A marketing and communications director told me recently: “We’re going to have a microsite, as it is the way to go…” and she sited some examples like nike’s justdoit.com and Pepsi-Cola’s generationnext.com. “We should do it as it is the trend now…”, she said.
Well, to begin with, having your corporate slogan as a domain name for a microsite isn’t new. The justdoit.com site was started in 1994 (wow! that’s over 10 years ago) and generationnext.com was created in 2001! In internet time, this is old.
I tried telling her it’s not a good idea but she didn’t listen. She had her heart set on it, and my opinion didn’t matter. Perhaps I wasn’t aggressive enough. Alright, sorry, it’s my fault.
She finally ended up having paying an ad agency for their consultancy services, and they’ll probably tell her the same thing I would. Perhaps I should tell her that these agencies sometimes outsource their consultancy work to me? Hmm…
Anyway, the latest news is… she’s decided not to go for the microsite idea… Yup, let’s just concentrate our efforts to make what we have better.
Microsites have been around for over a decade. And it’s easy to see why. For a company with many business lines, e.g. Nike, it’s a great way to segragate your products and services, so each microsite is tailored for a specific audience. If it’s brand strengthening you desire, then having a tagline microsite will help your customers understand your value proposition better. Some companies also use microsites to accompany specific marketing campaigns so they can isolate the success of their marketing strategies.
Anyway, unless you have a brand that ‘s strong enough, having a tagline microsite is a no-no. Apart from resource consumption, it’ll be confusing for everyone who’s already having problems recognising your brand. Worse still, it can weaken and dilute your brand. And the numerous competitors, copycat companies and sites out there which add to the confusion.
So, unless your brand is strong, your business objectives clear, and your digital marketing strategy streamlined, don’t waste your time on microsites. But if you have plenty of money to waste, then nobody’s going to stop you.