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Search engines are costing UK businesses over £4bn per year

Search engines are costing UK businesses over £4bn per year

More than one third (36 per cent) of sales and marketing employees are unable to find the right information when using search engines, according to new research from Artesian Solutions.

Sales and marketing executives that research using search engines can take up to 11 hours a week longer or the equivalent of an extra working day, to achieve the same result as those using automated sales intelligence.

Furthermore, one third of those interviewed regularly failed to find the relevant information that they are looking for when using search engines.

The survey was conducted by an independent research company on behalf of Artesian Solutions and consisted of in-depth telephone interviews throughout December 2008 and January 2009 with sales and marketing executives in 151 UK companies.

Undoubtedly, one of the key factors attributed to the findings is the increasing pressure placed on sales and marketing departments to get better results whilst improving time and performance.

Although the use of search engines are common place in everyday working life, the science involved in matching key words to the unstructured information on the web leads to imprecise and frustrating results aside from answers to simple questions and finding basic company information.

One respondent to the survey stated that whilst the web is a compelling business tool, search engines make it a frustrating and less than precise science in driving competitive advantage

This is set to change however, with the emergence of new technology which applies new scientific methods to help make sense of information and deliver a more relevant and useful end result.

Andrew Yates, CEO at Artesian Solutions, said, “Poor internet productivity as a result of the incorrect use of search engine technology to drive research is costing UK businesses billions of pounds. This is of course great for the advertising revenue of the search engine companies, but not good for business bottom line. Web 2.0 and the semantic web are new technologies which are progressing fast to make the internet more useful in a B2B context thus avoiding the scenario of highly paid employees ‘fumbling in the dark’ for the information they need.

"The emergence of automated search and surveillance software enables businesses to generate the information that is required to run their operations - such as market, sales and competitive intelligence – thus avoiding random science.”

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