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What does it take for a Web site to make the NetMarketing 200?

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It takes vision, hard work and an eye toward the bottom line. Mostly, however, it takes service.

In the second annual NetMarketing 200, Business Marketing once again ranks the best business-to-business Web sites. These sites, ranked by grade, represent the best sites in their industries in adapting the Internet to their business strategies.

Since the first ranking in November 1997, these companies have been rapidly moving forward. A survey of the 50 top b-to-b sites demonstrates the quick changes in this new marketing area:

  • 66% take orders and payments online, a sharp increase from 46% in the first survey.

  • 86% use their sites to distribute product, such as software, up from 78% last year.

  • 96% use their sites for customer service and support, down from last year's 100%. The average response time is 30 hours, with estimates ranging from a low of two hours to a high of 96 hours.

  • 76% use their Web sites to recruit employees.

    These numbers represent the rapid pace of change on the Internet, driven largely by today's Web leaders.

    How the list was compiled

    The NetMarketing 200, created from analysis of more than 400 sites, including last year's 200, is divided into three parts.

    After selecting the best 200 Web sites, Business Marketing editors selected and ranked the Top 10. These companies represent the very best in b-to-b sites, providing a yardstick of what sites should be.

    We then selected the next 40 best sites. These are ranked by grade. One A-rated company is no better than any other A-rated company. Finally, we chose the next 150 best sites.

    The main criteria in judging each site were its functionality and intent: How much could a business customer do on the site, and how did that support the company's marketing goals?

    One note: Some A- companies are included in the Top 50 and some aren't. The second group of A- sites had similar functionality to the other A- sites, but fell short in some of the more subjective elements, such as response and design.

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