Recently I was talking with a client about some fresh content I was writing for his website. He asked me about seeing some “concepts” and maybe even some “storyboards”. Thinking about it later I realised he was talking the language of advertising. I wondered if he viewed each new piece of content as a mini ad.
My philosophy on websites is to take a publishing approach with a marketing orientation. A publishing approach in terms of creating and managing the content and a marketing orientation for the substance of the content.
Perhaps I am blinkered by my background which is in marketing and publishing. But I am not alone in my beliefs. In a recent article for RainToday.com, David Meerman Scott wrote: “The best websites are designed by marketers who have learned to think more like successful publishers.”
Recently I found this quote on an online marketing agency’s blog: “Macromedia Flash is the key to making your websites look funky.”
It really got me wondering. Why do you want to make your website look funky? And more importantly, what’s the ROI on funky?
I’m no great fan of Flash. It has its place and I believe it can improve the ROI of a website. But only if it offers something that’s both useful and efficient.
Most of the Flash I see is gratuitous “show business” and does a website more harm than good. I fully endorse Gerry McGovern’s acerbic observation: “What is a Flash intro except a fourth rate TV ad by someone who knows that they will never get the chance to do a real TV ad?”
I think the main reason Flash remains so popular is that many website owners are still under the misguided impression that their website will be better if it looks “funky”. And their web developers/agencies don’t know enough about what makes a successful website to advise them otherwise.
It never ceases to amaze me the number of marketing managers I meet that know next to nothing about marketing.
Having completed a marketing degree I know how poorly university prepares students for the realities of marketing products and businesses. I’ve learnt a lot more about marketing from reading books by the gurus than three years of tutorials and lectures.
One person who knows a hell of a lot about marketing and is not afraid to share his wisdom is Seth Godin. Check out his one-page list of powerful marketing truths.