Product Promotion Using The Web: Tricks For Product Managers

Updating A Product's Web Site Requires Buy-in And Customer Input
Updating A Product’s Web Site Requires Buy-in And Customer Input

The promise of the Internet in it’s early days was that it was “always on“. This meant that as you worked on other things (and slept), your product’s web site was always out there selling, selling, selling your product to whomever happened to be looking at it. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

Why Isn’t Your Web Site Working For Your Product?

Over time we’ve all discovered the harsh reality of life that not all web sites are created equal – some work, and some don’t. For some odd reason, we always seen to be checking out the web site of products that compete against our product and our heart is filled with envy.

According to Marc Levitt from the MSLK graphic design firm, there are a number of WRONG way to go about correcting this problem and just a few  RIGHT ways to do it. Let’s see if we can get some guidance on what to do after you’ve created a plan for updating your product’s web site.

Don’t Go It Alone – Get Buy-In

Just like when you are developing a new product, it’s critical that you get inputs from everyone who will be affected by your redesigned product web site. The reason for doing this is because if you don’t, then there is  a very good chance that a major stakeholder will show up at the last minute and either kill your plans or end up changing everything that you’ve agreed to.

Get Customer Input

Is this starting to sound more and more like new product development? You wouldn’t go out and create a new product without talking with your customers, so why would you change your product’s web site without talking with them? Specifically, you want to find out what is and is not working with the current design. Your customers are the only ones who can tell you this.

Provide A Freshness Guarantee

What’s the ultimate goal of your product’s web site? Hopefully it’s to increase sales. However, you can’t expect your customers to buy the first time that they visit your product’s site. Instead, you’re going to have to assume that they’ll have to visit it several times while they make up their minds. This means that you need to keep the content of your web site up-to-date and make sure that there is fresh material there on a regular basis. Remember: content is king

Final Thoughts

Your product’s web site can do what you once dreamed that it would do for you: promote your product 24×7. However, an out-of-date web site that was designed years ago and which hasn’t been updated since then won’t be able to do this. Carefully planning an upgrade by working with ALL stakeholders and customers to create a new design that you keep fresh with updated content is your ticket to product success.

Questions For You

Are you happy with the current web site for your product? If you could change only one thing about it, what would it be? When it was originally built, was customer input collected? How about input from all of the major stakeholders? Leave me a comment and let me know what you are thinking.

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

So there you stand: somehow you’ve managed to convince the powers that be that your product needs to have its very own web site in order to attract the masses of customers who would be buying it today if only they knew that it existed. Where to start: embedded flash? viral videos? Here’s a wake-up call for you – your site’s ultimate success depends on four non-technical secrets.

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