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Today we live in the era when marketing surrounds us on a daily basis, and we do not even realize that. Watching ads on a TV or driving around town and seeing the colorful billboards is all part of marketing. Although, over the past few years we have seen marketing take a drastic turn and become more technology oriented. It shifted from its traditional ways of expression and turned into a digital marketing.

Nowadays marketers are relying a lot on social media as well as emails, and we, of course, cannot underestimate the role of websites in marketing. They help us not only showcase our personal brand and what it is we are trying to promote, but it also gives us an opportunity to solidify the sale. In digital marketing most of the sales happen after the customer clicks a “buy” button. It is crucial to have a website that is easy to find, access, and navigate in order to stay competitive on the market and have a strong audience.

Although, marketing is not all about sales. Blog websites are becoming more and more popular as well. Studies have shown that about 20% of the internet population’s time goes towards content reading and about 57% of marketers claim that they have acquired new customers right through blogging. Moreover, blogging as a marketing tool is 13 times more likely to get positive ROI than other digital marketing strategies. 

While a lot of people still want to stay within the old-school marketing strategies and do not think that websites are necessary to be successful nowadays. I decided to ask a few of the industry leaders what they think about the role of websites in digital marketing and they say that they cannot imagine their everyday life without a website.


Opinions From Marketing Leaders

Patrice Louvet, President and Chief Executive Officer at Ralph Lauren:

“A website is far more than a sales channel for luxury brands. A website should be an ultimate expression of a brand and a core foundation for consumer recruitment and marketing – a virtual flagship store. It’s where consumers can discover a brand and its products, where they can be educated about a brand’s heritage and purpose, and ultimately drive lifetime loyalty and value. 

Our website is where consumers can step into the World of Ralph Lauren. And in today’s world of connected retail, it’s important to reach consumers where they are and how they want to shop. The consumer path to purchase is non-linear and consumers jump across channels. For example, their journey may start by seeing a product on social media, checking that product out in a store, and ultimately making their purchase online. This means that it’s critical that our website attracts consumers and enables them to explore our brand and products online, even if they end up transacting in one of our stores or with one of our wholesale partners.”

Valeria Gonzalez, Marketing Manager at Boutique mistica:

“Websites provide marketers with valuable information about their target customers’ demographics, preferences, and behaviors. Through my personal experience, I have witnessed the effectiveness of websites in tailoring better communication with my target audience by understanding their needs and preferences. For example, I have learned that customers appreciate websites that are easy to navigate. In addition, optimizing website content for search engines has helped improve visibility and attract organic traffic.

As a result, my companies have reached a larger audience, and I have achieved conversions that were only possible with a well-executed website.”

Joel Villarini Falbe, Director of Social Media at Florida International University | Bilingual Digital Marketing & Communication Strategist | Social Listening Expert:

“A brand website is an indispensable tool in a marketer’s arsenal. Websites are headquarters for all digital marketing activities, hosting information, landing pages, forms, content, compliance, and regulatory information. A website can also make or break a digital marketing effort. For example, a website without necessary compliance measures, accessibility features, and outdated information can get a brand into trouble and scare away potential customers. On the other end of the spectrum, a website regularly updated with curated content and a solid SEO strategy can pay for itself by increasing conversions, showing up at zero moments of truth, and serving existing and prospective consumers with the correct information to generate brand loyalty.”

Anthony Miyazaki, Brand Strategist, Marketing Educator:

“Many marketers have learned the concept of paid, earned, and owned media as paid being ads and sponsorships, earned being PR, and owned including websites and social media accounts.  Because social media is so easy to use, many marketers these days avoid the development of their websites in favor of creating social media content.  The problem here is that social media is NOT owned media; at best, it’s rented or borrowed from platforms that not only can change algorithms whenever they’d like, but even remove your account if they’ve determined you violated the rules.  This means that the ONLY truly owned digital media is your website (and perhaps your apps which you should connect to your website).  If this can’t convince you to focus on your website, nothing will.”

Dyllan Funcheon, Project Team Member at Ralph Lauren:

“The quality and perspective of your brand image is a key initiative in a successful business. The driving results impact credibility, perspective, organic traffic, and digital marketing increasing return rate. We live in an era of convenience, a website creates your window shop to a customer journey.”

Charles Sweeney, Operations Manager at Ralph Lauren:

“In todays busy society it more important than ever to be relevant and showcase yourself to the public.  There is no other way that will be more meaningful than a website that has full potential with links and quick insite.   Today our first instinct is to go to the Internet to search for dinner tonight or our flight information for tomorrows flight.  Small business especially should embrace a website to showcase what they bring to the table locally.  We are living in a global world now…. Everything  impacts our business, keeping our websites relevant will make the difference between making our connections with customers long term or just transactional.  At the root of it a basic website is where we start.. we should devlop from that and hit our customer base to make an actual impact.  So yes today more than ever a concise will put together website is vital to conduct business in todays economy.”


Correlation

As we can see, everyone has their own opinion about the importance of the website in modern marketing and how it influences the business in general. Anthony brought up a good point by stating: “…the ONLY truly owned digital media is your website.” This sentence was so powerful and motivating that it provoked me to start working on developing my website personally. His opinion was strongly supported by Valeria and Joel.

Valeria and Joel gave us personal examples of how they feel about the websites nowadays and even gave us some of the ideas on how to make the website successful: “For example, I have learned that customers appreciate websites that are easy to navigate. In addition, optimizing website content for search engines has helped improve visibility and attract organic traffic.”

Dyllan and Chad, on the other hand, due to their “longevity” in retail, were able to discuss the importance of websites for a customer and how to use it as a tool to grow our business: “Everything  impacts our business, keeping our websites relevant will make the difference between making our connections with customers long term or just transactional.

Patrice gave us a detailed insight on the importance of a website and provided us with life examples of how the website has impacted his own company, Ralph Lauren. “…This means that it’s critical that our website attracts consumers and enables them to explore our brand and products online, even if they end up transacting in one of our stores or with one of our wholesale partners.


So What Now?

As we can assume from the quotes shared by marketing experts, websites are important to say the least. They are like a magic wand that is able to connect the dots and paint a whole picture. Websites really are amazing when it comes to building connections, promoting businesses or simply learning new information. They can not only help us sell an item or a service offered but also point us in the right direction to develop and improve ourselves.

We as “fresh” marketers should take the whole digital marketing to the new level and take advantage of all the tools that are given to us to succeed. But first, we need to create an affective website and connect with our audience. We need to make every visitor feel special and appreciated.

Overall, the art of digital marketing is hard to master, but once we do, we will have the endless opportunities around us. We’ll never know unless we try, are you willing to give it a shot and become a successful marketer in the future?

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