Wednesday, December 13, 2006

CALLING MARKETING, RSS ON YOUR WEBSITE IS GOOD ROI

A website is supposed to be the webmasters baby, isn't it? Not quite true. This post is for Marketing professionals. Ever noticed the below icon on any website of late?
Subscribe to this feed

We are going to talk about it.
Modern day communication is characterized by short attention span and over exposure to diverse communication sources and cues.

It is perhaps too much to expect all people interesting in your company as an investor, analyst, career seeker, media person to get to know the updates on your corporate website site as they happen.They need to come and check as often as they can, on which, apply your judgement. Email again is an active response item, which means someone has to revert as soon as they can, and this can be very repetitive and prone to errors.

As a company, you would be interested in making sure the right media guys do not miss out your all important press release, a potential talent does not join the rival because he did not have the time to go through all the career openings in the careers section of your website and the Wall Street & Dalal Street analysts read your statement before the stock exchange bell rings. Each of these categories, esp. the analysts and the media may be interested in 100 or more companies and tracking all companies at the same time is easily prone to omissions.

Make it easy for them.Adopt RSS feeds. The acronym RSS goes by various expansions, the easy to understand one and widely popular is Really Simple Syndication. This represents an accepted XML format by which information is understood by various aggregation tools. As a user, we have the choice of using a web based feed aggregator such as
Google Reader, Bloglines etc or a desktop one such as RSSReader. These feed aggregators keep sniffing the sites you subscribed to for updates and bring it to you as soon as there is one, saving you the pain of going to each and every site you are interested in. Rather ,let them look for following icons on your site which signify that an RSS feed is available.







This is a widely accepted practice in blogosphere. It is widely used by magazines and newspapers across the world. I checked the website of Fortune 10 (not Global 10) companies to see how they are leveraging RSS and the observations are interesting.

The below picture from IBM.com is self explanatory on the importance provided by IBM to the RSS feeds (It leads you to a page where it lists out different feeds, targeted to different users.









See the RSS icon in the press section of Chevron website








GE has a very interesting combination of RSS and podcast feeds









Walmartfacts.com (Info website of Walmart)






RSS feeds list(Remember the Prof who taught you STP of marketing, well now observe how the feeds are segmented)














RSS is a must-to-have in today’s environment. Why?
  • Your investors sit across the world and you need their attention.
  • Your customers/prospects do not have the time to sift through mounds of Megabytes to look for what they want.
  • You want to hire the best, who are wooed by many others.
  • You are watched by media around the world and you need their attention.
  • You are an important enough name to be in the to-read list of college going kids.

    So, what is my point?

    I looked up several Indian leading companies. Sadly, Indian companies are lagging(Except for the newspaper sites) behind their counterparts in the west in Web 2.0 era. It is important to:

    1. Build RSS feeds on corporate website.
    2. Should be done segment wise for best results.
  • By stepping forward on this RSS journey, you would be enabling your information consumers in a small way.And trust me, it would pay you back your every cent.
Test

2 comments:

Jan said...

The magic of RSS feeds is grossly exaggerated by you if not outrightly erratic. It doesn't need employment of the RSS icon to get you information required. If you need it, you get it directly from authors concerned, that is you can open the blog itself to get headlines instead of opening RSS feed icon that leads you to feedburner page repeating same headlines. You can hyperlink directly to any other page serving news.
Dumb Internet, asking for duplication of tasks or otherwise making sure that one ends up put up for an idiot. But suit yourself.

Rajesh Kumar said...

@ Jan: Thanks for your comments. Beg to differ though. RSS simplifies content distribution in many ways.