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How To Create business to business Web Sites That Cultivate Buying Relationships

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Information technology and professional services companies can use their web site to cultivate buying relationships. Use these tips to get you started.


    April 12, 2009

    Still Using Manual Web Forums

    You visit a website, want to request more information, but all they have is a simple fax back form. Before you dismiss what you see some business-to-business firms doing on-line, you will want to read this article completely.

    Continue reading "Still Using Manual Web Forums" »

    January 15, 2008

    Connecting With Readers on Social Bookmark Sites

    Using social media to promote your business website is all the rage. Or so the experts say. While I'm not one to follow the latest buzz, I have found some valuable ways to use the tool of social bookmarks that I'd like to share with you.

    Continue reading "Connecting With Readers on Social Bookmark Sites" »

    October 10, 2004

    Are Educational Marketing Interactions Ruining Clients

    Regular value packed interactions with client keep your company top of mind.  Newsletters, seminars, workshops, and articles are great ways to educate while improving your relationship with prospects in between rendering solutions.  However, value created through interactive marketing may lead clients to take your company for granted.

    Continue reading "Are Educational Marketing Interactions Ruining Clients" »

    January 1, 2004

    Social Networks The Next Big Internet Crash?

    The New Internet Gamble. Venture capitalist have poured $100 million into the social software space, according to this story. One scenario has on-line social networks evolving into places for buyers and sellers to connect directly. [PaidContent.org]

    Social networking software is all the rage, just like the Internet was in 1999. Will it turn out to be another bust? You can learn something from this renewed capital interest in business relationships-- especially now that they have the interest of venture capitalists.

    Continue reading "Social Networks The Next Big Internet Crash?" »

    December 3, 2003

    Things Executives Should Ask Themselves Before Blogging

    Executive blogging issues. Robert Scoble wrote: I keep asking executives "when you gonna start a weblog?" But, quite consistently get an answer of "way too busy." ... internal bloggers will need to build better ties to execs and PR and marketing so that we can help solve the problem. [a klog apart]

    A weblog can be a valuable tool for improving team communications, but isn't a tool for everyone at your company. To provide relevant content, even to jot daily notes, can take that an executive may better spend elsewhere. Executives aren't the right people to be blogging.

    Continue reading "Things Executives Should Ask Themselves Before Blogging" »

    November 28, 2003

    Limit Confusion By Providing One Choice At A Time

    Give Your Customers Direction. Sean D'Souza thinks that customers want direction. He provides his own nice summary of the article: Customers are confused by multiple directions. [BusinessPundit]

    Customers have enough going on in their life, they don't need anymore confusion. Sean D'Souza of PsychoTactics(tm) shares some points about how we confuse customers with too many choices. Yes, too many choices at a point of action can freeze a customer in their tracks.

    Continue reading "Limit Confusion By Providing One Choice At A Time" »

    November 24, 2003

    Manifesto For Community Contributors On-Line

    There are a number of comments available about building communities on-line, but little guidance for those contributors that make long-term success possible. Without fresh content and individual opinion communities would hold little or no value. This manifesto highlights some existing resources while providing guidelines for new contributors.

    Continue reading "Manifesto For Community Contributors On-Line" »

    November 17, 2003

    Learn From Business Week's Web Smart 50

    Business Week introduces it's The Web Smart 50, introducing websites over six categories who are using the Web to benefit their customers-- and themselves. In this post, you'll learn what players in each category had in common, and how the six categories could influence your business communication strategy.

    Continue reading "Learn From Business Week's Web Smart 50" »

    November 13, 2003

    Designing For Decisions (Abstract)

    Designing for Decisions. One of the greatest misconceptions about web sites is that they should be designed for selling. Users now come to web sites with the intent of exploring their options to make a decision. [Weblog]

    Andrew Chak, of the UIE Roadshow, shares an important new aspect of visitor objectives-- visitors come to websites with the intent of gathering opinion to make a decision. Chak's simple article covers 5 key areas outlined here with my own commentary. These strategies can provide a more compelling experience for visitors over a sale-oriented site, while helping them make buying decisions.

