2006 Best-of-the-Best Marketing Sites

Ten sites that all marketers should know well.

Alacra Industry Spotlights (Finding Company/Industry Information)

Until 2005, the information found on this site was restricted to subscribers but now it’s open for everyone. What will you get? Informative guides and advice for researching over 40 different industries. The listings and details are impressive and should be a first stop for those not sure of how to begin researching a particular industry.

ClickZ* (Internet Marketing)

Internet marketers’ top news and information site continues to produce useful how-to articles, industry news, statistics and much more. Whether you are a website marketer or advertiser, check this site out on a regular basis to keep abreast of all that is going on in the online marketing world.

CMO Magazine (Marketing Publication)

Chief Marketing Officer Magazine does what many business magazines and specialty marketing sites do not – they allow free access to excellent articles. Since its launch in September 2004 the site has offered articles from its monthly magazine as well as regularly updated marketing news, blogs, webcasts and other features. Let’s hope the site doesn’t go the way of the other business content sites and remains freely accessible. (Update February 2006: Well maybe I should have said that I hope it doesn't go the way of other good sites and close down! Yes, it looks like CMO Magazine published its last issue in January 2006. While old articles are still accessible, the site is no longer producing new content. That's too bad because they did produce high-quality work. Maybe they should consider dumping the print format and resurrect themselves as a web-content site. PC )

Google Analytics (Website Metrics)

Marketers would be foolish to undertake online marketing without having access to website traffic information in order to learn how visitors reach and navigate their site. Over the years there have been many companies offering free website tracking programs. Most of these were advertising supported and provided very basic tracking data. Google Analytics takes the free web reporting to a new level with an extensive array of information items. While the service got off to a slow start when it was first introduced (i.e., too many signed up and overloaded the system), once it is up to speed it should serve as an indispensable tool for small-to-medium sized websites.

MarketingExperiments* (Internet Marketing Research)

How much do you expect to pay for good research designed to improve your online marketing? How about zero, zilch, nada! MarketingExperiments’ unique proposition is to offer results of real controlled testing they conduct on the web. Experimental topics have included setting product price, designing PR news releases, search engine advertising and whole heck of a lot more. Results of their work can have immediate impact for almost any marketing effort.

Pew Internet and American Life Project (Internet Research Reports)

This is another excellent site for getting the results of Internet research studies. While the main mission of this site is to look at the Internet’s impact on a wide range of American activities, a good third of their frequently released reports cover topics of interest to marketers. The reports offer great insight on how people use the Internet and what it means in their everyday lives.

Research on Research (Market Research Design and Methods)

For anyone involved in serious market research this site offers a collection of over 60 articles on topics ranging from A (analysis of variance) to W (weekend audits) with lots more in between (sorry nothing yet for X, Y or Z!). Access does require registration (and probably being added to a mailing list) but the information gained is well worth the effort.

Trendwatching (Idea Generation and Market Trends)

This may possibly be the most interesting new site we found in 2005. The concept: identify and give meaning to emerging trends that could be of interest to marketers. While the stories are sometimes a little over-the-top, they are generally well-written and, best of all, provide insight to trends happening around the world. While these guys may find it challenging to identify new trends each month, so far the job they have done is first-rate.

WebmasterWorld (Internet Marketing)

While the name may imply this is a techie site, the fact is WebmasterWorld is also one of the best places to learn about Internet marketing. Within this forum site, are loads of great tutorials, ideas and insights into getting the most out of an online marketing effort, and especially search engine marketing.

Wikipedia - Marketing* (Marketing Basics)

Back on the list for a second year, the open information Wikipedia continues to develop into a very good marketing information source. It biggest strength lies in offering definitions to a large number of marketing terms.

* Denotes 2005 Best-of-the-Best Marketing Site.


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