Most companies have a Web site. Most people donít visit it.
It is important that Web sites are well designed, have rich content, are a gateway to information, and are interactive. It is important that interaction and responsiveness to netzines is comprehensive, timely and backed by the whole company.
The internal relationship management to achieve this support is a matter for significant internal promotion. In addition, a wide capability in every department to contribute to the company Web site is necessary.
A three month old Web site is like a year old shop window, quaint. It is incumbent on reputation managers to ensure that the company site is current and refreshed. This does not mean that corporate identity should be compromised, in fact there is much to be said for consistency (in my personal view essential) but creativity if designed to enhance the virtual experience in terms of access to information and enhance interactivity is very helpful.
Marketing Web sites on and off-line is imperative. All these things are covered extensively in any manner of books and magazines and Web pages and will not be covered here.
Suffice to say that the research companies like Forester Research, Fletcher, Durlacher, NOP, Datamonitor, Marketing Metrix and many more offer a host of information for the Web site marketer. Information from NUA and CyberAtlas and others, the powerful on-line publication Ďinternet.comí. The significant facts are that the Internet Community has its own branding for commercial presence. The Forester Research report that normal brands have almost no influence with young US Internet Users when selecting on-line sites to visit. Even on-line brands had mixed reviews and donít necessarily capture the interest of these on-line consumers. The Harris Interactive poll in 1999 found that there is also very poor consumer recognition of Internet retailing (e-tailing) brands.
From this research it would seem that Internet branding is different to traditional brand promotion. As a result I have explored this area from a number of different angles.There is no doubt that branding is important and that it is needed to create a symbiosis between consumer and company on the Internet. There are big on-line brands. AOL, Yahoo and others have huge brand presence.
Commitment of companies (essentially board members) to the Internet can be measured in their commitment to deliver off line their on-line promise. The elements are: Branding, accessibility, information, interactivity, performance, and trust.