The 7 Second Test for B2B Marketers

StopwatchAt the Social Media Camp on Long Island last week, we got into an interesting discussion about how to get attention to drive sales leads. When I shared the “7 Second Test,” one of the experts agreed “That’s why every comedian makes sure his first joke is his best.  That’s what grabs the audience.”

The idea of the “7 Second Test” is that you have 7 seconds to get the attention of the visitor to your website. In those first few seconds, they decide if your website is worth further investigation. If the conclusion is “yes,” they continue on.  If it’s “No,” They leave.

As a B2B marketer, what can we do to measure how well we are doing in the “7 Second Test”

Here’s what I suggest:

  1. Get a stopwatch and a swatch of black felt.
  2. Find someone who is unfamiliar with your company. (Your mom’s a good candidate.)
  3. On a computer, go to your company’s home page.
  4. Cover the monitor with felt, so she cannot see it.
  5. Sit your mom down in front of the monitor. Don’t tell her what you’re doing, only that you want her to tell you what she sees.
  6. Start the stopwatch and uncover the monitor.
  7. When the stopwatch gets to 7 seconds, hit the power button on the monitor to turn it off.
  8. Ask your test subject (mom) to describe what she saw.
    1. Can she describe your company?
    2. Can she articulate your value?
    3. Can she state your value proposition?
    4. Can she identify your target market?

If she did not do very well, rethink your website design. How can you grab the reader in 7 seconds?

I think this will open some eyes in your company and you’ll see why Simplicity is one of my “6 Keys to B2B Marketing Success Today.”

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Jeff Ogden, the Fearless Competitor, @fearlesscomp, is President of Find New CustomersLead Generation Made Simple.”
While you’ll find a plethora of demand generation experts, Find New Customers is the simple place to learn and share. He’s also an expert in Lead Nurturing and was a special guest on SalesBuzz Radio. “If more people listened to Jeff , a lot more would be sold.” Said Dan McDade of PointClear.
He’s also the author of the highly acclaimed lead generation and sales white papers, How to Find New Customers and Definitive Guide to Making Quota, and he’s currently writing a new white paper on using email to drive sales leads entitled: Moving from Transactional to Conversational Email: New Ways to Use Email to Engage Prospective Buyers and Grow Sales.

7 Responses to “The 7 Second Test for B2B Marketers”

  1. 1 Brent Pohlman June 30, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Interesting idea! I like it! Thanks for sharing… This information will help us with future blog posts and web site information.

    Brent Pohlman

    • 2 jefflogden59 June 30, 2010 at 11:44 am

      Glad you found it helpful, Brent. I’ll try to keep sharing actionable ideas like this in the future. That’s for your support.

  2. 3 Greg Jordan July 1, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Good technique! I think user experience, in general, is often overlooked. Good stuff!

  3. 4 Jep Castelein (LeadSloth) July 2, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    Jeff, this is a great idea and I’ll definitely try it out, if only to see what results pop up. What I do wonder is whether such a test should incorporate context: most people will come to your site with certain expectations, and that’s what they will look for in those 7 seconds. What is your take on that?

    • 5 jefflogden59 July 2, 2010 at 1:01 pm

      Thanks for the comment, Jep. The value of this is to understand the simplicity of your site. But I think you could incorporate future test by sharing scenarios with your testers.

  4. 6 Kevin B July 5, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Articulating all those things from 7 seconds looking at the page is a pretty tall order. That puts the bar pretty high, but thanks for laying out some specific goals.

    • 7 jefflogden59 July 5, 2010 at 10:20 am

      thanks for your comment, Kevin, and good luck. Yes, it is a tall order but it’s an important test.

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The Fearless Competitor

@fearlesscomp on Twitter

B2B Marketing and demand generation best practices. Dad, husband and passionate fan of my alma mater, Notre Dame. Team builder, company transformer and difference maker.

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