    Continue reading "Designing For Decisions (Abstract)" »

    November 5, 2003

    Members Are Detached From Their Communities Most Of The Time

    Just as individuals must be able to control their participation within a larger community, they must also have the choice to remove themselves. Remember, members function as non-members a greater percentage of their lifetime. Any community that demands more time than they are willing to invest is simply discarded.

    Continue reading "Members Are Detached From Their Communities Most Of The Time" »

    October 25, 2003

    People Do Not Like To Impose

    Group members don't like to cause discomfort to other members in order to reach their own desired results. This perceived discomfort leads individuals to be less involved. In most cases, individuals would rather withdrawal than impose discomfort on others in a group situation.

    Continue reading "People Do Not Like To Impose" »

    Communities Actually Comprise Of Many Overlapping Subgroups

    Members of a community differentiate themselves by forming smaller organized groups that represent sub-interests on a community theme. The larger the group the more probable these subgroups will exist. Sub-interests are a healthy part of strong group dynamics in any community.

    Continue reading "Communities Actually Comprise Of Many Overlapping Subgroups" »

    October 19, 2003

    Over Half Of All Weblogs Are Abandoned

    According to a study by Perseus Development Corporation, over half of all weblogs are abandoned after two-months. Among many reasons, most weblogs loose the interest of their readers or the publisher. As powerful as weblogs can be, they can be much better if you work on these areas.

    Continue reading "Over Half Of All Weblogs Are Abandoned" »

    October 18, 2003

    7 Things A Relationship Building Website Should Do

    A business-to-business website is more than a visitor experience, it is a tool that reduces times spent in non-customer activities. Your website will consists of more than what a customer sees, it includes integrated tools for improving communications with everyone involved with serving that customer. Here are a seven things your business-to-business website should do, if it is going to build stronger relationships:

    Continue reading "7 Things A Relationship Building Website Should Do" »

    October 15, 2003

    Blogging Is Just One Of Many Communication Tools

    Blogging is a valuable medium for one-to-one interactions, but it's not the end all solution for customer communications "the experts" preach. Most of your customers don't know or care what a weblog is-- yet alone want to read the rambling of your sales team. Common with communications tools, you must provide for the desires of your readers while offering actions desired by the publisher.

    Continue reading "Blogging Is Just One Of Many Communication Tools" »

    October 14, 2003

    Building Diverse Communications Channels

    The brains behind Howard Dean's Internet-fueled presidential campaign

    While I have no comment on the presidential campaign of Howard Dean, it is interesting how his campaign is using the Internet. Fast Company's Linda Tischler provides an insightful sidebar quoted here:

    Continue reading "Building Diverse Communications Channels" »

    October 12, 2003

    Do You Make It Easy To Join Your Newsletter?

    If you have an newsletter, make it easy for new subscribers to join. I frequently find newsletter that I think are interesting-- spontaneously I look for some way to subscribe and read more later. If potential subscribers can't easily figure out how then most will just leave.

    Continue reading "Do You Make It Easy To Join Your Newsletter?" »

    October 10, 2003

    Blog Writing Style Guide For Businesses

    Using of a common guideline helps improve clarity and consistency of your business message. I've written about the value of weblogs for the professional business-to-business company, now here are some guidelines to improve the content of your weblog. Consider each idea for improving relationships through the Internet with both customers and employees.

    Continue reading "Blog Writing Style Guide For Businesses" »

    Successful Implementations If Internet Technology

    In the dot.com build-up websites for business-to-business companies were consider revolutionary tools to change everything about the way we do business. Common models included enablers that reduce delays in a supply chain, low cost training resources and marketing tools. How successful has your web strategy been?

    Continue reading "Successful Implementations If Internet Technology" »

    October 8, 2003

    Three Weblog Service Categories For Enterprise

    Community Services for Enterprise Blognets. Some of the services you might want to bring inside to help your blognets grow and prosper. The list grows, changes, and is not complete. [a klog apart]

    Phil Wolff lays out a useful framework for enterprise blogging as a tool to share information inside your organization. You must consider these points when implementing a weblog for project management or knowledge collection.

