Five cents buys you this in Bablion:
A worthwhile online investment will be more than the annual cost of your telephone book ad. It will be more than the cost of a great website. It will be more than the cost of a great website, quarterly online advertising campaigns, and the technical support to keep it holding together.
If you truly intend to move products and services through online engagement, you will also have to include the cost on ongoing content development by professional online content developers (in house or outsourced).
Moving Product or Services by Online Engagement
Online engagement must be created with intention and sustained with persistent effort over the long term; it rarely happens effortlessly, quickly and overnight. If customer experience is right, the research is solid, and the offer is interesting, it is possible to move product or services faster by online engagement than by more traditional off line outlets and distributors.
We have all seen how people and companies came online in the late 90’s with a big idea and failed for lack of follow up and online follow through. Corporate websites for big companies are the best example of this kind of failure of engagement, but blogs, microsites and script kiddie ventures tend to have the same problem.
Though most know that relevant online information and customer-experience interactions effect both urgent purchase decisions and educated decisions that operate over time, it seems difficult for many to understand that online engagement doesn’t usually happen once or by a single effort- even if heroic or grandiose.
Online engagement depends on consistent and ongoing streams of rich content, and therefore, additional investments and long term commitments before any ROI can be observed from the first effort.
Understandably, this is an intellectual challenge to traditional business process and a CFO’s nightmare in terms of budget planning.
Length of stay
The more time that a visitor spends on a site, blog or whatever, we can assume several things about them: the less time they have to spend in competitor content, the more likely they are to make a purchase sooner than later, and the more likely they are to buy when they are better situated to make a buying decision.
As these assumptions about length of stay have proven true and critical to marketing experts, the emphasis is on how to increase length of stay. Industry research suggests that accuracy, clarity and effectiveness of communication are key but so too interaction (customer participation, assistance and satisfaction).
Beyond these general guidelines which represent a very expensive proposition, research leaders are telling us that relevant and rich content commands more attention than corporate slogans and quick turn-key transaction models. Compared to big corporate sites, microsites and blogs are getting more length of stay when rich content flow is unrestricted amd persistent.
Blogs, microsites, and Social Media
Blogs and microsites aren’t the only things that are getting the lionshare of the attention of internet users. Social Media platforms such as Youtube, Linkedin and others provide content (sometimes, uncanny, inappropriate or boringly professional) that captures the attention of vast audiences.
In the next four years, we will see a lot more social media in the form of social and professional networks, blog filters, and blog promoters. They will grow as fast as their user’s generate content. These things will be the talk of the town and, especially, on Wall Street.
Figuring out how to make social media work within an integrated marketing strategy is going to get a lot of corporate attention for the next few years. It will require a new kind of thinking, creative problem-solving skills and the ability to deconstruct traditional conventions- especially those platitudes that held back broadcast and print from moving it online with a wait and see attitude.
There is no time for wait and see when it comes to the e-economy and online business. In 1996, the Fortune 500 were making their online moves in advance of potential challengers that they identified as threats on a distant horizon sky. They are making their moves again. The big boys realized some things over a decade ago. Among those business revelations…
Time is the one thing we don’t have, online.
Ferbuary 24, 2006
New York City
About Stan Faryna
Stan Faryna is a member of the IAB European Leadership Council and National Director of the Interactive Advertising Bureau Romania. He is the founder and co-founder of several technology, design and communication companies in the United States and Europe including Faryna & Associates, Inc., Halo Interactive, and others.
His political, scholarly, social and technical opinions have appeared in The Chicago Defender, Jurnal National, The Washington Times, Sagar, Saptamana Financiara, Social Justice Review, and other publications.
Mr. Faryna is editor-in-chief of Black and Right (Praeger Press, 1996), a landmark collection of socio-political essays by important American thinkers including U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
Copyright 1996 to 2008 by Stan Faryna.
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