Brochureware is the term used, often with derogatory marketing implications, to describe websites consisting entirely of static pages that promote a company’s products and services, people and value proposition. Most brochureware websites contain no content that requires updating, and other than perhaps a “Contact Us” form, no interactive capabilities. Brochureware simply sits online, like a printed brochure sits on a coffee table.
A big problem for many companies, from a brand marketing perspective, is that:
- Their well-intentioned graphic design firm has provided them with a website with functions requiring new and refreshed content. These functions might include: “News”; “In the News”; “Upcoming Events”; “Thought Leadership”; “Case Studies”; “White Papers”; “Webinars”, etc.
- Although they understand the potential marketing and SEO value of those website functions, companies often lack the motivation, resources or raw material to supply them with new, relevant, engaging content on a consistent basis.
- As a result, website visitors might see…a company blog with only 3 posts over the past year; no press releases issued since 2009; a “Coming Soon” graphic for the In the News section; an archive of quarterly newsletters with many issues skipped; a 2 year-old white paper that’s no longer relevant; and zero upcoming events scheduled.
- Based on these impressions, website visitors will likely conclude one or all of the following:
- This company is out of business.
- This company doesn’t really care what clients and prospects think of them.
- If this company doesn’t care what I think of them, how well will they serve my needs?
Having seriously out-of-date or missing content on your website is akin to showing up to a first meeting with a prospective client wearing no shoes and the same shirt you’ve worn for the past 6 months, sporting a jacket with lapels 4 inches wide. Based on first impressions, that prospect has already crossed you off his list.
If your company’s website is incurring brand damage as a result of outdated content…and if it has no intention of building disciplines to consistently feed this online beast…then your best course of action is clear:
TELL YOUR GRAPHIC DESIGN FIRM TO REMOVE ALL WEBSITE FUNCTIONS THAT REQUIRE REGULAR UPDATING.
Your company will be better served – from a brand perspective – by having a website featuring 100% static brochureware, than by having a website that aspires to be something it’s not.