the fall of the corporate website
Companies, at least mine, are investing on their corporate websites, not in such an efficient way, I’d say.
Why is that? Internet user’s behavior has been drastically changed in recent years. Way too much investment and energy have been focus in this field and we’re experiencing so called information explosion period of the Internet. Too much information creates distractions, which creates picky users, who used to be “so bored out here, let’s go window shopping” and now they’re more like “you’d better have room service, or I’d turn away right now”.
Corporate website is stepping down. It’s used to be the only online face of a company, and now it’s just one of them.
how users behave on the internet?
In reality, we probably don’t care to see these big complex, rich & informative, menus stack on menus corporate old fashion website anymore. I don’t even go to search engines that much, instead I’d keep my Tweetbot up and running all day.
Do you remember Google used to have an iGoogle Page, with all kind of customizable widgets on? Now they replaced it with G+ and soon after that they have a +1 button appended to the search result. Also look at some others: Facebook(you connect friends, community so you can keep in touch with friends and also get a bunch of likes, which is so easy and nice to interact with, just one click away), Twitter(you get what’s popular out of the fields relevant to you), RSS feeds(bit like Twitter, interesting content with extend detail. Who cares about blog design anymore as long as you get me hook? I just read blogs that I care.), social aggregation tools(like hacker news, identify popular & important topics among (the developer) communities), etc.
So obviously, we now prefer or promote those web experiences attached with interesting contexts, and we expect information relevant to us under that context be smart enough to reveal themselves. For that, we’re willing to give up personal identities, preferences and some other information to the web.
We follow what we likes, tumble across the things interest us. Along the way, something new comes up, with a mouse click away, nice tempting visual effects, relevant to the context and mood, we couldn’t possibly be able to resist on checking it out.
Only those consumable, accessible, relevant information that pops up right in front of you gets noticed.
corporate website is still important
Although the role our dear old corporate website used to play has changed, it is still the most official/unmistakable source about the company, the products, the marketing events. I bet you would still check on the product you come across from many sources on its website to make sure everything they claimed is authentic, so you’ll be in confidence making purchases. If that kind of information not so hard to locate, right? Plus, a central repository make it easy for the company to manage content and react to challenges. So you’ll still need that site hanging in there.
So user wants information, and we have the most official ones now on our website, but people just don’t bather going there spontaneously no matter how gorgeous you think you’ve made it looks… How could these be changed?
Quite simple actually, we have the good stuff and the only thing we need is to figure out a way to sell it.
Now repeat after me: Corporate website is no longer the only online face of your company image. It’s one of the many. You should switch you mind from Corporate website oriented to Information oriented – build a central resource repository and distribute accordingly, not only to your web site, also to other channels.
Information should be collected and managed in a central place. Then break them into pieces and deliver using channels that make the most sense. Information pieces could have different appearances and reach out in many ways. Managing old fashion websites becomes managing information and content, building channels, processing content into consumable, fit for the channel and target pieces, delivering them right so they show up when mostly needed and expected, logging and analyzing feedbacks for further improvements.