    Continue reading "Three Weblog Service Categories For Enterprise" »

    October 1, 2003

    Serving Customer Communities Online (Abstract)

    Serving customer communities online. Lee LeFever has written a blog entry on serving customer communities online, in which he provides some practical advice and tips. [Column Two]

    Lee LeFever does it again with an excellent article about points to consider when establishing an online community and the benefits of such community to the bottom line of your organization.

    Continue reading "Serving Customer Communities Online (Abstract)" »

    September 27, 2003

    The On-line Marketer's Secret Weapon: A Site That Works (Abstract)

    Anderson, Eric. The Online Marketer's Secret Weapon: A Site that Works. (MarketingProfs.com, 23 Sept 2003)

    Eric Anderson of White Horse, a professional services firm specializing in Web marketing, offers some great tips for improving your website. A summary is provided here with my own commentary.

    Continue reading "The On-line Marketer's Secret Weapon: A Site That Works (Abstract)" »

    September 26, 2003

    Today Millions Can Learn Of Your Mistakes On The Internet

    Edinburgh airport: catching the red eye. bad customer experience No. 156: i often catch the red-eye flight from Edinburgh to London. the earliest flight ... [txnt unconnected]

    Continue reading "Today Millions Can Learn Of Your Mistakes On The Internet" »

    September 23, 2003

    Being Believable Establishes Trust With Visitors

    Before someone will buy something from your website, or call your sales representatives, they must trust that what you provide solves a specific problem they face. In order to develop this trust (a precursor to a relationship) you must:

    Continue reading "Being Believable Establishes Trust With Visitors" »

    September 18, 2003

    Misdirected Communications Harms Business Relationships

    No email 4u. John Cauldwell, the multi-millionaire owner of high street retailer Phones 4u, has banned staff from using email. [Ananova / Business]

    John Cauldwell does an extraordinary thing, he bans the use of email as a tool for internal communications. Yes, virtually forcing his 2,500 employees to work directly with each other face-to-face. He says the biggest benefit of this ban would be increased customer loyalty as staff focus more on providing better service.

    Continue reading "Misdirected Communications Harms Business Relationships" »

    Winer, Dave. What makes a

    Winer, Dave. What makes a weblog a weblog? (Weblogs At Harvard Law, 23 May 2003) Useful overview and definition of a weblog including terms. Plus biographical references to related articles.

    September 17, 2003

    5 Questions About Weblogs Answered

    If you don't yet know what a web log (or weblog, blog, ...) is then consider a comprehensive article by Debbie Weil entitled, 5 key questions (you've been dying) to ask about business blogs. Weil covers:

    Continue reading "5 Questions About Weblogs Answered" »

    Weblogs Contribute To Relationship Building For Business

    An extension on my building business relationships with your website, Terry Frazier shares Building Business Relationships via the Blog. Web logs serve an important role of humanizing interactive mediums such as the Internet. Readers have the opportunity to comment, quote, and even discuss entries-- providing almost instant feedback from customers interested in the topic discussed.

    Continue reading "Weblogs Contribute To Relationship Building For Business" »

    September 13, 2003

    Real Communities Have Knowledge

    For a group to be successful it must convey and store certain knowledge of value to future prospective members. Sharing of this tradition, practice, know-how, and derived benefit contributes to the groups growth over time.

    Continue reading "Real Communities Have Knowledge" »

    September 12, 2003

    Interview With Barry Libert, Rapid Insights (Abstract)

    Cashel, Jim. Interview with Barry Libert, Rapid Insights. (Online Community Report, April 2003)

    If you're interested in on-line community building check out the last part of an Interview with Barry Libert of Rapid Insights (referred to me by Lee LeFever from Common Craft) I'll summarize a few elements that I think are valuable to understanding how to use your website to build customer and employee relationships.

    Continue reading "Interview With Barry Libert, Rapid Insights (Abstract)" »

    More Customers Can Reach You With Broadband

    With more of your customers having broadband Internet access more options are available to serve them on-line. According to a resent survey by PC Magazine, more than 44% of users have broadband at home, statistics are even better for business users.

    Continue reading "More Customers Can Reach You With Broadband" »

    September 11, 2003

    Established Communities Are Largely Self Sustaining And Self Managing

    Over time most members develop an understanding of community norms and what constitutes acceptable behavior. These norms reduce the need for a community to police itself or reduces the number of actions taken against unacceptable behavior. However, in the beginning most communities don't have this informal management.

