Study: Microsites Not Complete Waste Of Money

Despite all their fancy Flash graphics and creative investment, less than 1 in 10 consumers are at all impacted after visiting a branded microsite, according to new research from Dynamic Logic. On average, the firm found that microsites impact 7.8% of site visitors with respect to conveying "key brand messages." In other words, after visiting a microsite, 7.8% of people become aware of a campaign's message.

To be fair, that figure is nearly double the percentage of consumers who are impacted by typical online display and video ads, according to Dynamic Logic.

"This may be a result of the microsites' audience, which tends to be comprised of people with a greater affinity toward the brand who may respond more strongly to the brand's messaging," it admits. "However, it is likely more related to the experience people have on the microsite, which is much more immersive, interactive, and engaging than simply being shown a display or video ad while browsing online."

Microsites do tend to attract consumers who have a greater pre-existing familiarity and affinity toward the host brand -- which is not a bad thing, according to Dynamic Logic.

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"Attracting such an audience is generally desirable, since microsites -- although also used to attract new consumers -- are often built to deepen relationships and loyalty with current brand users."

What's more, the larger attitudinal impact that microsites generate compared to display and video ads, despite starting at higher baselines, is a further testament to microsites' strength in a media plan, reasons Dynamic Logic.

As the research firm notes, its analysis does not account for audience reach or costs.

"While microsites tend to have a larger brand impact than display or video ads, the reach of these sites is notably smaller," it writes. What's more: "In terms of costs, an effective microsite requires a decent investment towards production of the site as well as media for traffic drivers."

Most research does support the notion that "digital interactions" have an impact on consumers' buying decisions.

Late last year, a Razorfish survey of 1,000 "connected consumers," found that 64% made their first purchase from a company as a result of such an interaction -- be it a Web site, microsite, mobile coupon or email. What's more, nearly all respondents -- 97% -- said a digital brand experience had influenced whether they went on to buy a product or service from that marketer.

3 comments about "Study: Microsites Not Complete Waste Of Money".
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  1. Mark Simmons from marCis interactive, April 1, 2010 at 11:28 a.m.

    Microsites need to be really creative to go viral and be successful. You'll often see micro-sites that seem forced or are not integrated into their overall marketing plan. Pointing to the micro-site from other channels is essential, but a lot of brands miss that crucial step. FUN, interactive content makes a huge difference. There has to be a value provided or else why stick around. More importantly, why share?

  2. Kevin Horne from Verizon, April 1, 2010 at 7:20 p.m.

    This analysis makes almost no sense. Why would someone build a microsite other than to accomplish "brand messaging" or further down the funnel? (i.e., the "score" for this analysis should have been near 100%).

    Either most of the microsites are crap, or Dynamic Logic needs to take a more rigorous approach and categorize the microsites by type...

  3. Benjamin Watson, April 2, 2010 at 7:09 p.m.

    The category of your product and the scale of your market has a huge impact upon the role a microsite should play and how much you should invest in building and maintaining them. As an example Automotive is very different to CPG.

    Would be useful to see research which was category exclusive or took build and maintenance costs into account.

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