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If the Future of Resort Websites is Gonna Come, This Needs to Change

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I had lunch with the talented folks at Aspenware the other day.

As I munched on a Reuben we talked about websites. Resort websites. That in and of itself is enough on most occasions, but when the topic of personalization came up, my eyes brightened. That, among other things, is the future…but before that future arrives I know that something will need to change.

I’ll tell you what I told them between bites of kraut and corned beef.

Jabber Jabber
For the last few years I’ve been talking, for the most part, about web marketing. And one of the most frequent topics I’ve addressed is websites.

I’ve shared how navigation could be improved, experiences could be customized, how traffic could increased, social referrals could be better understood, visitors could be capitalized on, websites could be more accessable for all individuals as web accessibility standards continue to evolve and more.

But these are just tangential solutions to a core problem I see over and over and over again: for the most part, our industry still thinks of a website as a brochure.

If Not, Then What?
But if a website isn’t just a digital brochure, what it is? Simply put, an employee.

And not just any employee, the ultimate employee.

Right now, we have sites that, like a brochure, are generic, static, and passive. To me, a website needs to be the opposite of those three things. It should to be personal, dynamic, and actively engaged in moving the visitor closer to your objectives.

The Flip Side
Just like a new hire, a website needs to be given specific tasks aimed at specific goals and then trained it to quickly and efficiently accomplish them.

Websites have the potential to be anything but static and can talk to one visitor completely different from the next – working toward unqiue goals for each depending on who they really are. A website shouldn’t be a fancy handout, it should be the best person in your call center or the best salesman on your team in code form.

To me, this is the mindset that needs to change. We need to stop thinking about websites as static bits of copy and start thinking about them as perfect employees that can work 24/7/365 to further any (and every) goal they’re trained to accomplish.

That’s the future.

About Gregg & SlopeFillers
I've had more first-time visitors lately, so adding a quick "about" section. I started SlopeFillers in 2010 with the simple goal of sharing great resort marketing strategies. Today I run marketing for resort ecommerce and CRM provider Inntopia, my home mountain is the lovely Nordic Valley, and my favorite marketing campaign remains the Ski Utah TV show that sold me on skiing as a kid in the 90s.

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