    Continue reading "Established Communities Are Largely Self Sustaining And Self Managing" »

    There Is No Such Thing As An On-Line Community

    Communities are improved by multiple channels of communications. Being "on-line" is just one way to connect with members (or between members)-- but to say "on-line community" is as ridiculous as saying "telephone community".

    Continue reading "There Is No Such Thing As An On-Line Community" »

    September 2, 2003

    Hybrid Marketing Methods To Improve Response

    Marketing is a great way to reach out to prospects and invite them to become customers, after all, how will these individuals learn about your company otherwise. Too often sales and marketing folks get stuck in a single method of communications, often only reaching part of your possible customer base.

    Continue reading "Hybrid Marketing Methods To Improve Response" »

    August 22, 2003

    Does Convenience Dilute Relationship Value?

    Networking: Greater incentive to meet face-to-face. About how e-networking may be working counter to networking, here are a few concerns raised by a few articles and debates. [Kaleem Aziz's blog at Ecademy]

    In the never ending debate: networking on-line in communities like Ryze, Ecademy, or even the Coaching Forum on "Applying Strategic Relations" may or may not contribute to mutually beneficial relationships. On-line communities are easy to use, accessible from anywhere and bring people from diverse geographic locations to your desktop. However, it shouldn't replace physical networking.

    Continue reading "Does Convenience Dilute Relationship Value?" »

    August 19, 2003

    Communications On-Line Must Be Clear To Build Relationships

    I've been swapping around experiences with Lee LeFever, an Online Communications Planning Consultant. The following are great resources for using your website to develop business relationships.

    Continue reading "Communications On-Line Must Be Clear To Build Relationships" »

    July 28, 2003

    Using E-mail Newsletters As Marketing Tools (Abstract)

    Carrigan, Shaun. Using E-mail Newsletters as Marketing Tools (American Marketing Association, Email Marketing)

    Carrigan provides an excellent article about using email newsletters as a marketing tool, and here I'll highlight his tips for using this cost effective tool to build customer relationships. Commentary will be interspersed as appropriate.

    Continue reading "Using E-mail Newsletters As Marketing Tools (Abstract)" »

    July 27, 2003

    What The Best B-To-B Websites Did Right And Wrong

    Morrison, Mary E. The 2002 NetMarketing 100: Best B-To-B Web Sites. Identified the best b-to-b Web sites across 14 industries. Evolved beyond the static online brochures to powerful, immediate and interactive marketing assets.

    For the sixth year, BtoB Online considered 800 sites in the business-to-business web space. Winning sites must present relevant information in an easy-to-find fashion. Here is a summary of what the best sites featured, and what many sites did wrong.

    Continue reading "What The Best B-To-B Websites Did Right And Wrong" »

    July 25, 2003

    Shoppers Demand Decent Design (Abstract)

    Your website is important to sales. While this report regards retail shoppers, one has to assume some carry-over to B2B sales. Retailing: Shoppers Demand Decent Design [B2Blog]

    Dave over at B2Blog brought this report to my attention, he's got a great point that much of the report could translate to improvements in B2B website sales. I really enjoy his comments on B2B websites and appreciate his technical insights.

    Continue reading "Shoppers Demand Decent Design (Abstract)" »

    Turn A Gray Cloud Into A Golden Media Opportunity

    Planet PDF: Adobe's Robert McDaniels responds (again) to Nielsen criticisms of PDF. "Many of the "PDF Usability Crimes" you cite have nothing to do with Acrobat or PDF but are the result of poor design choices. [elearningpost]

    When experts disagree, they both can get positive news coverage. Always consider how constructive dialog with those who put down your products or services can be turned into something to promote your organization. Especially when the media is interested, often they will give equal coverage to both sides of the story as you hash out the point at hand.

    Continue reading "Turn A Gray Cloud Into A Golden Media Opportunity" »

    July 24, 2003

    How To Impress C-Level Executives

    How to Impress C-Level Executives with Guerrilla Online Marketing. See the results of on-line marketing campaigns, including sample landing pages, ad copy, and banner images. I shared full details of over 3 years of real marketing tests.

