What tools do you use to improve website visibility, engage visitors, and increase conversions? I break successful websites into those three areas of importance: visibility, engagement, and conversion.
Let's say you do some email marketing, have a corporate blog, use search ads, and build up your backlinks in order to increase visibility (see my post about website chauffeurs).
Once visitors arrive, you use a web content management system to keep your site updated with engaging and relevant content.
Then, when converting visitors into leads (or paying customers) you might post a form that gets stored in your CRM database, added to your email marketing database, and then you might send both yourself and the lead an email response.
I calll this cloud marketing. Just like cloud computing, cloud marketing utilizes the power of disparate applications and tools connected on the Internet. This is the "all of us is more powerful than just one of us" mentality.
Cloud marketing is expensive because it still requires developers to programmatically connect all the tools so they talk nicely to each other. Over time, though, more and more tools will be connected easily because of standards. Just like RSS, I envision a day when we can point one application to another and they will auto-discover eachother's features and be able to talk without the need of a contracted programmer. This will not only lower the cost, but also give smaller businesses a better ability to compete with the big guys. Here's one Indianapolis firm that's already doing it - 5Buckets.
NOTE: Here's proof of how fast the Internet moves. I started this article in November and didn't finish it for a variety of reasons. At that time, there wasn't much on cloud marketing and there definitely wasn't a Wikipedia entry. Now, however, there is. Started on December 1st - here it is: cloud marketing.