CMOs Start Digging: Your Rogue Websites Are an Untapped Data … – Spiceworks News and Insights

Discover the untapped power of rogue websites and how to leverage them.

If you’re the CMO in the modern world of marketing, chances are that many people, potentially across the globe, are responsible for a wide variety of programs to engage your prospects and customers. If that’s the case, the odds are you have hundreds — maybe thousands — of rogue websites. Etai Beck, CEO of Folloze, discusses the power of these interactions and how rogue websites can be tapped.
A webinar page. A landing site. A local conference registration sign-up. A regional campaign site. Sales deal rooms. These are the pages that proliferate because frontline marketers across the globe are moving fast and running tens to hundreds of legitimate motions without oversight.
 In an effort to support sales, to further campaigns, to launch products, get event participants, and more, marketers are creating ways to reach their respective audiences successfully. However, for many marketing execs, the temptation to crack down on marketers moving quickly and out of sync with corporate branding guidelines is reflexive. 
Not so fast. 
 Even if they’re not quite coloring inside the lines, these marketers are doing you a great favor. Why? Because they’re doing their best to respond to buyer signals and meet customer needs at the moment with engaging content experiences. And rogue websites not only increase your marketers’ likelihood of success but can also be a rich source of data to understand your customers and local market dynamics better. 
 See More: Is Web 3.0 the Solution to All Data Privacy Challenges?
In a digital-first world, everything moves faster. The pandemic only accelerated the digital transformation that was already firmly in motion — and that momentum isn’t likely to stall anytime soon. Those marketers conducting local and regional motions know their customers better. With high-stakes results on the line, there isn’t always time to get a blessing from the powers that be at corporate HQ or to wait for creative teams to activate pieces of an outreach campaign. 
 Imagine, for example, the frontline marketer in the Singapore office, who has developed a critical B2B campaign localized for regional customers with sites, social content, and emails in English, Malay, Mandarin, and Tamil. The graphics are images of local landmarks and public figures. Everything feels engaging, familiar, and welcoming for these particular customers. They feel heard and seen, like the company and its representatives know who they are and what they care about. But is this on brand with the corporate playbook? Perhaps not totally.
And that’s okay. 
Today, the majority of customer interactions are already occurring outside of your brand website, and you are likely losing a lot of data in the process. So what matters more is the rich interactions happening on these pages — the kind that isn’t often (if ever) replicated on corporate homepages. The customers that are showing up to your sites — whether rogue or branded — are doing so with intent and interest. They’re staying longer and going deeper. They’re putting meaningful signals into your world — the desire to learn what they’re most interested in, to share their challenges, and perhaps even to buy. This data can, in turn, become an incredibly powerful tool to help enrich future customer experiences.  
Agility is key, and your distributed teams need the freedom to act on opportunities quickly. The trouble is that cracking down on marketing brand standards and guidelines means concentrating on the wrong thing: exercising control vs. fostering connection. Instead, why not put mechanisms in place to capture the richest data you might have available to you from these activated customers? Why not empower your boots on the ground to create destinations where you can get that data back, deliver timely, relevant engagement, and still remain brand compliant?
 It means instead of limiting the activities your marketers can do in the region to reach their prospects and customers, you can create a seamless environment that would allow them to take broader corporate campaigns or initiatives and localize them with a keen lens on meeting those particular customers where they are in their buying journey. This could be based on culture, location, or perhaps events that are having a real impact on them while remaining agile and responsive in any economic climate.  
 It also means not being afraid to connect with the marketers who know better than anyone what excites and fascinates your prospects. Look at your current processes in place – if rogue sites are an ongoing concern, then consider developing a pipeline that allows you to make use of the great intel your global marketers are generating for you while enabling them to personalize the content that matters the most to their customers or prospects. 
 A scalable approach will help capture these critical interactions that are currently happening entirely outside your corporate channels.
Fortunately, it’s not hard. You can do this, and here’s how:
The more you push back on these rogue sites, the more chance they will proliferate and not all of them will do so in a way you’ll be proud of. For example, you may end up with sites that aren’t GDPR-compliant or on-brand. They might be clunky instead of sophisticated and focused. Or worse, they may have a negative impact on how your marketers are spending cycles on efforts that don’t map to the broader goals of the company. But with all of that said, spinning on those rogue activities isn’t productive for anyone. Instead, it’s important to focus on what you can do to help put your dispersed team of marketers back on track, where they are empowered to reach their audiences in a more meaningful way from a relationship and connection standpoint, as well as building critical brand blocks that have a greater impact on your organization. 
Arm your frontline marketers with easy-to-use, standardized tools or lightweight templates that are simple to customize in any campaign scenario. This will reduce the reliance on subpar tools and outside agency support and remove bottlenecks waiting on creative resources and approval cycles. Many marketers are overwhelmed with the surmounting number of solutions that organizations are adopting to meet the needs of a digital-first customer. However, each organization needs to take an accounting of the types of solutions they currently have, the value those bring, and whether they’re truly empowering their marketers to reach their respective audiences. Instead of piece-mealing solutions together, look at what cohesive tools and solutions will bring the most value and simplicity to the overall journey that both your marketers and buyers are experiencing. 
See More: The Role and Benefits of Big Data in Digital Marketing
With nearly 90% of interactions taking place outside of the corporate websiteOpens a new window , you must consider ways to capture and leverage these insights to better your team’s approach. Your local marketers will be chomping at the bit for insights that will enable them to improve their connections. So rather than treating rogue websites as the black hole, capitalize on what they are: a trove of valuable data and insights that can be leveraged for future campaigns. Because, at the end of the day, data is incredibly powerful in helping to refine the messages and your marketing approaches. And if you use a self-serve data gathering and analysis option, everyone wins. But again, if you can provide your marketers with simple and powerful tools to improve regional and local campaigns, you can essentially get higher-quality data from every corner of the globe, from every motion, so you can start building a real, authentic, holistic picture that will inform an impactful strategy that scales. Frontline marketers can easily see what worked for their immediate customer set and adapt their approach for next time.
With all of the above in mind, there are significant cost benefits. Reducing and right-sizing your martech stack yields cost savings on multiple website tools and efficiency in campaign and content development. And harnessing the right data to inform marketing motions and empowering agile teams to do more with less does too. 
This is the time to really dig into creating more data visibility, more meaningful – less self-serving – connections with local customers, and empowering more of your on-the-ground marketers to do what they do best. When you arm them with tools and data, you give them the independence to succeed – and eliminate the need to go rogue in ways that are expensive and unproductive for the organization.
Are you leveraging your rogue websites to upgrade your marketing strategy? Tell us how on FacebookOpens a new window , TwitterOpens a new window , and LinkedInOpens a new window .

CEO, Folloze


Leave a Comment