    Some Problems With B2B Trade Publications

    While the trade publications your customers, or even your employee reads, can be tool to build stronger relationships, you must consider some of the problems with most B2B trade publications.

    Continue reading "Some Problems With B2B Trade Publications" »

    July 23, 2003

    What Are You Assuming Your Website Visitors Already Know

    Never assume -- as Felix from the 1960's The Odd Couple television series said, "Never ASSUME, because when you ASSUME, you make an ASS of U and ME." This applies to both intranet's and websites used to communicate with customers. When you think you know what your website visitors want, you'll always be wrong, build your website to segment visitors.

    Continue reading "What Are You Assuming Your Website Visitors Already Know" »

    Top Sites' User Experience Teams And Their Challenge (Abstract)

    Top Sites' User Experience Teams and Their Challenge. Common issues faced by some of the heaviest visited websites on-line. Including a checklist for focusing on improving your own site. [Good Experience][Boyink Interactive, LLC]

    According to Mark Hurst, founder and host of the Good Experience Live (GEL) conference, shares the common issues found in major traffic holding websites based on a 10-day tour and interviews with over a dozen companies. This abstract includes a summary of the original article with commentary from a relationship building prospectives.

    Continue reading "Top Sites' User Experience Teams And Their Challenge (Abstract)" »

    July 18, 2003

    Weblogs Will Have A Greater Role In Project Management

    Publishing a project weblog. A couple of years ago I predicted that Weblogs would emerge within the enterprise as a great way to manage project communication. I'm even more bullish on the concept today. [Jon's Radio] [Michael Fioritto: KM]

    I strongly support Jon Udell's prediction of project based web log's. After using the tools for a few years now I'm finding weblogs have significantly reduce my data acquisition time, organization of technical materials, and simplified content management.

    Continue reading "Weblogs Will Have A Greater Role In Project Management" »

    Weblogs and knowledge management. Stream

    Weblogs and knowledge management. Stream of recent posts has focused on weblogs as a tool for knowledge management both to capture and share knowledge. [McGee's Musings] [Michael Fioritto: KM]

    July 13, 2003

    Web Teams As A Component Of Tactical And Strategic Methods

    The Nine Pillars of Successful Web Teams. By Jesse James Garrett, July 09, 2003. The best teams have one important thing in common: their team structure and processes cover a full range of distinct competencies necessary for success. [WebWord]

    Jesse James Garrett brings together key components (pillars) to websites that are usable and useful to readers. I highly recommend looking at his findings while addressing the "7 questions to ask before web-site integration". In this note I'll address some key points of Mr. Garrett's article, and a wonderful diagram that sums things up.

    Continue reading "Web Teams As A Component Of Tactical And Strategic Methods" »

    July 11, 2003

    Perfect Example Of CEO Involvement In Real-Time Communications

    Yes, I have a comment... Yes, it's true.. Have you ever noticed how often companies -- when information about them is leaked out prematurely to the press -- either refuse to comment or they deny the story? [bourland.com]

    Andy Bourland (a CEO) saw information leaked about his company on-line. Instead of the usual "no comment" he addressed the issue head on with a well thought-out response. Using a Weblog he was able to extend the buzz of the original coverage, while pitching some history about the company.

    Continue reading "Perfect Example Of CEO Involvement In Real-Time Communications" »

    July 8, 2003

    Blogs In The Workplace (Abstract)

    O'Shea, William. Blogs in the Workplace. (New York Times, 7 July 2003)

    More companies are using web logs for internal communications and improving their business. Includes examples of businesses current use of weblogs, plus some products available.

    Continue reading "Blogs In The Workplace (Abstract)" »

    It Is Time To Bring Blogging Home In The Business World

    5 Key Questions (You've Been Dying) To Ask About Business Blogs. 'Nuff said! Well, really the whole article has some good things to say about business blogging and why you might choose it over an email newsletter. [Boyink Interactive, LLC]

    I highly recommend every Debbie Weil has to say. I've been following her through her WordBiz newsletter and found it very useful in improving my marketing copywriting. Your company should be seriously considering the use of weblogs for internal knowledge management.

