The Myth: The primary purpose of your web site should be to serve as a combination brochure and on-line ordering portal for customers and prospects.
The Reality: Consumers (both BtoB and BtoC) now expect far more than product information and convenience in ordering from on-line resources.
In recent blogs, I shared three megatrends of 21st century marketing: Megatrend # 1, that customers expect multichannel, preference-driven communications; Megatrend # 2, that they expect us to trust their requirements for deeper engagement; and Megatrend #3, that consumers are willing to share significant amounts of information about their preferences in order to gain valuable information or resources.
Megatrend # 4; Websites must now provide a three-dimensional experience that engages the customer and abandons the current one-dimensional, corporate, "me"-oriented Web experience.
Per VOC research, the three dimensions of experience, in order of importance, are:
1. Provide access to peers, for the most trusted information and recommendations,
2. Provide access to relevant subject matter experts, and
3. Provide easier and faster access to the corporation before, during, and after purchases.
Examples of companies who do this well:
Megatrend #4 carries broad marketplace implications likely to play out for decades. According to the New York Times, on-line social networks of friends and colleagues are now a more trusted source of purchase recommendations than traditional search!
Take a fresh look at your site. Identify how you can provide a three-dimensional experience which provides, in order of importance, better access to: