Is your website wewe-ing?

Working on a project this past week that had me browsing through a number of business software vendor websites looking for information; I noticed two common practices that indicate the top 10 business software vendors are still inside-out oriented with their communications. I’ll discuss one of these practices in this post and the other in next week’s post.

As I was reading through a bunch of web pages looking for information, it struck me how often the information presented was from the vendor’s perspective. The websites were full of “we do…”, “we can…”, “we have…”, “we are…”, “our product…”, “our staff…”, “our technology…”, “we provide…”, “Companyname has…”, “Companyname is…”, etc. – you get the picture – it’s all about the vendor. I wasn’t specifically looking at their content writing style, but it was rather noticeable after a few sites and several pages.

Not wanting to be judgmental without supporting evidence, I remembered reading about Roy Williams asking "Are you wewe-ing all over yourself?”. So then I found this WeWe Monitor from FutureNow that analyzes whether a website or other content, speaks about the customer or themselves. Next step was to enter the information for the software vendors’ websites I’d been looking at, to see how they ranked.

The average Self Focus Rate for 10 major business software vendors is approximately 88% - i.e. they speak about themselves 8 times more often than they speak about their customers or buyers on their websites. How do these vendors think that comes across for customers and prospective buyers? It’s all about them, not about their customers or buyers. The best Self Focus Rate in this group was just 82%. One well-known major software vendor scored 96% which means they speak about themselves 22 times more often than they speak about their customers or buyers, and that wasn’t the worst score. So the impression I got while reading through these websites that they were self-centered and inside-out, seems substantiated.

These disappointing results got me wondering who has better ratings in this category. So I ran a list of 10 smaller business software vendors’ websites through the WeWe Monitor. The average Self Focus Rate for these vendors is approximately 78% - a better average score, but a mixed bag. 3 of the 10 vendors had 100% Self Focus Rate (they only speak about themselves), one had an excellent 33% and another had 52%.

"If you're trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language, the language they use every day, the language in which they think." – David Ogilvy

Although I’m not entirely surprised by these results, it’s disappointing that after all these years, the majority of business software vendors are still talking about themselves rather than relating to their customers and buyers. I wonder how much this exacerbates their current sales, customer retention and revenue problems?

While the authors of the WeWe Monitor state that “a score between 60% – 70% seems to have the most natural tone”, I think that’s way too high. IMO a score of 33% would be a good customer oriented tone – which means speaking about customers and buyers twice as much as yourself.

How do your website and marketing materials score on the WeWe Monitor?

Your comments are always welcome.
Copyright © 2009 The Marketing Mélange and Ingistics LLC. http://marketing.infocat.com

1 comments:

Melissa Paulik said...

Mike,

Thanks for pointing out another great free tool. As you and I both know all too well, it is tough for the bsuiness software vendors to actually see how inwardly focused they are. This tool points out what is obvious to their prospects.

If the little guys know what'a good for them, the last thing they should do is imitate the gorillas in the space. I always tell people, if they want to emulate someone, take a look at the sites that actually specialize in inbound marketing. Hubspot's site is a great example.

It's probably a good idea to run the company blog through the Monitor as well. A blog, IMO, should be even less self-focused, but I would bet that the blogs of most of these vendors scores even worse that their site.

All the best!
Melissa