According to the advertising trade magazine, Advertising Age, some corporate web sites are now getting more viewers than the TV programmes in which the companies also advertise their products. The report shows that the companies that are getting the highest numbers of visitors are those that go beyond simply having a “corporate” site or “brochureware”. They cite Procter & Gamble, (P&G) for instance, which has seen a dramatic rise in web site visitors in recent months. Advertising Age goes on to say that the combined audience for P&G and Unilever now “swamps” the audience for popular TV shows. If you look at the P&G site you can understand why. Instead of the site being corporate or a brochure, it is actually packed with useful, practical information. There are articles, news updates, advice and several different newsletters. Instead of being about “brand” it is clearly focused on the user’s needs for information on how to get the best out of any P&G product. There are even pages for the professionals who use the company’s products where customers can join in a specific community. However, Avdertising Age points out that unlike P&G most companies do not have web sites that capitalise on the power of the Internet. P&G have clearly learned that providing practical information, background materials and a community of users is much more important than talking about the company. Most businesses clearly have some way to go to catch up with P&G and attract TV-sized audiences to their web sites. What about your site?
If you are a “big change” business, then you are like my garden fence. Leaving it unpainted for so long has created much more work, at a higher cost, than if it had been tended to every year. Ignoring reviews of your online activity for long periods also means you make more work for yourself and raise your costs.