Hypersites - Affordable Microsites that Increase the HypeI was a bit surprised that only 30% of companies over $500 million in the past year use microsites according to this same study. I know that many of my own clients who are much much smaller (I know an association that uses one) use these for such things as product promotions, product launches, event promotions, email list builders (combined with direct mail), knowledge libraries and customer retention (customer surveys) to name a few off the top of my head. One of the main advantages of microsites that I see (we call them hyperistes) is the ability to personalize the experience using dynamic content substitution. Therefore based on a person's behaviour and/or attributes (eg: industry or product interest) different content is served up. While this is a great user experience that is customized on a 1 to 1 basis, it's still only one side of the conversation - the marketer telling the prospect about a new product or service.
Web 2.0 - Microsites on CrackIn terms of web 2.0, it was interesting that the study sees a "movement toward consumer-generated content" which it sees "will be an important component of microsites". This includes the use of blogs as well as other web 2.0 tools such as RSS, podcasts, video and more. The sky is the limit. This is the other half of the conversation which allows the user to have their own say and contribute to the conversation.
Business Blogshit RevealedBlogs have a lot of potential but already we are seeing it being abused with fake blogs such as Wal-Mart's Wal-Marting Across America which was written by an "old couple" that were paid to spew happy praises about Walmart. What a bunch of crap. It was probably written by a couple of pro-bloggers or the Walmart marketing team. Marketers beware - if you're trying to establish a brand that people can trust, don't ruin it by lying to your existing or potential customers. We see right through it.
Remember: the Internet is a highway that goes both ways - your message can be spread out to the masses in a split second but the masses will also turn on you just as quickly if you try to dupe them. In addition, some of these blogs like the Wal-mart blog and the new Nissan Sentra blog don't even allow you to leave comments! So much for the "conversation" approach.
Lets hope that as we further adapt to the new tools of web 2.0 that we keep things real - the way that blogging was meant to be.
PS - I don't consider a blog a blog unless I can leave a comment. What do you think?
PPS - check out the comments for my post called 7 Days in a Crapbox (Nissan Sentra)
Who do you think really left that comment? :)