What does the recession have in common with the average B2B website? In both cases, customers are conspicuously absent.
In the (not so) old days of print advertising and collateral, companies generally talked about their products and services, attempting to highlight some sort of differentiated feature or benefit. The customer was often overlooked in favor of "me, my products and I."
Then came the web and the possibility of reaching many more people. Marketers adapted their collateral and advertising for online consumption. Soon people began to see the potential of the web for providing the new dimension of interactivity. "Brochureware" and banner ads began to shimmy and swirl. Their stories were still about "me."
Marketing gurus began referring to marketing as "a conversation" and one in which the customer is in control. Social media sprang from this idea often as a way for businesses to open a dialogue with clients in real time. As far as we've come, in 2010 and the average B2B website's content is still all about "me," a repository for showcasing products or services.
Interactivity and social media are about transforming "me" into "you." They are about knowing your customer so well, you can create an experience that will truly be of value to them.
Take a look at your website. Are you presenting content from the vantage point of your customers, or are you pushing your products and services?
Can you resist "me"?