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The 2003 NetMarketing 100: Best B-To-B Web Sites

BY MARY E. MORRISON

Every year, BtoB evaluates about 800 Web sites in 14 industry categories to determine which have earned a spot in the NetMarketing 100, our list of the best b-to-b Web sites. On the following pages, youll find this years list, ranked in descending order of points awarded.

Choosing the best sites is a task that has grown increasingly difficult as companies devote larger portions of their staffs and budgets to building and maintaining a strong Web presence. For sites to make it into this years NetMarketing 100, they had to have an overall score of 88 out of 100 points. The cutoff score last year was 87; in 2001, it was 86. The criteria for the NetMarketing 100 havent changed, but the Web sites we reviewed havecontinually adding functionality and improving usability.

Though many sites have gotten better, many still have a long way to go. To the latter group, we offer the NetMarketing 100 as examples to follow. These 100 sites present product, service and corporate information in an intuitive and easy-to-find way. They use an ever-expanding array of design tools to effectively communicate their brand, just as they would in traditional media. And they engage visitors in a sale, or get them as close as possible to that point. Ultimately, these companies use their Web sites to better serve their customers.

This year, as a whole, the Web sites we judged are offering users more resources, such as white papers, e-mail newsletters and in-depth customer case studies. More sites are enabling users to browse in different languages. And many are making more pronounced efforts to determine what customers want by surveying them. For instance, the Web sites of IBM Corp., Sun Microsystems Inc. and Sybase Inc. ask users to rate either individual pages or the entire site.

The best of the best this year, with a score of 98, is Hewlett-Packard Co.s Web site at www.hp.com. The site has many objectivesmarketing a variety of products and services to numerous customer segmentsand yet it excels at presenting a unified brand image, complete with in-depth information about the company (see story, page 1).

All sites on the following list are examples of how progressive companies are taking advantage of the Webarguably their most powerful marketing channelto provide users with product information, brand interaction, resources and a place to close the deal.

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The complete list can be found here:

http://www.btobonline.com/netMarketi...003/index.html

Apple ranked beneath HP, 3 Com, American Express and Dell.