Great column (as always) by Mark Hurst. This one, entitled Budgeting for Advertising and Customer Experience, deals with an all too common problem — companies that budget well for advertising to get people to their site but spend almost nothing to ensure that people can actually use the site once they get there. I see this every day as I meet with companies to discuss their websites. Many of them have such underfunded and poorly thought out sites that they don’t even know what the potential is. I met with a major insurance company who was happy that five customers had signed up using their complex online quote and purchase process. Five! And that was a good day. My guess is they process that many customers a minute through call centers and sales agents. No wonder the CEO doesn’t want to spend more on web initiatives.
Of course, with a proper strategy, a well-designed site, and an integrated approach to marketing in and between multiple channels, I’m sure that the Web could be on an equal footing with the call center. But how to convince the CEO that a properly implemented web strategy and user experience would mean one hundred times the sales through the web channel? If you suggest that poor site design makes 500 potential sales per day into 5, who will ever believe you? Still, I am encouraged, as Mark is, that some folks are starting to get the madness of this approach. Read the article and you too will be left shaking your head at the illogic of “business as usual”.
Originally published at www.onedegree.ca on April 4, 2005.