I don’t know if this is a typical proportion of engineering and scientific companies, but I’d guess that 10–20% of our clients over the years have only a limited ability to add content to their own website. This can be for a number of reasons, but it’s usually because they’re the UK part of a worldwide organisation which has its website protectively managed somewhere else. Slightly disappointingly, most companies in this situation seem to use it as an excuse not to do anything on the web, shrugging their shoulders and saying things like: “That’s how head office wants to run things, so there’s nothing we can do about it.”
However, I’ve been pleased over the years to see one or two companies in this position declare this to be not good enough, and set up their own initiatives. While it doesn’t make sense to create alternative ‘corporate’ sites, it’s been relatively easy for them to create a simple (but professional looking) site where they can post background articles, videos, case studies and more, all linking to the main company site. In one case, an independent site like this started to get such good search engine rankings that it became the largest driver of traffic to the main site after the search engines. When the corporate site was next redesigned, the independent site was incorporated into it, and other countries were encouraged to add equivalent material in their own sections.
Most of the articles you read online about managing business websites seem to be blissfully unaware of the sort of reality faced by many marketing managers. Not having access to their own website is just one example. Other marketing managers I know have to put up with difficulties such as not being allowed to use website analytics or any social media. For those of you who read this blog despite being unable to action almost anything that gets discussed, I salute you.