Tuesday, September 17th, 2013
If you were looking to redesign your B2B site three years ago, we would have suggested only looking to B2C sites for best in class digital experience examples.
But the B2B landscape is changing for the better. Thanks to the “consumerization” of B2B marketing – wherein B2B marketers take a leaf from the B2C playbook to create immersive, differentiated, relevant and intuitive digital experiences – more and more B2B sites are on par with B2C experiences. They have a clear message, are easy to use, include interactive features, relevant content and are even visually pleasing.
Check out these five examples and add them to your B2B playbook:
IBM: Social Integration Surfaces Activity & Key Messages/Initiatives
Move over Silicon Valley. IBM is a powerhouse of innovation and great branding these days. Their digital experience is a best-in-class example of clear messaging, engaging content and meeting the needs of a diverse audience. The best thing about their experience? It stays fresh and current with social integration. From live tweets on the homepage to active forums, IBM goes beyond marketing and truly serves their digital audience by building community and surfacing the customer voice.
L2: Extensive Content Made Compelling
Ironically, a lot of our industry analysts do not practice what they preach when it comes to user experience. L2 is a gorgeous exception. Their reports are a joy to read thanks to brief overviews, clear visuals, scannable iconography and clear organization. Their site is no different. L2 presents its reports and services in a clean, compelling fashion – with just enough of a taste of each that we want to buy them all.
Survey Monkey: A Deep Solution Made Simple
Survey Monkey clearly surveyed their wide range of users before designing their site. They have a lot of offerings, plans, tools and recommendations but their site never confuses or overwhelms. Clear descriptions and easy-to-use tools make it so a 6th grader could adequately perform complex customer research (stay tuned for the correlation between who has homework and who wants a snow day).
Herman Miller: A Differentiated Brand Experience
What goes well with beautiful furniture design? A beautiful site design. A bold, immersive experience coupled with a distinct voice and clear value proposition gives Herman Miller the edge in B2B sales. The design appeals to the “consumer” in us with rich visuals and a strong voice. But it’s not all play and no work. The tools and content inform, guide and help us justify an investment in a beautiful work space.
Salesforce: Responsive As Sales Should Be
Sales people don’t sit at a desk all day and neither does the business that serves them, Salesforce. The Salesforce site nicely scales to any screen size which ensures a consistent and continuous experience whether you are at the office or on the road. Even if your key audience isn’t they average road warrior, it is important to design for multi-device use as more and more users are using multiple devices to complete a task throughout the day.
Key Take Aways
As you benchmark both B2C & B2B sites before embarking upon a redesign, it is important to:
- Talk to your customers. Understand what they need from your digital presence and design to it.
- Clearly articulate and illustrate why your offering is relevant and unique.
- Develop a differentiated brand experience and tone – it doesn’t have to be clever but it does have to be strong.
- Develop a content strategy that leads people from easily digestable content chunks to deeper information.
- Integrate customer voice with social commenting and sharing. Ensure your experience is optimized/responsive for all devices