    Continue reading "It Is Time To Bring Blogging Home In The Business World" »

    Yes, Web Site Design Matters And What You Can Do

    Web Site Design Matters when it comes to Internet Marketing. In a new survey conducted by Genex it reveals that 65% of consumers do not shop from poorly designed web sites, while 30 percent say an inferior site can also keep them away from an offline store. [Marketing]

    While Laura Schneider's advice is spot on, the About.com website that host her is horribly designed. I cringe every time I have to visit About.com for the following reasons,

    Continue reading "Yes, Web Site Design Matters And What You Can Do" »

    July 3, 2003

    Blogging Better For Internal Team Communications

    It's Time For Marketing To Embrace Weblog Concepts & Technologies. Allan Karl, former co-founder of Wirestone, has this to say about the power of weblogs as a form of corporate communications. [Up2Speed: Why Weblogs Will Become a Serious Form of Corporate Communications]

    While a lot of leaders talk of the "power of weblogs in corporate communications" I feel the greatest strength of weblogs will come from internal team communications.

    Continue reading "Blogging Better For Internal Team Communications" »

    July 2, 2003

    Blogging For Public Relations Professionals In Your Company

    Blog Relations - A primer. Press Access' newsletter The Scoop has an introduction to blogging for PR pros. They include references to some very interesting blogs. [PR Opinions]

    Forward this link to your public relations team, it provides some practical ways to us web logs to gain media coverage for your business. In summary:

    Continue reading "Blogging For Public Relations Professionals In Your Company" »

    Respect Customers Decisions Not To Hear From You

    Washington Post: Web Firms Choose Profit Over Privacy. ...marketers and an array of service providers expanding their collection and use of consumers' email addresses and other personal information, despite broad assurances to protect individual privacy and honor consumers' choices about how much marketing they want to receive. [Tomalak's Realm]

    This happens in the business-to-business world too. Respect your customers decision NOT to receive communications from your company, no matter the channel. It's important to know everything you can about your customers, but use the information properly or you'll lose trust, credibility, and could end up in a law suit.

    Continue reading "Respect Customers Decisions Not To Hear From You" »

    July 1, 2003

    Relationship Building Examples Using A Web Log

    You want to stay in touch with customers, even provide a personal style of communications that builds trust and credibility for your organization. A web log is one way to turn a impersonal website into a relationship building tool.

    Continue reading "Relationship Building Examples Using A Web Log" »

    June 27, 2003

    Put Your On-line Marketing Dollars Where It Matters

    SEM: More expensive than you might think. The very wise Kevin Lee has written in ClickZ this week about some of the costs of Search Engine... [Gary Stein]

    In my report "How B2B Companies Build Powerful Strategic Relations On-line" I state that B2B companies interested in building relationships with buying customers should concentrate on advertising where the buyers are over search engine optimization. Gary's comments expand on the area of Search Engine Marketing and will give you more insight about being seen on the web.

    Continue reading "Put Your On-line Marketing Dollars Where It Matters" »

    More About Treating Potential Customers With Respect

    Study: Businesses Improve Online Service. Largest US corporations have shown improvement in handling online customer interactions but many still fall short [InternetNews.com]

    More coverage on the Customer Respect Group's study of how customers are treated online (including some findings from Jupiter Research). I covered this a few days ago in "Customers are getting no respect online", just thought I'd add a few more tips to reward my regular readers.

    Continue reading "More About Treating Potential Customers With Respect" »

    7 Questions To Ask Before Web-Site Integration

    Financial Insights Examines Critical Success Factors in Columbia Management Company’s Web-site Integration Project [IDC: Press Center]

    In addition, ask yourself the following while developing your web integration objectives:

    Continue reading "7 Questions To Ask Before Web-Site Integration" »

    June 26, 2003

    Customers Are Getting No Respect On-Line

    Study: Customers still looking for respect at company Web sites. Many companies need to stop treating on-line customers as second-class citizens, the report says. [Computerworld E-business News]

    This 330-page study by The Consumer Respect Group ranks the largest 100 companies in the US by their responses to on-line inquiries and other customer satisfaction measures. With the competition only a few clicks away, who can afford to make these mistakes, study shows companies can do more to improve customer relations on-line. While the report covers both B2C and B2B companies, it's something to consider.

