An extensive research project on the category of strategic marketing in the ODP, Open Directory Project, also known as DMOZ was just completed.
The results were quite surprising. It was expected to see some of the marketing strategies websites listed in the directory to be outdated, poor selections, or not functioning, but not to the extent discovered.
The Open Directory Project is based on a team of volunteer editors who have been allowed to edit the categories assigned. The privilege of editor allows for the inclusion and exclusion, removal of websites, from the assigned categories. The editor also is responsible for the final description of the company listed. Editors can accept a website into the directory from a free submission, in which anyone can submit their website to the appropriate category, or the editor can do research on their own and add sites when deemed of value for the category.
Analysis Of Strategic Marketing Category
The strategic marketing category is one of the most important categories online. It is quite encompassing, in that it covers a broad range of business issues and strategies. As the Internet continues to expand, there will be a need for better sales, marketing, and advertising outsourcing, out-tasking, and collaborative team efforts from experts in various fields. Many startup companies as well as established ones need to contract with knowledgeable strategic marketing companies that can target certain areas of a business, provide opportunities to develop new markets, and better understand and communicate with their existing customer base, as well as the abilities to react to market changing conditions.
Research Tools Used In Conducting The Marketing Study
Documenting The Study
In order to document the study, it was important to establish a new directory. The establishment of this new strategic marketing directory (since removed upon completion of the study) was started with the ODP Strategic Marketing list. All 187 descriptions for the entire Top: Business: Marketing and Advertising: Strategic category were removed and started with a fresh page of links only.
The criteria for directory inclusion included, but not limited to, some of the following criteria:
- Companies that offered intellectual value based on relevant information available from a website and would be helpful for a B2B or B2C business.
- Companies that made some sort of online marketing effort themselves to maintain their website up-to-date. While some information is timeless in nature, not updating the site in several years was not a good reflection on the company or the industry in general.
- Websites needed to be functional with little or no broken links. Ethics was also an important consideration.
Additional subjective parameters were analyzed with the following base parameter; strategically building up a company. Building up a company through communications, growth strategies, performance evaluations, sound marketing and advertising principles, ethics, branding, leadership training, sales processes, national and international market development, Internet marketing, online advertising, and web branding. Additional considerations were made for the international value that a company brings to the table. Relevant links to the company website or published documents were also considerations for inclusion, as well as, what current information was being written or speeches given by the principal business owners and associates.
There was one other very important factor used in the evaluation process; the copyright date. Copyright dates were used as a type of search engine bellwether for me to consider and were not necessarily grounds for exclusion with old copyrights posted on the website; however, the business was researched and reviewed with closer scrutiny in the case of old copyright dates being listed on the website.
Strategic Marketing Study Findings
The ODP had 187 companies listed from a broad spectrum of countries including: United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, France, and others. The companies in the list all had English translations that for the most part were good website translations.
The number of companies that did not make the grade based on Internet parameters for determining eligibility were approximately 47 companies. Many of these 47 companies listed were determined to be simply of no strategic value because they lacked sustenance. Some of the companies were deemed ineligible because the website no longer existed. Other websites were not kept up with current information, copyrights were many years old, and other websites were not providing quality internal links to the company website.
The final results for the percentage of sites that should be removed from the ODP Directory for just this one category are 25%. Additionally while doing the online research there would have been added approximately 10 new website resources at the date of the study.
One of the interesting items to take note of is that of the lack of published copyrights in other nations. Typically most of the United States websites had copyright dates posted at the footer of the websites, though some were quite outdated. However, many of the foreign websites, including some sites from the United Kingdom had no copyright dates posted. It was as though UK websites gave very little attention to the copyright details. This made it much more difficult to verify the validity of the information and website. Much more time was required on additional research with these particular companies.
Another finding of significance was that companies that built their websites with an all Flash design were severally limiting their exposure in the search engine results pages. Many of these sites had useful content and would have performed better in the search engine results pages if the website had been developed using best practices website designs. Other sites built on Flash were of little intellectual value and were quite difficult to read because of the limiting of the font size. In affect, the fonts were way to small to read, because some designer felt that the font text should fit only within a limited constrained space on the web page. There were however some good site designs that included just a Flash header that were well designed, and did not continually get in the way of the main body of content.
While this was both an objective as well as subjective analysis, if anyone sees a company that has been removed from the new strategic marketing resources list that feels one of the original companies should be placed back on the list feel free to contact us. We will entertain the idea based on any new parameters that are of value for the B2B, B2C, or even the C2C community.
Email us today for B2B B2C sales marketing advertising professional web services, strategies, and solutions for your business. Start growing your business, expand market reach online, improve sales, and improve the bottom-line.