Stop using rotating panels on your home page

Rotating panels work great for general news and content sites like MSN, but most B2B technology companies shouldn’t use them on their home page. That’s because the home page is where you execute your positioning strategy; that one big idea; the compelling benefit that sets you apart from the competition; the reason your target buyer should care about your product or company.

Rotating panels typically result in multiple competing messages, an approach that is detrimental to establishing a position. It’s hard enough to claim a position with a single message. It’s literally impossible when a home page flashes several different messages at you in a short period of time. There’s no way any of it will stick.

Yet rotating panels are definitely the “in” thing in B2B technology marketing. Almost everyone uses them. Few use them effectively. To do so, there needs to be a consistent theme in each panel. Instead, it seems like their use is based on lack of conviction in a single message, or lack of research resulting in a shotgun approach to positioning. It’s as if they think that when you throw a bunch of you-know-what on the wall, something just might stick.

But it won’t because the key to effective positioning is consistency and repetition. With some effort, time and money, you can claim a position by consistently communicating an idea that has meaning to the target audience, and then repeating it, and repeating it, and repeating it…

Even a weak positioning strategy, consistently executed over a period of at least 18 months, is far more effective than a strong position that is inconsistently executed, and changes every year, if not sooner.

A rule of thumb is that it takes at least 10 impressions before a target buyer even notices an advertisement. Imagine how many impressions you’ll need before your audience associates a benefit with your product or company. If you have multiple messages, it will take a lot longer to claim a position if it can be done at all.

Positioning is a mental space that you can “own” with an idea that has compelling meaning to the target audience. It’s in this mental space where the product’s most important benefit and the customer’s most important need meet, and hopefully stick, resulting in a meaningful relationship over time.

A strong positioning strategy is unique and important; it addresses the target audience’s most pressing problem.

Note that I say problem, not problems. You need to know for sure what’s keeping the buyer awake at night. Otherwise your positioning strategy is a guess. Some may even think that using the panels increases the chances of hitting the mark by delivering several different messages and pain points.

But multiple messaging just confuses the target audience, and detracts from your effort to claim a position. Stop using panels on you home page, and start claiming a position by making one important claim, not many. Buyers will reward you.