    Continue reading "Customers Are Getting No Respect On-Line" »

    June 25, 2003

    Making the Web Work for You

    ____. Making the Web Work for You. (Darwin Magazine, Executive Survival Guide)

    This report, Making the Web Work for You, covers the basics of getting the most from your web investment. It provides some insights on business-to-business relationships and has an interesting table of contents. If you're looking for a basic overview report, this report is for you.

    Continue reading "Making the Web Work for You" »

    June 24, 2003

    Using Your Website To Improve Business Relationships

    The following contains research notes and commentary for an upcoming tutorial "Developing Business-to-Business Websites for Cultivating Relationships and Sales" and includes original pages of reference in bibliography format. While various sources are referenced they both as samples and context -- but not necessarily identified as such.

    Continue reading "Using Your Website To Improve Business Relationships" »

    How Your Website Looks Is Important To Buyers

    Design Very Important to E-Commerce. eMarketer: Importance of Site Design to E-Commerce ... According to a new study from Genex, 36.2% say site design is very important, 28.7% say it is extremely important, and 13.5% say it is somewhat important. These people also say they will leave a poorly designed site for a better design site to buy their goods. [MarketingFix]

    Just like in any encounter, first impressions matter. While your website doesn't have to be fancy (or even flashy), it needs to fit the corporate identity if you want customers to take you seriously. For a prospective customer who hasn't met any of your people, the professional appearance of your website (all marketing collateral) makes a huge difference.

    Continue reading "How Your Website Looks Is Important To Buyers" »

    June 23, 2003

    Tips For Executives Building Relationships On-Line

    With real-time almost instant communications with thousands of people, it is important to be careful about what executives say on-line. A simple mistake, a leak, or off topic remark can travel around the world in seconds.

    Continue reading "Tips For Executives Building Relationships On-Line" »

    June 22, 2003

    Let Your Competitors Help You Lead

    Boston Globe Online / Business. eBay began a business relationship, in which eBay used FairMarket software to run promotions on its site. (Hiawatha Bray) Search the Globe Search [Daypop Search - business relationship]

    I used FairMarket software back in 1998, it was very well produced and handled Internet auctions with features that rivaled every competitor. In fact it was far superior to anything I saw on the market, but then, how come eBay came out on top?

    Continue reading "Let Your Competitors Help You Lead" »

    June 20, 2003

    Growing Business Relationships Through Permission

    The Permission Tree: Growing A Relationship One Branch At A Time by Dana Blankenhorn. "Information makes a prospect much more valuable." [MarketingProfs]

    I use a similar method in my own business and highly recommend looking at a permission strategy for your business, it significantly demonstrates your respect for you relationship with the customer. You must respect the time of your customers and getting their permission to market them is a critical way to do this.

    Continue reading "Growing Business Relationships Through Permission" »

    June 18, 2003

    Geographic Targeting Technology Improves Focus

    Online Locator Software Use Grows. The market is growing for software that finds Internet users' locations. By Bob Tedeschi. [New York Times: Technology]

    Back in 1994, I managed several software development environments located over several regions. We communicated with networks who had the same IP addresses, but were connected by bridges.

    Continue reading "Geographic Targeting Technology Improves Focus" »

    June 17, 2003

    Example of Data Integration, Google API

    Imagine linking queries against 3 billion records into your documentation or decision making tools. As a dashboard type application this would mean automated reports, in the case of the web, could mean near real-time delivery information for customers. I talk a little about dashboards in my note on "Making data useful to all involved"

    Continue reading "Example of Data Integration, Google API" »

    I'm Experimenting With Webloging Once Again

    Why do I blog? I like that I can bring together all the relevant news in an industry, then comment on the elements important to my clients. Without a lot of effort on my part, those comments can be redistributed to clients desktops (or to a private area on the web or intranet.) The ultimate in commentary, a living document experience.

    Continue reading "I'm Experimenting With Webloging Once Again" »

  1. Understand the different type of relationships. Browse web log notes for how web sites contribute to improving existing relationships. Includes commentary on focusing content around solutions desired by visitors.

