It may be a little early for Holiday-themed posts, but the relevance of this entry exists year-round. It's not even really Holiday-themed. It's more like a continuation of a website, themed after a movie, themed for the Holiday movie season. Ugh. Okay, let me explain.
The website: itsawonderfulinternet.com, plays off the movie, you guessed it, It's a Wonderful Life. The site takes you through the adventure of internet user, George, who finds himself first cursing the internet, then, upon realizing the folly of his judgment through various pre-internet themed visions, eternally grateful for his internet-ful life.
The website makes a valid point. We have a lot to be thankful for. Just like George, we use the internet every day for news, weather, keeping in touch, shopping, looking for a better job, paying bills, etc. (Seriously, you, the guy with the checkbook, pen and a roll of stamps, just stop it. Really. Just stop it already.) The moral of the story: the internet is good for consumers.
Ah ha. Now you're starting to see where I'm going with this. The Art Director has a little business sense after all. Socrates might say; "If the internet is good for consumers, and if your business is on the internet, then the internet is good for your business." He would be right, sort of.
If he hadn't expired just prior to 1962*, he might know that although his methods are great for understanding the broad picture, there are a lot of different ways of "being on the internet." Keeping it broad; some ways make you money, some ways lose you money.
Since we're awfully positive (is that an oxymoron?) around here, I'm specifically writing about how to make money on the internet. If your goal is to lose money, simply do the opposite of the advice given here. Ouch, that sounded rough. I didn't mean it as a threat. Oh great, I can see you're already leaving the blog. Wait, stop. Please. I'm sorry. I didn't mean it that way. Can we just start over? Quick, let's change the subject.
Picture a box of Grape Nuts. (Author's note to developer: let's get some adword links on that product name! Grape Nuts, man! They've got deep pockets!) When you go shopping for cereal, do you typically go to the Grape Nuts store, or do you go to the grocery store? Right. You go to the grocery store, and when you get to the cereal aisle, you are faced with a decision. Hundreds of boxes dance and wink, blow kisses, make empty promises, anything to get you to buy them.
Marketing 101, right? You're a smart crowd, you understand what I'm saying. When it comes to the internet, you've got to be the prettiest box. And if possible, you've got to be located at eye-level" . And beyond the cereal box analogy, when users go to your site, they've got to have a pleasant experience. Otherwise, these squirrelly little users will burn through their short spans of attention"¡, press the "back" button and move on to a competitor. They'll keep doing that until they come to a site that not only sells what they're shopping for, but also doesn't make them want to pull out their hair when they interact with it.
The standards are raised. It's not enough to just be on the internet anymore. Now you have to think about the consumer's experience with your site. What happens when they get there? How do they get there? And quite frankly, did your competitor do a better job of addressing these issues? If they did, they win" " .
Maybe all this is obvious, but no one criticized God or Clarence for being obvious when they made their point to George Bailey§. Happy Holid"¦ er, Halloween.
*Such an exaggeration that you might even call it factually incorrect.
" Search Engine Optimization (SEO) metaphor.
"¡Read this article for more on conversions and the attention span of a typical user.
" " Marketing message: The battle is not lost! Call FGI today to get back in the race, and to win, win, win!
§Yes, I did just compare myself to God and an angel. But we don't discuss religion. This is a place of business.