Recently we were working on a pitch for a car company and a writer approached us – the XD and UI team – with a simple question: “Where are you guys thinking this marketing content should go on the page?” Someone quickly said, “no-where” and there was really not much to discuss after that.
By marketing content, he was referring to some promotional content that had already been produced to bring awareness for the car. The page he was referring to was a product detail page we were designing and at that particular moment we were defining what modules and section were going to make up the page as well as the order of them.
The more I think about the question the more I agree, no marketing content should ever make it to product detail pages, here is why:
– At the product detail page level marketing content is more distracting than helpful.
– The user may have already seen the marketing content. In fact, they may have come to the page through it.*
– The focus at the product detail page should be about getting the user to transact.
– In this particular case, you cannot purchase cars online, getting the user to book an appointment with a dealer or to locate the dealer is the single most important task.
– Any information about the product should be as simple and concise as possible. Not in the form of story telling but rather descriptive and educational in case the user still has doubts before committing to purchase.
This is an example of a great product detail page: http://store.nike.com/us/en_us/pd/air-zoom-structure-18-running-shoe/pid-1546430/pgid-1546428
But notice that this page actually has marketing material in a form of a small thumbnail. This use of marketing material is a good middle ground between having and not having it at all. It is quite low on the page and also very pushed back in terms of priorities.
I would love to hear your thoughts.
* It is possible to suppress specific content on a page depending on where the user is coming from. For example, it is possible to hide a video on a product detail page if the site is able to detect that the user came from say, youtube, where the same video is also found and instead serve something that is a continuation of that experience instead of showing the user again with the same piece of marketing content.