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UK firms lag on digital comms

News, 26 May 2016

LONDON: When it comes to corporate website performance, there are a few standout organisations in the UK, but many of Britain's leading companies deliver only a "mediocre" digital experience, according to a new report.

Radley Yeldar, a corporate communications consultancy, released its latest study into digital best practice among FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies and noted that a "leadership pack" has broken away from the rest.

As reported by Marketing Week, pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca topped the list this year, rising 63 places since it launched a new website. The company scored 76.8%, based on Radley Yeldar's measurement of web content and experience.

Brewing giant SABMiller came a close second with 76.4%, followed by GlaxoSmithKline (74.7%), Royal Dutch Shell (73.6%) and Unilever (69.9%) in the top five.

"The top five are absolute standout examples of strong digital communications," said Richard Coope, Digital Director at Radley Yeldar.

"However, there is a significant gap between the top five and the rest, and the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250, which seems to be growing. We've seen a lot of brands that perhaps want to do digital but have been slow on the uptake."

Taken together, the report said digital experience remains consistently poor with the FTSE 350 scoring less than 40% on average for website experience, although pharmaceutical and healthcare companies generally performed the best.

Looking at the specifics, only 15% of the companies surveyed were found to make it easy to complete a simple task, such as applying for a job, while just 4% engaged in two-way conversation on their website.

The situation has improved in some respects since last year's survey – for example, there has been a 45% increase in responsive websites and 71% of the FTSE 100 now embrace mobile – but Coope said the overall standard remains "mediocre".

"Organisations tend to create a website and then not look at it for five years. There is always an opportunity to make incremental improvements," he said.

"By looking at what other companies have done, it provides an understanding of what evolving best practice looks like. Corporate communications has largely been a pursuit of the mediocre, but standing still is no longer good enough."

Data sourced from Marketing Week; additional content by Warc staff