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Roche and Novartis praised for web effectiveness

The pharma firms’ corporate websites are well-placed in Bowen Craggs’ Index report

Roche and Novartis' websites are among the corporate world's most effective, according to a benchmarking study.

The pharma companies' corporate websites beat out major consumer brands like Nestle, Microsoft and Coca-Cola in the Financial Times Bowen Craggs Index of corporate web effectiveness.

Roche and Novartis, coming in at fourth and sixth respectively, were the only pharma companies in the Index's top ten, but a step down it also recognised those from AstraZeneca (13th) and Sanofi (17th).

Bowen Craggs & Co singled out Pfizer from the pharma world as an example of a company that could do better, noting several references to 2005 on its website as though they are current.

The web effectiveness company also noted that Pfizer, currently the world's largest pharma firm, had a new careers section that is separate from the main site.

“This is moving in the wrong direction: jobseekers needs to move around the whole site. [It's] a sign that HR and the online team are not working well together,” wrote David Bowen, senior consultant at Bowen Craggs & Co, in his commentary on the report.

Surveying the report as a whole, he noted: “While there are some stories of real progress there are too many where it has stalled, and is even going into reverse.”

This is either because of a lack of interest, and resources, or their opposite – plenty of interest, but it's misdirected, he said.

Bowen highlighted several areas of concern, including:

•  US companies that forget their dot com site is also their global site

• A lack of improvement among Chinese sites

• Companies jumping on the iPad bandwagon by making their sites look like apps, but not behave like them (“It doesn't work,” says Bowen).

Although the mobile web is a big issue for all sectors, only 25 of the 81 companies included in the Index have mobile sites, with European and US-based companies more likely to have one.

Across pharma, where companies have been rushed to develop smartphone apps, just four firms – Bayer, Boehringer, Pfizer and Shire – have developed mobile websites.

The Index also picks up on a trend for companies to use social networking channels as “alternative delivery mechanisms”, with YouTube becoming “almost a standard”.

Beyond video, the photo-sharing website Flickr is also increasingly popular, something that is seen in pharma, with companies like GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis and Pfizer using it.

Now in its sixth year, the Financial Times Bowen Craggs Index of corporate web effectiveness is an annual ranking of the online communications activities – websites and other channels – of 81 of the biggest companies in the world. It is, Bowen said, the most detailed mass study of large websites produced.

1st May 2012

From: Marketing

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