If you build a dealership microsite
, car buyers and service customers will come, they will engage and you can get the data to prove it. That is the main finding of a newly released Keynote Competitive Research
study conducted in October 2007. The company tracked reactions of consumers planning to buy an automobile
within the next six months as they interacted with microsites for various car models, including the Toyota Yaris. Keynote said the Yaris microsite demonstrated that "the more engaged people are with product and brand microsites, the more satisfied they will be and conversion rates will be higher than for people less engaged." That is great if you are trying to sell a Yaris, but what does the study say about using microsites for other brands?
Even the Keynote study
found differences in engagement levels, time spent at the microsite and other metrics, depending on the car brand in question. Were those differences the result of the types of consumers who were predisposed to pick a certain brand or the microsites themselves?
Keynote did not offer an analysis and, as with other Web site comparisons, it may be less productive to compare the sites to each other than to judge them on their own merits: Did they reflect the proper brand attributes? Did they appeal to the target audience?
Microsites still have tactical appeal to many online marketers. About as many marketers surveyed in late 2007 by Scene7 used microsites as used video.
Similarly, MarketingSherpa readers surveyed last year rated microsites highest in terms of delivering "great results."
As with many online tactics, microsite metrics are getting better all the time. Don Aoki, senior vice president of Keynote, said that in the end, metrics are what reveal success, which depends on engagement.
"User perceptions change within [microsites], and the end result will be different depending on the elements interacted with," said Mr. Aoki.
"With interactive advertising, the consumer must be presented compelling content to draw him or her into the interaction. The consumer must be engaged," he said.
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