"On the Web, relationships are for more horizontal, and anyone who doesn't care to be bossed can escape with the click of a mouse. And many Web sponsors...have still not understood this. The message on their sites is pure ego: We do this, we do that, we can make you happy, so make us happy by doing what we want you to do."
Unfortunately, I've experienced this end of corporate communication first hand. As part of a marketing class I took last semester, I studied the strategies, typical goals, and mediums of integrated marketing communication. We studied internet communication as part of this, both through corporate websites and online advertising. We studied and analyzed websites first hand, but the audience often played a very marginal role in this process. From the corporate end, websites are seen as a vehicle for promoting corporate image, reputation, and the business/marketing goals that the company has comprised entirely from its perspective. Audience "needs" and audience "actions" are not considered beyond their roles in the company's goals. For example, if the company has set a goal to increase the number of customer hits on a site, audience needs are examined in the context of what is needed to attract the audience to the site. In other words, an audience's general welfare is not a big consideration.
With the constant use and growth of internet and website communication, however, I think its inevitable that the corporate world will begin putting a more vested interest in their audiences. Either the corporate worl turns a kinder ear to their customers, or their websites, and possibly their companies, will fail.
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