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.”

What do you think? We love comments and people who share.

Jeff Ogden (@fearlesscomp) is President of the B2B lead generation consultancy, Find New Customers. Find New Customers helps companies rapidly grow revenue by transforming how they attract, engage and win new customers. Contact Find New Customers at (516) 495-9350 or by emailing sales at findnewcustomers.com.

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14 thoughts on “The 7 Second Test for B2B Marketers

  1. 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?

    1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Pingback: 2010 in review |

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