Google+ The Marketing Survivalist: Yes, B2B websites can be prospect-centric

Yes, B2B websites can be prospect-centric

If you read my recent poston on chasing the elusive prospect-focused B2B website you know that I am searching for a good prospect-centric B2B website that I can use as an example in my work. The best sites so far have been sites from marketing companies that focus on marketing solutions. You would think they’d do well, so I want something with a more “industrial” flavor. I’m looking for a site that sells the ubiquitous “widget” to other businesses.

I know it can be done but so many of the sites that sell to other businesses are stagnant electronic-brochures that talk about all that they do in language that is barely decipherable. The calls to action tend to be few and only give the visitor the opportunity to download “more product information” and other company-centric materials.

Mike Frichol recently talked about the overwhelmingly self-centric websites produced by business software companies in a recent post on The Marketing Melange. Using FutureNow's WeWe Monitor he tested ten well-known business software companies. These ten companies were only focused on the customer an average of 12% of the time!

I’m happy to say that I have found a contender for best customer-centric B2B site. I ran across Trend Micro’s site while doing my research the other day. I like the look of the site as it’s fairly clean and does a good job of segmenting visitors so they know where to go. Trend Micro provides internet security tools to both consumers and businesses so it isn’t strictly B2B, but they clearly have a strong focus on an industrial audience. There are plenty of calls to action with free tools and a pretty interesting Threat Watch Meter that shows the current threat level on the web and from spam and malware that resembles the Department of Homeland Security’s threat levels. This familiarity makes it instantly understandable.

That’s not to say that there isn’t room for possible improvement. For example, I’d test the positioning of the free tools. It’s possible they have already done this and decided that the current position was best, but these tools seem fairly buried in a small grey menu on the right. They have a newsletter as well, but the ability to sign up for it is also a bit buried on internal pages. (Nice name though – First Line of Defense Newsletter)

I also like Trend Micro’s verbiage. Given the technology they produce, they could have a site written strictly for IT users of the product. Although their user base may be technical, especially on the business side, my guess is that a significant number of their buyers are average business people who want to know what the solutions do for us, not exactly how they do it. They did a great job of speaking to this audience while also supplying the information their more technical audience would want.

Finally, I ran the site through Hubspot’s Website Grader and Future Now’s WeWe Monitor. (I know these may seem a bit gimmicky but they are fun and I’ve found them very useful in pointing out problems to marketers who are too close to their products.) Apparently, Trend Micro’s webmaster knows what he or she is doing as HubSpot gave it a 98.3. There were a whopping 428,000+ inbound links. (Add one more after I finish this post)

The WeWe Monitor gave it a very respectable customer focus score of 58.33% showing the percentage of the time they speak about the customer and not themselves. I think their site is proof positive that you can be customer-centric and still market yourself.

I’m going to continue my search for the best customer-centric B2B website, so if any of you think you’ve found one (or have one) that you believe can top Trend Micro’s site let me know.

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