News and commentary from the cross-platform scripting community.
Web Advertising Needs Q/A By Barry Frankel, firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week's edition of Business Week carried a story on how Dell was moving more of its order processing to the Web. So I went and checked out their site. They seemed to have it all. In depth information on features, and an interactive configuration tool. So I tried to build a system. I wanted a Pentium with NT, a Zip drive and a modem. From the indepth information they seemed to have just what I wanted. Then I tried to configure it. I had the whole machine defined accept for the Zip Drive and there was no place to request this component.
Then I ran another test, I selected a modem choice that would not run with NT. They didn't warn me they offered to sell it to me.
I tried the same test with PcOrder and once again they would build and sell a dead system. OK, on to Micron. These folks get it. All the choices I need are there, I tried to build a system that will not work, and they tell me,
"WARNING: NT INCOMPATIBLE WITH MODEM SOFTWARE/ON-LINE, SELEC ASSY.USR 33.6 MODEM KIT FOR WIN 95 (Part #: SCM001322-00) Conflicts with ASSY.MICROSOFT.NT WORKSTATION 4.0.CD (Part #: OSS001068-00)"
Finally to Gateway, they can configure the machine with all the right parts, but before they do they say,
"Please Note: Not all components are compatible. A sales representative will confirm that the system you have configured is one which can be built."
So whats the story? Web advertising has the potential to deliver more than print ads. It can deliver a conversation between the potential customer and the company. But, and it is a big BUT, the ad people need new skills to make it work right. They need to design ads that grab your attention, work in a small space and work correctly.
If the customer can't trust the ad to configure a computer, can they trust the company?
Well, just stop by my office and see my new Micron computer.