Our company builds mini-sites for companies to meet specific business goals so we come across both good and bad ideas for sites that attempt to “do something”.
In this case, McDonald’s created a mini-site , http://www.practicalmoneyskills.com/mcdonalds/ with VISA (who owns the primary site), to show their employees how to budget their lives if you were to have a minimum wage McDonalds job.
On the surface, McDonald’s had a good idea. However, they missed the mark by trying to “convince” their employees that they all made enough to live on versus doing something else like promoting their growth opportunities more heavily.
This got the attention of one of the groups that looks at the pay of minimum wage workers. http://lowpayisnotok.org/ , (who also happens to have a mini-site pushing a petition for better wages which is pretty good – OK, back on topic). The group managed to get papers to pick up the story on how ironic the mini-site was and the Daily Show, Letterman and other TV comedy writers picked up the story.
This of course created a PR issue and left them defending their reasoning for the landing page site.
So, mini-sites, landing pages, whatever you want to call something that’s not part of your main site,thing to drive towards a business goal. Just make sure the goal fits with public sentiment and understanding. That’s why we review goals with companies and test multiple pages. McDonald s wasted an opportunity to partner with critics in this case and only really partnered with VISA. The first would have been MUCH harder, but could have yielded very different results!
When you create a page for a promotion or “goal”, your goal is to make sure your target audience will actually receive it well!