Powerful B2B Web site. Strategies

  1. Understanding How B2B Relationships Are Cultivated With Your Web site. For some business to business companies their web site is their first interaction with the average customer.
  2. Concentrate your marketing efforts where buyers congregate, not necessarily search engine optimization. B2B companies reach more buying customers where these individuals are looking for related solutions or insights. Look to trade portals before you pay for search engine optimization.
  3. Profiting from business relationships on-line via leverage
  4. Cross selling relationship value automatically
  5. Does your web site. meet your business objectives?
  6. Consistency in communications: making web sites, email, literature, and phone work together
  7. Help your B2B visitor sell your product to decision makers. Turn site visitors into advocates of your solution by providing support materials they can share with decision makers. Make your web site. a value to the buying process of customers.
  8. Understand that on-line marketing isn't just about getting an order, it's about getting a customer and keeping them. Nurture your customer relationships with regular emails. Use your web site as a customer relationship building tool.

Building B2B Communities on-line

  1. Being of immense value to a customer community
  2. Improving strategic value to vendor/partner communities
  3. If you want to play, you'll have to pay (Special on b2b communities)
  4. Web based portals can be your best friend for new relationships

Using Newsletters with B2B Web sites

  1. How to use newsletters to build customer relationships
  2. Internal newsletter strategies to build employee relationships
  3. Using email newsletters as marketing tools (Abstract)
  4. Using newsletters to build extra company relationship with partners
  5. Tips for executive comments in newsletters (What to talk about)
  6. How newsletters contribute to relationship building
  7. Engaging the customer one-to-One with a newsletter


  1. Turn Your Reluctant Web site. Visitors Into Enthusiastic Customers (Avocado Consulting) How web site visitors can become hungry buyers of your products and services.
  2. Blogging for Business Teleclass (Audio, Avocado Consulting) How to leverage your blog to gain more newsletter subscribers and customers.
  3. 4 Ways You Can Build Stronger Email Relationships with Your Customers by Jeannie Schuett (EmailLabs Newsletter, March 2003) An assessment of constructive email marketing methods that bring customers closer through permission based newsletters.
  4. In the email: building relationships by Rod Brook (Australian CPA, September 1999) A range of ways that Net-based communication can be used to enhance customer relationships.
  5. Building Business Relationships (Leading Insight) Includes 10 types of differences between individuals that might cause power struggles that limit relationship growth.

Recommended Web Hosting Providers

To learn more about finding the right hosting provider, visit "How To Choose A Web Hosting Provider For Your Business To Business Firm"

There are many books on the market that tell you how to develop your companies web site. Here is a selection of a few of the better resources supporting this tutorial on using your web site to build business to business relationships.

First, for beginners, learn how to "Create Your First Business Website In 10 Days" with strategies for improving page "stickiness" and keeping visitors on your site buying longer. Download today and even beginners can build a top notch site.

Magic Words, available both as an e-book and paperback, provides copyright specific methods to improve purchases. Treat each web page as direct marketing copy (i.e. focusing on the customers desires, and directing the reader to a specific action) and you will significantly improve your conversation rates. As far as relationship building is concerned, Ted Nicholas' emphasis on honesty and giving to the reader shows through in every page.

Produce return visitors, not through cheap gimmick, by providing excellent value to the objectives of the reader. While a bit dated from the prospective of technology, e-Loyalty includes what you need to develop a customer retention program with your web site. Provides a great foundation for what loyalty is about, the theory, and the how-to-approach for building a loyalty program.

With so many different concepts of loyalty marketing, it is important to incorporate those strategies that best leverage current resources while bringing your company closer to business objectives. Loyalty Marketing provides a number of simple strategies to start focusing your web site. on repeat purchases. Includes practical examples applicable for most businesses.

Do you want to improve the business web site you already have? Then "Discover 65 amazing ways to boost your website just like highly-Paid designers do!" This report provides tips your in-house designers can use to put up a professional site quickly, using the same strategies of the high paid designers without the unnecessary price tag. Remember, web sites are tools to reach prospective buyers, you want a site that helps you reach financial objectives, not win design awards.

If you liked this tutorial, you'll benefit from the answering the question, "Who else wants To be known by the right decision makers?" Tutorial shows you how to use social networking environments to create new opportunities and stronger relationships.

(For more relationship building tutorials)

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