B2B Myopia: Brands And Visitors Disagree On What Works On Websites

B2B marketers and customers can’t seem to agree on what makes a good website experience. 

For one thing, 44% of marketers value compelling brand messages and stories. But only 24% of website visitors agree, according to “What Do Website Visitors Want? It’s Not What B2B Brands Are Giving Them,” a study from Orbit Media Studios conducted by research firm Ascend2. 

Moreover, 44% of marketers say social proof is important, but only 27% of visitors feel the same. And while 22% of prospects seek beautiful design, only 12% of marketers go along with that. 

That said, both sides agree on the need for answers to questions, easy navigation, expert advice and insights and video and visuals. 

Strangely, marketers seem to dislike gated content more than website visitors. 

Of those polled, 44% of marketers agree that collecting visitors’ contact information is important to their success, and 12% strongly agree.  



In contrast, 53% of visitors are willing to provide contact information in exchange for relevant content, and 21% strongly go along with that. 

The two camps also disagree on how brands should drive visitors to websites.

They are close in consensus when it comes to search engines — 72% of visitors use them, and 67% of marketers say they are good sources of traffic.

That’s as good as it gets. While 42% of marketers think email newsletters are the key, a mere 26% of visitors go along with that.

And prospects are way more likely to see the value of social media — 57% compared with 40% of marketers. 

Marketers are also much more likely to say word of mouth and referrals are good traffic generators — 62% say so, versus 44% of visitors who find sites to be this way. 

The sides also disagree about what type of content is useful.  Among marketers, 66% favor how-to articles and blog posts. But only 42% of visitors like them. 

And 43% of marketers feel case studies are important, compared with 33% of visitors.

On the other hand, 59% of visitors like reviews and testimonials. Only 36% of marketers concur with that. 

And while 49% of visitors find value in original research and research-backed insights, 37% of marketers concur. 

But here’s the biggest question of all.  Among marketers, 35% strongly believe their website plays a critical role in customers’ buying decisions, and 43% agree. However, 25% of visitors strongly agree, and 54% agree. Small percentages disagree, and the remainder are neutral.  

Who’s right? We’d have to go along with the visitors. 

Working with its research partner Ascend2, Orbit Media surveyed 429 B2B professionals, 236 B2B website visitors and 193 self-identified website designers in March 2021. 

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