Web of Inaction
Mary Schmidt posted today about corporations that abandon their websites. A truly prescient post, one all of us in corporate marketing should read…twice.
My Bottom Line Perspective: Marketing, advertising and PR aren’t dead in their present incarnations (yet). But, all three are changing radically in both definition and execution. The successful companies in the Intention Economy will be the ones who realize marketing is everything you do – not just a department, glossy brochure, or goofy advertising campaign. Who needs hard copy slicks and dead wood media ads when you have millions already looking for (and finding) you? Will you be ready when they do? Can you communicate (and thus compete) effectively?
I’m fighting just this battle right now, and frankly, I’m not sure at all of the outcome. Although it takes me minutes to tweak a corporate site, it can take weeks and even months to get new campaigns approved, or to get the ball rolling on a bit of obvious pr. Frankly, the whole thing is tiring, and it makes one wonder if the effort is even worth it.
I could rant on for several pages on the issue, but I’ll summarize: inaction due to process can hamstring your marketing efforts. Failure to devote resources to getting the message out internally as well as externally can cripple – never forget that you’ve got to first sell your staff, as even the lowliest employee is a marketing resource. Speed and action make you active, rather than reactive. If all your marketing is being driven by external issues, rather than directed from inside, you’ve lost control.
When was the last time you substantively updated your site? Is your website’s message really the message you are trying to convey? Or is your message “no one is home, please turn out the lights!”
2 thoughts on “Web of Inaction”
Keeping a web-site current is particularly difficult for small, under-staffed companies. Just getting “it” up there can be both daunting and expensive. It’s hard to swallow the fact that, once you’re in YOU’RE IN, and you need to keep the site fresh and interesting. Hard to do when the resources you have are focused on getting product out the door, making sales, etc. As you and Mary S. note, a web site may well be the most important element in a company’s marketing portfolio and you can’t just let it sit there dormant. The question is, what’s enough? How often/how much updating?
I had a wonderful response composed, thoughtful, solving all the problems of the SMB world, but the submit key deleted it.
For me, update frequency is a gut instinct, possibly because I’ve done it for so long. What works for one business won’t work for another. In most cases, 2-3 weeks is about right, but it can’t be just adding a press release to your news section.
I’m looking to doing flash installments – basically the animated version of the bullet points you mention in your post this morning about “The Incredible Shrinking Data Sheet” – I think people aren’t as willing to read on the internet, and it’s better to spoon feed smaller bits of information in memorable ways. Of course, it’s time intensive for the SMB to do this.
A good webmaster knows when his garden needs tending. We need to listen to them, and think like media, planning our editorial calendar, even if it’s loose and subject to change.