Retailers and wholesalers maintain large-scale distribution centers as part of their supply chain systems. Thanks to improvements in logistics technology, these distribution centers are more than mere warehouses. They are sophisticated inbound and outbound hubs for procuring, managing, distributing and tracking products across the entire supply chain—from the point of production to the point of sale.
Lately we’ve been thinking about how a high-functioning website has characteristics in common with a distribution center. The best websites are hubs for distributing content and services to customers through a variety of devices and applications. Site visitors can access the content and services at the times and places that are most convenient for them—and in the formats they prefer.
Most organizations give attention to search engine optimization. They are concerned with site traffic and conversions—driving visitors to the site and capturing their contact information. Fewer organizations are attentive to the outbound functions of activation, outreach and planning. Their content is aging and their inventory is idle.
We see the website as a distribution hub for sharing brand-based messages and establishing value-based interactions with prospects and customers. We’ve developed our Website Optimization Model to describe the wider range of valuable inbound and outbound site functions.
We believe a high-functioning website is itself an engine for driving a wide range of integrated marketing, communication and sales initiatives. Instead of addressing only search engines, we’re now focusing on site engines—because we’re convinced that the right site with the right content and the right capabilities can deliver the goods.