Top 50 sites signal future of Internet marketing

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As the most effective business-to-business Web sites in the world, the NetMarketing 200 lead their industries in adapting the Internet to their business strategies.

A survey of 50 highest-ranked b-to-b Web sites indicated where leading-edge companies are heading:

  • 46% take orders and payments online.

  • 52% take orders without payments online.

  • 96% generate databases, leads and partners with their sites.

  • 92% cut costs on printing and mailing with their sites.

  • 78% distribute product like information or software online.

  • 100% use their sites for customer service and support.

    These are high percentages, set by the Net's marketing leaders. Not surprisingly, the functionality of b-to-b sites drops for companies further down the list.

    How the list was compiled

    The NetMarketing 200, culled from analysis of more than 600 Web sites, is divided into three parts.

    After selecting the best 200 Web sites, Business Marketing editors selected and ranked the Top 10. These companies are far ahead of the pack and their Web sites are, quite simply, the most sophisticated out there in terms of business use.

    After that, we chose the next 40 best Net marketers to round out our Top 50. These 40 are ranked only by grade; one A-rated company is no better than any other A-rated company. We asked these companies for details about their sites. That data, along with our comments, is presented on Page 18.

    Finally, we chose the next 150 best Net marketers. They are listed on Page 19.

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

    It should be noted that there are some A- companies included in the Top 50 and some that are not. This second group of A- Web sites had similar functionality as the A-sites in the Top 50, but fell short in some of the more subjective elements such as design and response.

    There are, no doubt, sites that deserve to be on this list but are not. If you think yours is one, please e-mail me at The NetMarketing 200 is scheduled to be a yearly event.

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