With a new year — and a new decade — companies have just as much opportunities as individuals to make improvements. The first one I’ve seen right out of the gate is USA Today, who emailed me this morning with news that their home page had been completely redesigned. What struck me more than the redesign itself was how it was positioned in their announcement email:
“By listening to feedback, watching users engage with our site, and analyzing usage patterns, we are improving our home page to better serve you, our readers.”
Sounds like a sentence right out of a social media marketing textbook — dialogue, flexibility and ever-ready updates are all part of how the technology is changing how companies interact with their target audience(s).
Here’s the thing: I’m not a USA Today subscriber. I tend to think their reportage is too short and subject matter oversimplified. That’s a problem with their product. But by letting me know their home page opens 25-35% faster than it used to, they are giving themselves yet another notch on their belt in the competition against, for instance, the home page of local rag Star Tribune — notoriously slow (and cluttered, for that matter). Another notch, you ask? What might USA Today already have done that piqued my interest? Well, it’s about social media again: their iPhone app rocks! They make it incredibly easy to download stories, review and share. The formal write-upfrom Mac World is here if you’re interested.
But the bottom line is that if USA Today says they are watching users engage, analyzing their behavior patterns, and listening to feedback in order to improve their product, then I believe them. And applaud.