“We have spent a million dollar in putting that website there” I have read & heard these “intelligent” arguments by some very senior executives of some very popular brands.
I have a humble suggestion to them- DUDE WAKE UP !
If spending money can get you the results then all the so called brand guru’s will start selling candy floss. Before i start making a delicious breakfast for these “corporate saviors’ let me just answer some basic question.
What’s a corporate web site?
It’s the domain they use after every advertisement where you can learn more about a company, ya know it, anycompany.com
Corporate are in love with there content writers and believe that they have hired a Shakespeare to write another masterpiece which will help them create a mark in history (at least content writers think so..). With there glib market speak, stock photos of smart looking dudes or minority women crowded around the computer raving about your product, the positive press release, the happy customer testimonials, the row of executive portraits, the donations your corporate made to disaster relief, the one-sided view never ends. And Yes the designers nevertheless think that the website is the last chance for them to buy a ticket to eternity.
While some of your traffic may be going up on your website, it’s not indicative of how corporate websites are being used. Analytics don’t tell us why people go to your site, and it may not be for the reason you want them to.
The corporate website is an unbelievable collection of hyperbole, artificial branding, and pro-corporate content. As a result, trusted decisions are being made on other locations on the internet.
Why is your corporate website irrelevant?
Marketing has shifted, it’s no longer on two domains
Many web marketers are under the impression that the battles are only fought within Google search results and on the corporate domain. In reality, marketing has spread to many other areas where conversations occur: social networks, rating sites, chat rooms, and even blogs. No corporate should underestimate the value of what social networking has to offer in the current scenario.
Decisions are not made on your corporate website
For this blog post i conversed with some of my fellow designers, e-marketers, senior executives and some informed customers of there services. And the startling fact was that there prospective customers were making decisions much before hitting the sellers corporate website, and at this juncture if the customers expectation do not match with what the website has to offer, it will not be difficult to guess who is at the losing end. Which also plays a spoilsport in bringing down the brand value of the otherwise strong brand.
Not understanding why your customers come to your website
Fact of the matter is that a considerable amount of customers visit a manufacturers website just to pick up the either the pricing details or the features of the product. I have personally done so while i was planning to buy a new mobile phone. I went to this major handset providers website just to gather the feature details, as i already made up mind by hitting blogs, social networks and forums. So the point that i want to drive home is that corporate should be present at these places where the decision are made.
“ I always hate to break the news, but hey, who will? After eight years of evaluating more than 1,000 large corporate Web sites, Forrester found only 3% with passing grades. The vast majority are hard to use, confusing, poorly designed, and cast an unfavorable shadow over the brand.”
by George F. Colony, Forrester Research
The list is quite long but i just wanted to stick to some major issues right now and move onto to tackling the issues. If you feel that there are some other issues you want me to delve in then just send a comment across to me, i will look into it.