Friday, August 22, 2008

Web Marketing for Tech Businesses...

I recently began examining corporate web marketing practices. I was curious at how things have evolved in the past few years, particulary among supposedly web savy technology companies. What a surprise. The sophistication of B2B web marketing techniques falls considerably behind what is happening on the consumer web.

What is equally surprising is the disparity among companies in the same industry. In the enterprise networking space, for example, F5 and Riverbed are quite sophisticated in their web lead gen practices. Riverbed, as a benchmark, generates close to 100% of its sales leads from web based marketing. Imagine what that does for its sales and marketing expense line. For most companies, however, the web is little more than an online product brochure. A huge missed opportunity.

I don't believe this condition will last forever. But on the web, there is a big advantage to being first. In the end, those companies that begin taking their web sites seriously as sales tool will show superior operating margins to their off- line focused rivals.

So here is some advice to technology company executives in the B2B world. Ask your marketing staff how many leads come from the web today? If it is less than 10%, you probably have little or no web marketing direction. A good goal to shoot for is 25%. Keep in mind: the higher that figure goes, the lower your cost of sales. Also consider that most corporte purchase decisions are well researched. The web is the starting point. Your business should be the first place potential buyers go to get informed and ultimately make a purchase.

3 comments:

Perry Peter UK said...

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