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DIGITAL MARKETING: Intranets and extranets - sharing is caring

In the B2B arena, where partnerships are of paramount importance, the efficient management of marketing is central to your business's longevity. One way to effectively manage this is to execute an intranet/extranet strategy. These portals enable internal marketing systems to operate to the best of their ability, but also enables businesses to reach out to their partners and vendors.

“Too often for B2B, intranet development takes the form of throwing some human resources information onto a quickly developed system,” says Margaret Manning, CEO at digital agency Reading Room. “The reason for developing an intranet was simply that 'everyone else has got one'. The disappointment when staff members fail to log on in droves leaves many businesses dismissing intranets as a waste of time and resources. It is a myth to think that building an intranet is cheap and easy. Initially, it can appear a simple task: all you need is a spare PC and someone in the IT department who knows a little bit about coding websites, and away you go. However, this is to treat what should be a valuable business tool as tantamount to a training exercise for the lucky IT guy.”

As the latest 'must-have' technology, intranets and extranets gained bad press because of a lack of understanding regarding what these technologies could deliver to a business. Often derided as little more than glorified telephone directories, intranets in particular have got a second wind and are now established in the marketing landscape, as businesses in the B2B sector realise that they must manage their digital assets much more efficiently. With partners demanding increased integration with the businesses they trade with, developing an intranet/extranet portal is now high on the agenda.