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Business Organizations Rank Low on New 'Digital IQ Index'


How web savvy are business-related organizations? Not very, reveals a new report that ranks 100 public-sector institutions on how well they use the web, social media and mobile platforms to digitally market themselves and their content.

The Department of Commerce, for example, landed at No. 76 on the “L2 Digital IQ Index” and received this unfavorable description: “A department whose mission is to help make American businesses more innovative, struggles with innovation online.”

Researchers analyzed each organization’s website, digital marketing efforts, social media presence and mobile capabilities and then assigned them “digital IQs.” NASA had the highest score with 184, well ahead of the Department of Commerce with 64 and the runner-up, the White House, with 158, according to the index from L2, a think tank for digital innovation.

“More than 50 percent of the organizations indexed registered digital IQs in the ‘feeble’ and ‘challenged’ ranks (having a digital IQ of less than 90), suggesting that most public sector organizations have yet to unlock the power of digital platforms,” said study authors Scott Galloway, founder of L2, and Doug Guthrie, dean of George Washington University’s business school.

Often referenced on BusinessNewsDaily, the Small Business Administration earned the highest spot (No. 31 with an IQ of 105) among organizations that influence entrepreneurs. “The SBA YouTube channel was recognized by Mashable as one of the top Internet resources for entrepreneurs,” researchers said.

How 12 other business-related organizations ranked:

23. World Bank, 112 digital IQ: “In the midst of transition from dusty site to dynamic web portal with tight social media integration.”

32. National Federation of Independent Businesses, 104: “Social media integration, including Facebook ‘like’ button, distinguishes the site.”

39. U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 101: “Stale site underwhelms; organization is making strides with customized Facebook page that includes video polling.”

40. Internal Revenue Service, 97: “Site aesthetics are taxing, but functionality and live chat improves the customer service experience.”

57. Department of Labor, 87: “A great resource for labor statistics, but wading through a site full of poorly organized links is a lot of work.”

59. International Monetary Fund, 85: “The IMF provides a wealth of information on site, but with no Facebook presence the organization is in need of relief.”

63. National Association of Manufacturers, 78: “Curated YouTube playlists hint of social media potential.”

66 tie. National Restaurant Association, 74: “Sparse content threatens digital presence; surprising given popularity of food on social media.”

66 tie. American Bankers Association, 74: “Online Marketing ROI tool allows members to easily assess the effectiveness of direct marketing campaigns.”

70. World Trade Organization, 72: “Innovative web tools and a mass of mentions in the blogosphere are the lone bright spot in an otherwise protectionist web strategy.”

83 tie. United States Trade and Development Agency, 58: “Online consultant database is used to match small business skills with agency needs.”

91 tie. National Beer Wholesalers Association, 49: “Laggard site traffic, but Mr. Beer Guy Facebook page demonstrates playfulness and promise.”

To view the full report, click here.

Researchers also found more than 80 percent of the 100 organizations are on at least one social media platform, 63 percent host a blog and 20 percent have some presence on mobile platforms.

“Digital competence will play a seminal role in determining the ideas and people that gain or lose influence in the halls of power,” they said. “Tweets from space, crowd-sourced budget recommendations, panda adoption through Facebook, and live chat customer service avatars are just a few examples of innovation not typically credited to public sector organizations. These efforts can bear fruit.

“We are beginning to see hints of the real power of these platforms.”

Reach BusinessNewsDaily staff writer Brian Anthony Hernandez at Bhernandez@TechMediaNetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter (@BAHjournalist) and become his friend on Facebook (BAH Journalist) to interact or stay updated on news about small businesses.