- literature in cyberspace
- slow sites & slow fulfilment
- assuming the 'old rules' don't apply
Remember the old adage "I know half my marketing works, but I don't know which half". It appears that very few businesses have undertaken a formal evaluation of their web investment. But before you upgrade the site, it's worth taking a long hard objective look at what your customers or other visitors think of it.
But for most people, the website or e-commerce has been an act of faith. First generation websites more or less said, "We're here"- so that people could find you through search engines. Then came second generation sites, which were 'literature in cyberspace'. Even at this 'brochureware' level there has been too much blind faith and too little appraisal of how the site integrated with the marketing strategy and whether the spend was justified by the return. IT people dominated the thinking and controlled content.
But now marketers are seeing the reality that the web is just another channel of communication - but it can be two-way. So third generation sites are interactive and deliver real added value to the visitor.
Before launching into the mega-spend of a major revamp, a website evaluation of your site against your competitors and best practice gives you a starting point and sense of direction. A survey of what customers would really like from your site is straightforward too - and will help confirm your strategy. A professional brainstorming session will bring freshness and innovation.
But everyone is getting smarter at using e-marketing. The diagram shows that effective use of e-commerce as part of your marketing mix can make you better at marketing your current products, and that using e-commerce you may also be able to develop new products or services. This can enable you to drive right over your competitors.
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