SAN FRANCISCO — Keynote Competitive Research, the industry analysis group of Keynote, announced top level results of a market research study designed to test and measure consumer engagement with interactive promotional micro Websites. The goal of the Keynote study was to compare and contrast “engagement levels” of three automotive microsites using online usability testing tools: Chevy Avalanche, Volvo C30 and Toyota Yaris.

Findings from the Keynote study demonstrate the power of online usability testing and Web 2.0 behavioral tracking capabilities such as those provided by Keynote WebEffective, a customer experience/UX research tool combining the capabilities and benefits of market research, usability labs and Web analytics into one integrated on-demand solution. To uncover this type of insight might take weeks or months of lab testing whereas WebEffective allows for results in a matter of days. Marketers creating Web 2.0 microsites need the power of WebEffective in order to gain a leg up on their competitors, much in the same way that the Chevy Avalanche site did.

Keynote’s WebEffective study of automobile microsites tracked 175 Internet consumers who were interested in purchasing a car within the next six months. Each of the 175 participants, working in their own natural environment — one of the many benefits of WebEffective is the ability to cost-effectively secure large numbers of qualified prospects to interact with your Web 2.0 microsite in their natural setting — performed tasks and answered questions regarding their experiences interacting with each of the three microsites. The microsite study was designed to capture behavioral data to understand what visitors interacted with on each microsite and captured data regarding: number of interactions, number of hovers, how long exploring, what did visitors click, what areas of the site were explored and what frustrations or difficulties were experienced.

The study found that the Chevy Avalanche microsite provided the site experience enjoyed most by study participants (41 percent), followed by the Volvo C30 (32 percent) and Toyota Yaris (23 percent).

“As microsites grow in complexity, simply reviewing a site and asking before and after questions will not give marketers the data they need. User perceptions change within the experience, and the end result will be different depending on the elements interacted with. Measuring during the experience will grow increasingly critical as the sites become deeper and more feature-rich,” said Don Aoki, senior vice president and general manager of customer experience management at Keynote. “Historically the consumer was a passive and often unwilling participant. However with interactive advertising, the consumer must be presented compelling content to draw him or her into the interaction. The consumer must be engaged.”