What drives traffic to your web site? Paid search? Search engine optimization? Those tactics are effective and should be a part of the online strategy for most marketers. However, there is a less tech driven way to prompt people to visit your web site: curiosity. Two examples I encountered recently came from Southwest Airlines and the National Water Council. Southwest is currently running a campaign that offers 50% fare discounts, with a different city featured each day over the course of the four-day promotion. The catch: consumers need to go to Southwest.com to find out what the “mystery city” is each day of the promotion.
I received a postcard recently offering a free bottle of my favorite laundry detergent. All I needed to do was go to www.freedetergent.com. Once I arrived there, name, e-mail address, and favorite laundry detergent brand info was requested. The promotion is an effort by the National Water Council to get participants for its National Water Quality Awareness Program. The promotion expands the group’s database of persons it can reach with its message. The intrigue of the offer and the straightforward URL made it too tempting to pass on visiting the web site.
These examples remind us that if we want to web surfers to visit our site, we must go beyond considering the architecture of web site design and analytics of keywords. Create some excitement through a mystery promotion, one that is too compelling to ignore!
In a little more than 10 years, corporate and brand web sites have gone from a novelty to a given. A company or brand without a web site? Is that possible today?
While having a web presence is a must in today’s interactive world, the nature of a company’s communications with its target market should be revisited. The first decade of the web communications era was characterized by companies using their web sites as electronic brochures for their products. While the brochure format has a place for many companies, it does not fit the brand building needs of all products, particularly consumer packaged goods. So, when Mars Skittles brand reinvented its web site to have a social media focus, the move may be one of having foresight about the future role of brand web sites.
The relaunched Skittles web site bears little resemblance to the product display focus we have become accustomed to encountering on the Web. A visit to the Skittles web site redirects you to a social media platform such as Facebook or Twitter. The brand has given up the product focus of traditional web sites and replaced it with a people focus. By putting consumers’ relationships with Skittles at the forefront of its communications efforts online, Mars has created a means of strengthening relationships between customers and the brand as well as build community among those people who are passionate about Skittles (yes, I know being passionate about candy sounds strange, but it happens!).
The Skittles experiment will be watched closely. If it has any degree of success, look for other consumer packaged goods brands to revamp their microsites to feature a more significant social media component.
Link: Marketing Daily – “Marketers Praise Skittles’ Gutsy Site Move”