Industrial Marketing Blog

Where Industrial Websites are Falling Short

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First the good news – 76 percent of small and medium sized manufacturers and industrial companies reported that their websites made a contribution to their growth during the second half of 2010.

Nearly 9 out of 10 “Outperformers” credited their websites for helping them increase revenues, open new sources of business, compete more aggressively in core markets and serve customers better or more efficiently.

Even among the “Optimists,” 54% reported that their website opened up new sources of business, 44% stated it helped them serve customers better and 33% reported it contributed to new revenue growth.

Outperformers are defined as manufacturers, custom manufacturers and wholesalers/distributors that experienced growth in the last half of 2010 and expect further growth by June 2011.

Optimists are companies from the industrial sector that expect growth to happen by June 2011 even if their sales were flat or declined in the last half of 2010.

Those are some of the findings from ThomasNet’s Industry Market Barometer™ (IMB) which is a semi-annual survey of buyers and sellers of industrial products and services.

There were a total of 3,370 survey respondents from North America, primarily the US. The overwhelming majority represented small and mid-size businesses (SMBs), over 61 percent of the companies have less than 50 employees and more than half (54 percent) reported revenues of under $3 million. That is a typical makeup of companies in the industrial/manufacturing segment.

Survey respondents were engineers and purchasing agents, business owners and managers, and sales and marketing executives from manufacturers, distributors and service companies. This is also a close representation of buyer personas at these companies.

Now the bad news – there is a disconnect between what buyers/specifiers want from a supplier’s website and what they are getting. Keep in mind these are the same industrial companies from the survey that credited their own sites for generating growth.

Here a picture is worth a thousand words! See chart below.

Download the full report or just read the executive summary here.

I have written about some of these website issues in the past. Look for my earlier blog posts under Industrial Websites if you want to dive a little deeper into these issues and pick up some free tips.

Or download our free web design guide if you are in the process of redesigning your industrial website.

Achinta Mitra

Achinta Mitra calls himself a “marketing engineer” because he combines his engineering education and an MBA with 35+ years of practical manufacturing and industrial marketing experience. You want an expert with an insider’s knowledge and an outsider’s objectivity who can point you in the right direction immediately. That's Achinta. He is the Founder of Tiecas, Inc., a manufacturing marketing agency in Houston, Texas. Read Achinta's story here.
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  1. Interesting. These findings correlate with a recent Buyosphere survey in the UK amongst b2b marketers that concluded companies see websites and other digital techniques as critical to their business, but are not necessarily investing in them to the degree they perhaps need to be.

    • @Rene,

      Appreciate your input on what’s going on in the UK. Could you please send me a link to the survey? I would like to read it.

      I agree with the conclusion that businesses realize the importance of online/digital marketing tactics but are not yet investing in them appropriately. I see some companies do a complete site redesign without first assessing their needs and identifying performance gaps that are preventing them from reaching their business goals. In essence, their website 2.0 is still an informational site with just a cosmetic facelift.

      Thanks for your comments.

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