Femina: the digital divide between print & online

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One of the campaigns that caught my eye recently, is the one for Femina – promoting the magazine and the website. Thanks to the media vehicles within the group, the campaign has been fairly visible. Ditching the ‘Believe’ platform, the campaign for the magazine attempts to position it as the one which ‘understands a woman best’, in all her myriad moods.

The campaign to promote the website pitches Femina as the one-stop-shop for topics that interest a woman – relationships, beauty, fashion and career. I liked the confident tone of voice and the overall attitude of the campaign.

Frankly, the campaign for the website is better than the website itself. The site looks and feels like the online version of a print magazine, makes little use of the interactive nature of the medium and has very limited conversations going (witness the low number of comments on posts). The old tag line ‘Believe’ features prominently under the logo.

What more, some of the content, which is even promoted through in-site banners, is dated. For example, clicking on the banner below (makeover special of the month) leads to a post which was written in May, 2009!

A couple of other observations:

– links below the Most Read/Featured articles point to the wrong pages. In the page, ’50 Most Beautiful Women’, the link to a featured post on ‘Fashion Must Haves’ points back to the ‘50 Most Beautiful Women’ page when it should actually point to this page. Since I was puzzled about the wrong links, I stumbled upon this fact and managed to paste in the correct URL – but the average reader would simply find the wrong link and move on.

– isn’t there merit in carrying the same look & feel and tone of voice from the print campaign into the website or vice versa? Clearly a case of two different creative teams working independently on the print & online property.

– Femina has been around for ages. The aura of it’s heritage could have been brought alive on the website.

– the print campaign ran in December ’09. According to Alexa, traffic to the site shot up that month and has been steadily falling ever since. Consumers need to be given a reason-why to keep coming back again & again to a brand site without the aid of mass media advertising. The traffic data seem to indicate that repeat traffic ain’t coming in.

The overall feeling is there is a lot of one way communication on the site. While the print campaign created a clear personality for the brand, I doubt if the online property carries it forward. If the role of the Femina website is (and this is my assumption)- a one stop portal, an online friend for the contemporary Indian woman, are there enough reasons for her to keep visiting the site?

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    • hmm. You mean as marketers? I think the focus is all on the print product and the online property is just so that someone can tick a ‘to-do’ box. If we have a presence online it’s enough kind of thing.

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