Paul Dunay of Avaya recently wrote a provocative post that fired up lots of folks. In Is The White Paper Dead for B2B Marketing?, Paul summed up a conversation he had with the Bloom Group, which is telling its clients to stop producing white papers. Paul goes on to propose microsites and eBooks as alternatives to white papers.
The post – and comments – raised many discussion-worthy points. That said, B2B marketers – particularly those selling IT products or services – need look no further than the research results to see why white papers are still an important part of the mix.
1. 70% of IT buyers used white papers to get information on enterprise technology solutions in the past three months.
2. 77% of respondents responsible for either making B2B technology purchases or influencing purchasing decisions read at least one white paper in the first six months of 2009, with 84% rating white papers as moderately to extremely influential when making final purchasing decisions, and 89% passing them along to others.
3. Trial software and white papers are the most utilized, along with being among the most effective, forms of content for researching IT problems and solutions.
4. More than 76% of IT buyers use white papers for general education on specific technology topic or issue
5. Over 73% of IT buyers use white papers to investigate possible technology solutions for the business/technology need
6. 68% of of IT buyers use white papers to learn about a specific vendor and their solution technology
7. 93% of IT buyers pass‐along up to half of the white papers they read/download
8. 36% of IT buyers made a purchase as a result of reading a white paper
9. 32% of IT buyers included a white paper in a (final) business case to support a purchase
Do white papers still play an important role in your sales cycle?
- 12 Ways to Promote Your eBook or White Paper
- 3 Simple Title Tweaks that Can Help White Paper Marketers Drive More Leads
- How to Craft White Papers that Stick in Readers' Minds
About the author: Stephanie Tilton is a content-marketing consultant who helps B2B companies craft content that nurtures leads and advances the buying cycle. You can follow her on Twitter or read more of her posts on Savvy B2B.
*Photo credit: mariab3bx on flickr