Merial, makers of Heartguard and Frontline recently launched a new web site, mypettroubles.com, featuring Dr. Scott Line DVM and specialist in animal behavior.
While the concept of the site is good -- a place where pet owners can learn about their animals' behavior issues -- the execution falls short, in my opinion.
For starters, there is a section on training tips that only includes 5 tips: how to find a dog trainer, clicker training, how to train a cat, litter training, and how to feed your cat. New pet owners can get more information than that in their Purina puppy care kit on the first visit to the vet.
There is a section on pet products, but it only includes Merial products. Are you helping me or promoting your products?
In order for a web site to be successful, it needs to have the following attributes:
- It needs to have depth. If you're going to cover a topic (training tips) then cover it in some depth. Five paragraphs just doesn't cut it.
- It needs to be objective. If the marketing people position this site as a resource, then make it a resource. There must be other products besides those made by Merial that interest consumers.
- It needs to stay fresh. The content has been the same for a week, including the question on the home page supposedly posted by a consumer. If I can read all the information on the site in ten minutes, why would I come back if nothing changes?
- It needs to deliver on the promise. The only behavior problem covered is aggression. My dog pees on the bed. I need some help figuring that out. If I spend the time to go to the site and you don't deliver, I'm not visiting again.
There are many great blogs with useful information (see my list in the column on this site) that problably cost a fraction of the cost of mypettroubles.com. We even got chosen as Time magazine's Person(s) of the Year! Because we control the Information Age!
"It's about the many wresting power from the few and helping one another for nothing and how that will not only change the world, but also change the way the world changes."
How cool is that?