Have you lost track of your digital marketing and other online presences?

estimated number of websites in the digital estates of global consumer goods companies

Have you lost track of your global digital marketing and other online presences?

Almost every major business we encounter has a digital estate comprising hundreds/thousands of social media accounts, websites and content hosted on third-party platforms. The chart shows a summary of our recent high-level global consumer goods sector survey: that’s just the estimated website count, and it’s likely on the low side.

In practice, almost every business with a significant digital estate has lost track of its overall digital presences. So, customers, business partners and other audiences face complex and confusing journeys as they seek to complete tasks or find information.

As audiences make those journeys they can encounter, some, many or all of the following (and there are many others we’ve found and could add to the list):

Unforced Content Issues

  • Internal new product or brand test and pre-production websites. Sites that shouldn’t be accessible via the public internet, at least not, yet.
  • Staging websites, external agency/agencies are working on, but also aren’t ready for public consumption
  • Back-end sign on screens for internal systems that are also accessible via the public internet.
  • Campaign sites for the seasonal or event-based campaigns that ran in 2013 and 2015 (or earlier), but are still linked to your digital estate.
  • The cyber squatter site that looks confusingly like one of yours.
  • The www and non-www versions of sites that actually display different content when accessed.
  • Pages that appear to visitors not have been updated in years because the copyright date in the footer hasn’t been updated since 2015.
  • Pages that haven’t had their content updated in years, because the site map tells us so.

Unforced Technical Issues

  • As visitors traverse a digital estate links take them to 404 pages
  • Links that don’t lead to 404 pages, they just dead end, because there is no associated DNS.
  • Links browsers won’t server because they aren’t secure
  • Website maintenance pages that have been in place for months.

In the race to improve customer digital experiences, complete digital transformation projects and roll out new marketing campaigns new digital marketing and other online presences can proliferate and old ones never quite get cleaned up.  And, customers and business partners can still end up visiting multiple websites to understand the solutions available to them.

It is difficult to stay on top of sprawling digital estates, because content creation is typically decentralized. But, if you don’t customers, business partners, investors, the media and other audiences will all face complex and confusing journeys to complete tasks or find information.
The first step in solving a problem is recognizing and admitting you have one and that begins with finding, assessing and collating a digital estate's content. Go, do it!


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