications. Many business owners are even opting to place their content on Foursquare, Yelp or Facebook. They are simply abandoning the notion of having a personal or business website.
2. The Increase of CRM Continues
The role played by CRM continues to increase. CRM providers are helping businesses sell their services and products better, smarter and faster through effective customer interactions resulting in a complete 360 degree view of the customer. Salesforce.com in particular touts that they are at the center of the customer journey. Every interaction and click a customer or prospect has with your website can all be captured within one application – Salesforce.com. Not only will you know what webpages your customer has visited but you will be able to see their interaction with your emails, trade shows, events and the conversations they have with each sales rep. Simply put, a website without a CRM is powerless.
For example, the Salesforce.com Marketing Cloud allows marketers to create effective marketing campaigns like never seen before. As a business you’ll be able to combine conventional digital channels like mobile, email, web and social with any IP accessible product so you can convert consumers into customers.
You’ll also be able to connect interactions from different devices or channels, combine customer behavior and data to generate real-time communications which are delivered based on your customers’ conditions. Respond immediately and anticipate customer needs, and move customers forward in their journey with your product.
With Marketing Cloud, customer data is integrated with your data in real time providing you with accurate and data driven intelligence needed to know each individual customer and increase relevant communications.
3. The Move Towards In-House Teams
The way businesses view the web has changed significantly over the last couple of years. Previously seen as a top marketing platform, it is now viewed as business critical for many organizations.
Although many businesses may rely on outside website design companies to design and develop a new website they are brining the ongoing execution of digital stratigies inside. nternal teams are taking over the role, and this something set to dominate 2015. This move is very strategic, and will save businesses money in the long-term.
Companies are realizing that their web teams need to interact and strategize with their sales teams. They need to be in the same room, reviewing the same metrics and collaborating on various trends and activities in the marketplace. Sales and web can not run in seperate silos because they rely on each other. Recently, I came across this Dreamforce session – Accelerate Pipeline with Pardot: Salesforce B2B Marketing Automation Solution. It clearly shows the importance website teams have to sales pipelines and the data sales people can recieve to push deals through.
We are not suggesting that web design companies need to go away becaus no in-house team will have all the skills necessary to operate effectively. Work will still be there for the specialist. However, whether specialist agencies will be suitable or not, it is difficult to tell. Rather we may see an increase of specialist contractors who will work on short-term projects with in-house teams
4. Optimizing your Mobile Websites to Match Consumer Trends
You may have heard the phrase “mobile first” so many a times to know that the mobile reform is upon us. Research study indicates that the rate at which local searches are performed over mobile devices is increasing at a more rapid pace than those performed on desktops.
In addition, consumers who perform local searches from mobile devices are more than likely to take action. Another study discovered that more than half of people who performed local searches from smartphones visited the store within a day, and more than 18% percent of queries performed on smartphones resulted in purchases.
The magnitude of mobile marketing cannot be emphasized enough, so delegating a good budget for the platform is vital to remaining relevant in an ever changing industry.
5. Large Backgrounds and Video
Large and beautiful backgrounds as well as videos will continue it’s momentum as a big hit just like in 2014. One of the best ways of making your website stand out, is by displaying great content prominently but along with a powerful and effective image. When we meet with clients and ask them what websites they like and don’t like. It’s ironic because the wireframe of the website they don’t like is essentially the same as the wireframe of the website they do like. The only difference is the quality of the imagery. The websites they like have better and more effective images or video. And this trend is a great way of accomplishing that. Larger design styles don’t feel gimmicky, but elegant and powerful.
With 2015 right around the corner you might be starting your budgeting process for your new website and as you do so keep these five points into consideration. Websites that win will be focusing on the whole customer journey so make sure you are ready – and Happy 2015!