The purpose of this post is to act as a road map for lead generating businesses to grow, become more profitable and be more successful. Each step in the process may be impacted by how the previous steps have been implemented. The steps don't have to be completed or commenced in this order, but in many cases we recommend they are. As you progress through the steps, you will often need to iterate through previous steps again.
Let's start with a basic assumption.
The primary goals for most lead generation websites are:
- To generate leads
- To nurture leads
- To build brand
- To engage visitors/build community
- To provide customer service/support (self service)
To illustrate this road map, I have borrowed from Maslow and the field of psychology to create what I have termed “Hossack's Lead Generation Hierarchy of Needs” beta version. (As we now live in a “beta” world, I think it will be a permanent beta evolving with user feedback just as Hossack's eCommerce Hierarchy of Needs is in a permanent beta as well.)
Before you can go anywhere with your lead generation website, you need to have your basics covered. Just as Maslow stated that the physiological needs of breathing, food, water, sex, sleep, homeostasis, and excretion must be satisfied before one can worry about safety, Hossack's lead generation Hierarchy of needs states that the basics must be covered before one can advance to traffic generation.
The basics include the following:
- CMS Platform (classification and list taken from CMS Watch
- Enterprise Platforms – Documentum (EMC), IBM: ECM, Interwoven: Team Site, Oracle: Stellant WCM, Red Dot: Open Text, Vignette
- Upper Tier – Day Software, FatWire, Alterian (Mediasurface): Morello 5.6, Percussion: Rhythmyx, SDL Tridion: R5.3
- Mid-Market Mainstream – Ektron: CMS400.NET, Ingeniux: Ingeniux Content Management System, Microsoft: MOSS 2007 WCM, Paper Thin, Sitecore
- Mid-Market Challengers – Alterion: Immediacy, Hannon Hill: Cascade Server, Hot Banana: Web Content Management Suite, Refresh Software: SR2, Telerik: Sitefinity CMS
- Hosted Services – Clickability, CrownPeak Technology: CrownPeak CMS, OmniUpdate: OU Campus
- Commercial Open Source – Alfresco: Alfresco WCM, DotNetNuke: DotNetNuke, Magnolia: Magnolia CMS
- Open Source – Drupal, Joomla Project, OpenCms, Plone CMS, TYPO3
- CRM Platform (listed compiled from Inside CRM
- Salesforce, SalesBoom, Sage Software, RightNow Technologies, Oracle, NetSuite, Entellium, Zoho, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Sugar CRM, Inside Sales, Infusionsoft, Apilcor, SAP, CDC Software
- Site Search
- Entry level – platform default, Google Hosted Custom Search
- Mid Market – SLI Systems, Google Mini search appliance, Omniture, Baynote
- Enterprise – Endeca, Mercado (now Omniture)
- Customer Service Call Center
- Yourself, 24/7 in touch
- Google Analytics, Webtrends, Core Metrics, FireClick, Urchin, Crazy Egg
- Implementation – In-house, VKI Studios, Adviso
- Basic Surveying
- 4q (iperceptions)
Traffic Generation/Campaigns in the Lead Generation Hierarchy of needs are Maslow's safety needs. As with the basics (or physiological needs), Traffic needs are very important. You won't be very successful if you can't effectively and efficiently drive traffic to your site.
- PPC tools
- Email Service Providers
- Display Ads
Conversion & User Experience Optimization
In the Lead Generation Hierarchy of Needs, Conversion & User Experience Optimization parallel Maslow's Love/Belonging needs. Just as humans aspire to create friendships, have families and have intimate relationships, your web store should strive to offer a great user experience and create positive relationships with its visitors. These relationship will lead to greater conversion rates and a stronger brand perception.
- In-House, VKI Studios
- Heuristic evaluations, ethnographic evaluations, user testing, card sorting, eye tracking
Advanced Features in the Lead Generation Hierarchy of Needs are equivalent to Maslow's Esteem needs. Advanced Feature needs are similar to Esteem needs in that they are often never achieved or reached. You can succeed without meeting these needs, but you will be more successful if you do meet them. So your goal should be to do so.
- Marketing Automation (some CRMs have some marketing automation features)
- Bazzar Voice, custom solution
- Bazzar Voice, custom solution
Branding/Community in the eCommerce Hierarchy of needs are Maslow's Self-Actualization needs. Most people or firms will never get to this level. One reason why firms don't get here is that they haven't been able to properly address their earlier needs. Therefore they don't have the time, skills and resources to achieve this level. People can and will perform aspects of the Branding/Community needs level without having progressed through the hierarchy, but to properly build and manage your brand and foster a community of customers, you will likely need to have graduated your way through by satisfying the your earlier needs.
- Product Videos
- Custom, Ubik
- Loyalty Programs
- custom, platform
- PR/advertorials/editorials (beyond SEO)
- PR Web, trade magazines, expert blog coverage