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Jun 30, 2009

New Chart: How Well Managed is the Hub of Your Marketing Strategy?

SUMMARY: The foremost change in B2B marketing during the past decade or so has been the emergence of a company's website as the primary point of contact with prospects and customers.

The website has also become an extremely efficient platform for integrating and automating the lead generation process. As a result, the role of a company's website has been elevated from simply a spoke in the marketing mix wheel to the hub of the marketing strategy. The following chart represents a snapshot of how well B2B websites are being managed.

How Well Managed is the Hub of Your Marketing Strategy?

View Chart Online

Click here to see larger, printable version of this chart

Rather than ask client-side marketers to self-evaluate their own performance, we asked their agencies and marketing consultants to provide a more objective assessment. This chart shows how they graded their clients’ efforts.

Agencies gave their clients relatively high marks across the board for how well they manage their websites. While many website capabilities are being managed at a high level, or clients were at least doing a good job of managing them, we found that system integration which enables the flow of leads generated on a website to the CRM system was a weak point. The lead management process has become critical to the success of marketing and sales programs, and it all begins with the timely transfer of leads from their source to the lead management automation.

For the most part, agencies and consultants also thought their clients failed to update websites efficiently and on schedule, or regularly optimize content for search engines at a high level. These tasks are critical to web marketing effectiveness and, if not well managed internally, can be easily and inexpensively outsourced.
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Comments about this Article

Jun 30, 2009 - Katherine Ventres Caniplli of marketingFOLIO, inc. says:
What's interesting here is that the low performing activities are those most likely to be managed by the client enterprise, while the higher performance tasks are those for which marketing/interactive agencies likely have greater influence. Although B2B marketing strategy has embraced the Web, full integration as a business development process lags. We see this gap in the "complex" selling environments where the hurdles of traditional, personal relationship selling retain job-shop sales strategy (where each rep runs his own show, with little central control, input or support) and resist coordinated process. And we see this in SMB as well as larger enterprises. Unless the people managing these fundamental processes start working in concert, these companies will continue to spend more than necessary to get less than they need. As buying processes shift more to the Web, for early stage info gathering and late stage specifying, these folks will wake up one day to learn that they've missed the party. As for the marketing agencies and strategy advisors, we need to engage clients in conversations well beyond our usual boundaries. Pull in other experts if needed, do what it takes to break down the silos, lay out the roadmap in the clearest terms possible. Okay, they might not go for it. But what's to lose? Katherine Ventres Canipelli president marketingFOLIO, inc.

Jul 06, 2009 - Scott LoSasso of LoSasso Advertising says:
This paints a much rosier picture than is the true reality. Agencies involved and exposed to Sherpa are probably much more advanced on these measures than others and that probably explains why these results are skewed. I would argue that outside of a thin minority, most companies are still doing a very poor job on most of these measures. There is no way that 76% are doing an OK job or better of SEO, and 54% using micro-sites and landing pages? Those are not accurate stats even when you consider companies mid-size and up. There so much opportunity in online lead generation. I am amazed at how many companies with large marketing budgets are still not taking advantage of it. This economy makes it tough to launch new programs, but that just adds to the advantage of those that adapt.

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