At least in terms of early-stage demand-generation effectiveness, most B2B marketers believe their company’s website is the most effective tool for building awareness and increasing consideration.
That’s according to a Forrester analysis, which included feedback from 549 B2B marketers. Most said that their websites were more effective than digital advertising, search engine optimization, sales enablement, partner enablement or events.
Yet, after evaluating 60 websites across 12 B2B industries, the research firm found that nearly every site needed significant improvements.
“Most B2B marketers continue to fail miserably when it comes to creating content that buyers find interesting, interactive, or compelling,” according to Laura Ramos, vice president-principal analyst at Forrester.
Among other issues, too many B2B websites make prospects dig through pages of product offerings for the answers to their questions, Forrester found.
After an initial “hello,” higher-performing B2B websites prepare to engage customers with interactive visuals and useful tools, Ramos suggests.
To be effective, B2B websites should also show they understand their customers and share their concerns and issues.
“That’s what makes an empathetic listener … and marketer,” according to Ramos.
B2B marketers should also spend more time with customers to “internalize their mind-set,” and then adjust upcoming content marketing plans based on what they learn.
In addition asking visitors who they are, keeping track of what they do, and inviting them to share feedback are effective ways to make sure that a website’s content is hitting the mark.
Top-scoring marketers organize their content experience around customer sizes, industries and roles to show they understand the unique needs of the segments and buyers they can best serve, per Forrester.