Why You Should Banish Mission/Vision Statements from Your Home Page

acme corporation bad products If You Don’t, You’ll Be Just Another Generic Acme Corporation Whose Content Marketing is Doomed to Fail

Mission and vision statements may be important to your company internally.  They may even deserve a place on your website once your visitor begins to drill down to learn more about your company.  But they don’t belong on your homepage.

Why? Because they are all about you. They rarely have anything to do with your customer.  To capture your visitors’ attention, you must make your homepage content all about them from the first instant. 

Here’s an actual example of content marketing getting clobbered by the prominence of company-centric clichés.

Really Bad Real-world Mission/Vision Statements Scuttle Home Page of ‘Acme’

The following example makes the case better than I can. I swear that I didn’t invent these two paragraphs.  Nor did I use the automatic mission statement generator from NetInsight. Read these and weep. (I owe the company pseudonym to the always victorious Roadrunner who outwits any Acme products.)

Our mission is to establish Acme Corporation as the National innovative provider of services and products within Organizational Development, Diversity Integration, Homeland Security and Project Management, while maintaining our uncompromising core values and achieving sustainable profitable growth.

Our vision is to be the global provider of products and services within our fields, and practical enough to expand strategically while maintaining our uncompromising core values and achieving sustainable profitable growth.

To be fair, there is a single sentence at the top of the page that provides a pretty generic  benefit statement, Acme Corporation is a management consulting company that has been helping organizations and individuals reach their potential and achieve greater success since XXXX.”

That’s just 23 words about generic customer benefit. And, that’s all there is, folks.

The real company behind my Acme pseudonym may do great work for its clients. But, as a visitor with no time to waste, I don’t get the sense that Acme knows or cares about me.

As a result, I and most other visitors will take off at the speed of the Roadrunner to find a company that does.

Beep, beep!

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  1. Posted September 20, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Saw a great presentation at BMA conference about creating ‘purpose statements’. Amazingly, they work great with marketing. Powerful stuff!

  2. Posted September 20, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    Completely agree. Your home page should draw the visitor in, and be all about how you and your organization can help this individual. Instead, you’ll want to ensure trust with a fantastic testimonial or two, show them what kind of products and services can be found, and lay it all out nicely and without clutter. Good advice.

  3. Newt Barrett
    Posted September 20, 2010 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    Dave, thanks for your comment. You’re right that having a clear and meaningful statement of purpose can work well. That is: how does the customer benefit directly and specifically from what you do.
    Elise, thanks. In fact, I have just stumbled on a pretty technical B2B site that does all that and will be writing about it in the next few days. They even manage to be pretty amusing in a thoroughly relevant way.

  4. Posted September 21, 2010 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    You are completely right! Readers are on your homepage to find out what you can do for THEM. I agree with Elise that testimonials can be very persuasive when converting customers. Keep homepage content concise and focused on the needs of your customers. Mission statements work well on an “About” page — although even that page benefits from a more personal perspective rather than the dry details. With social media and online ‘friends,’ people like to know they are doing business with other people, not just a corporation.

  5. Newt Barrett
    Posted September 21, 2010 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the thoughtful feedback. I absolutely agree that visitors want to know who’s behind the site and the company. It makes me nervous when I can’t find that info.

  6. Posted September 22, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    The larger issue here is that web experiences must be user-centered to be successful. So the question becomes, why is the user on my home page?

    Under very few circumstances is it to learn what your mission statement is.

  7. Newt Barrett
    Posted September 22, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    Unless, of course, they are researching really bad websites that put all the emphasis on a homepage mission statement. :-)

  8. Posted October 4, 2010 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    Tara makes a great point, site visitors are justifiably selfish. They want to know that you will fit there needs, if your missions statement doesn’t relay that message to them, then they are gone.

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