The website of News International Commercial (NIC – the trade marketing arm of NI) is a typical B2B exercise. It promotes the brand, showcases products and features case studies, news, insights and contact information. And like a lot of other B2B websites it could easily be left to its own devices condemned to a sad life of brochureware insignificance. Such neglected B2B sites, and there are quite a few around, act like a black hole where an unspecified number of users go in and out, but nobody knows what they get up to – and consequently nobody has with any idea how to make any money from them. So when the strategy behind the NIC website was drafted, Skyron advised the marketing team on the commercial benefits of analytics. Everyone agreed that to extract maximum value from the effort and money invested, a closer monitoring of the website’s performance would be the way forward.
A simple, universal need
NIC, like most B2B marketing teams, primarily want one thing and that is lead generation; and just like most B2B marketing teams they hope for the best but expect the worst. But can such a B2B website defy low expectations and become a lean, mean, lead generation machine? It can and here is how:
The process: track, learn, apply, repeat
Skyron worked (and continues to work) closely with the NIC marketing folks in the following way:
- We set a clear list of relevant KPIs: It is very easy to get carried away with metrics and get lost in the detail, so we focused on what is relevant to NIC. Some of the questions we set out to answer were: Does the website generate any new business? What exactly do people do on the website? How do they use the contact facilities? Is the website used exclusively by trade? Which products attract most interest? Which news stories are the most read? Are people interested in the email newsletter?
- We plugged in the tracking: Our skilful technical team did all the necessary set-up work using Google Analytics.
- We engaged into monthly monitoring: Normally we review non-transactional B2B sites quarterly, as trends need time to register. The new NIC website though has been very busy, so we felt there is enough action to justify monthly reporting and analysing.
- All parties committed to act on the learnings: The process described above would have been a complete waste of effort and money if we didn’t act on the findings.
Since launching 6 months ago the website’s analytics have led to a number of revealing insights and changes aiming at better understanding, as well as changing, user behaviour. The majority of changes have focused around the Contact page as this is where most users express their interest in the NI products and services.
- 29% of users visit the Contact page.
- The Contact page generates hundreds of email enquiries each month.
- 75% of these enquires are new business leads.
- The enquiries that are not new business leads can be grouped into recruitment, customer service and other categories.
- A good percentage of the new business leads are from consumers, a clear indication that the website’s appeal is much wider than expected.
Moving forward: grab success by the horns
As the main purpose of the website is to generate new business, the insights above have led to the following actions:
- Increase leads by engaging in a number of traffic boosting activities (such as email marketing, clear signposting on the referring websites, etc.)
- Increase leads by optimising further the path to the Contact page as well as the Contact page itself.
- Help sales people at the receiving end of the enquiries become more effective by diverting any non-sales related activity away from them and towards other communication channels.