Having worked in technology, marketing and branding for a while (a fairly unique combination) I have come to a conclusion about homepages. The best home pages are a lot like product labels. They sell at the point of contact. The worst ones are like tables of contents. They help visitors navigate through cluttered over-complicated environments. Environments where every dept. in the company gets a piece.
My new thing is the landing story. It’s strategic and it is a serial presentation of product, benefits, reasons to believe and value. It is told by brand managers and people with creative chops whose main goal is to sell. Not provide information. The more mature a product and, therefore, the more familiar consumers are with it, the easier it should be to tell the landing story. Coke doesn’t have to educate new visitors as to what a cola is. They just have to get them to buy or buy more. There are real correlations between engagement levels on a website and purchase, no doubt; but getting someone into the library and getting them to read a book isn’t one and the same. So engagement for engagement’s sake is not the way to do it.
The home page, in my opinion, is one of the most misunderstood and misused marketing tools in the digital arsenal. Let’s try to fix this. Let’s bring home pages to life. Let’s storify them. Peace.