Saturday, 1 March 2008

Does your website AIPD?

Your website is online. You expect people to visit your website, fair enough. Is that it? The answer is no. The website is not there to provide information only, although this is one of the main objectives. The question is how do you make your website strategically contribute in achieving the overall organisation's marketing objectives and get the website to pay for itself?

Does this seem to be complicated? Well, let us look at it carefully. Ask yourself: what are we trying to achieve by going online? Of course there are some generic reasons like reaching wider markets, not being left behind or simply because the competitors have websites. Also, you may want to add value to the services you provide to your customers, showing them that you care.

A website represents the organisation in the cyberspace, thus it serves as a strong marketing tool plus a front end to service customers. This is one important objective; to provide e-services to customers. Customers like to do things online, more than anything it is personal. That is, you can have your transaction done from home at 12 midnight with a click of button without having to wait in a long queue while enjoying a hot drink in a cold night. Who does not love that?

AIPD (Attracting, Informing, Positioning and Delivering) is a model to demonstrate how four strategic functions could be integrated to deliver the desired strategic results of making profit and marketing your brand on the web.

Attracting is the ability of the website to bring the customer to the information it contains. This is achieved by making people aware of the web presence. This can be done through different channels by having the domain name (website address) visible in all the offline (or online) advertisements, plus any paper work or publications by the organisation. Also, telling people that they can do things online by visiting your website. In addition to that, if visitors have a nice experience browsing your website, they are likely to visit it again and guess what, they will tell others about your website and how good it is because people like to share their wonderful experience with others.

Informing is the delivery of content, information, service or persuasive elements of the website. It is important to choose the right content to be delivered, not just put anything in there. There is no right or wrong in terms of the amount of content to be displayed in the homepage. You have to make sure it gives what the users would like to know about. Take good care of information architecture, which outlines how the website is structured hierarchically in terms of what pages come first and where each page leads and how pages are grouped together.

Positioning is the role of the website in promoting the organisation objectives through the design, appearance and content of the site. It is important to make the homepage give the first impression right because the first impression lasts for long time. The design should reflect the organisation’s objectives, mission, vision, and values. Layout design, eye-catching corporate colors are some basic fundamentals that should be considered when designing the website.

Finally, delivering is the capacity of the website to provide information, services or products as required by the user. Just ask yourself; who is going to use the website? If you know the answer, deliver to the users what they need and add value to that. If you do not know the answer, why going through the hassle of having a website?

When these four elements are successfully interlinked they can produce profit-oriented outcomes (reduced costs, increased sales, other revenues, or simply add value to customers) and create a sense of website branding. Website branding is where the website establishes a presence in the minds of customers, independently of the product or service it promotes.

I can summarise the above in one sentence “enrich the user experience and achieve your goals” and take great care of layout design, information architecture, users-orientation, interactivity and functionality.

So, does your website AIPD?

5 comments:

tt said...

Today i was searching on some key attributes for starting a business online and i came up with the something simmular to idea of the AIPD...

Its very important to gain the customers satisfaction to garentee that they will come and vist your site again..

I have summerized some of the key attributes you need to consider in an online business website..

1. Easy to load pages that are search engine friendly.
2. Choose the best key word that fits the site description.
3. A newsletter that keeps the customers informed with the latest information about new products.
4. Have an affiliate programme that allows customers to earn some cash when recommending this site and products to others.
5. Have an email capture form, to communicate with customers online and send them feedback about their inquiries.
6. Have a testimonial on the website for satisfied customers.
7. Privacy policy – not to sell their name for who will miss use or SPAM.
8. Link Popularity
9. Have a Strategic partner ship – Ads and banner Ads.
10. Tracking the Sales
11. Clear invitation to Buy
12. Have a merchant account. To collect the money
13. Have an FAQ page- for the most frequent asked questions.
14. Website rich in content.
15. About Us – a special section that describes the company.
16. Product Guarantee – Money back guarantee.
17. Work with other sites industry – to promote for the site
18. Have a clear market plan
19. Present a good written copy – poor spelling and poor grammar will put off customers - copy write service.

Finally hope you agree with me about these key attributes, and if you have any other important key attributes will be happy if you can share them with me... it will help me with my eCommerce assignment...

Sulaiman Al Rawahi said...

Hi T,

Thanks for commenting on my posts, that keeps my blog alive and encourages me to write. The AIPD model is more into marketing. That is it, how would your website fit into the marketing mix of the organization and help in achieving the goals online. What you wrote about are actions, elements or attributes that a website should have.

I will comment on the points you wrote about one by one.

1. very important because visitors are very impatient
2. There is a tag called "meta" that can be used in the "head" section of an HTML page to give a meaningful description to the content of the page and help to reaching your website from different search engines. To know more about the "meta" tag please visit:
http://www.yourhtmlsource.com/promotion/metatags.html
http://searchenginewatch.com/showPage.html?page=2167931

3. This is one good idea. You can have a page for newsletters with an option to download them in pdf format or have the newsletters as a webpage within your website. You can also give customers (visitors) the option to register their email for updates of the newsletters via email.
4. Nice idea. Also people like to share their good experience with others. So, If you enrich the experience of your visitors, they definitely will recommend your website to others.
5. This is what is called "Email Us" or "Contact Us" page.
6. Get testimonials from your customers and ask them if they agree to have their say online, if they agree, it is great.
7. Very important to have a clear one that ensure privacy and confidentiality of information.
8. For the popular to get more popular
9. This is a very important skill that you should learn. Linking your name and website with the big names gives you good presence.
10. Not only the sales, but also a lot of other activities. If you can give customers the option to see what the status of their order is, they will love it and that is one value added to the other services you provide.
11. With words like "Buy" or "Add to Cart".
12. Of course and with the NePG (National e-Payment Gateway) and ePG (e-Payment Gateway), different e-payment options can be implemented easily in Oman, the ePG is expected to be launched towards the end of this year.
13. This is similar to the Help menu in programs. You can also have a "Help" page and make sure to give the visitors an option to post or send you an email if they have different queries.
14. The content depends on what you can present to your customers in relation to the products you offer.
15. This page has to be there, it tells the visitors about the history of your company, what it does, what you vision and mission are, etc.
16. This is also important for the customers to feel safe.
17. If you have a good marketing plan (online and offline), people will start visiting your website and dealing with you, then make sure you provide the best differentiated service ever. You will see your reputation built up with time. It just needs time and a lot of effort.
18. This one is important and tough because you have to know the market and your target. Only then you can tailor your actions accordingly and deliver to your targeted customers what they want (or need).
19. These small things make the difference. Do also take a great care of translation (especially from English to Arabic). I have seen some websites and ads where translation was a real disaster and gives the wrong impression and that is something you do not want to happen.

This is one whole post by itself T. Hope you find these comments useful. If you need anything else, I will be more than happy to help.

Sangeetha Sridhar said...

Wowee!


I found my techie juice online in your blog.


Keep blogging good stuff like this.

Your AIPD is worth testing on my blog. So any suggestions?

Sulaiman Al Rawahi said...

Sangeetha,

Thanks for your comment. Give me some time to look at your blog based on AIPD and give you my feedback.

You will surely see useful stuff in here simply because I love the 'e' prefix.

Sulaiman Al Rawahi said...

To comment on this post, please visit http://ensiyab.blogspot.com/2008/02/does-your-website-aipd.html