White papers continue to reign as the supreme source of information for technology professionals, however many businesses are sorely missing the mark.
These are some of the key take home messages of a new study by CMO Council and TechTarget, entitled Technology Buying and Media Consumption Benchmarking Survey.
Nearly 71 percent of respondents indicated white papers were used in the last three months to evaluate new technology, followed by email newsletters (59%), product literature (51%), articles (50%), software downloads (50%), webcasts (39%) and case studies (29%).
However, many serious concerns were raised by this study.
For example, common criticisms of white papers include:
- Was expecting technology discussion, not product information (48%)
- Not problem solving focused (39%)
- Too product oriented (36.9%)
Given the sheer number of white papers that technology pros read, the above problems need to be resolved. For example, nearly 60 percent of study participants read 5 or more white papers in the last 3 months and 28 percent read 10 or more.
The top three reasons people read white papers (according to the study) are:
- To stay on top of new and emerging markets/technology/ (64%)
- To obtain preliminary information about products and vendors (60%)
- To find solutions for solving problems (54%)
This study should be a wake-up call to businesses producing white papers. STOP focusing on your product and start focusing on your readers.
This is the second of two major studies that come out in the last few weeks.
What are your thoughts on this study? Why do you think case studies were so poorly ranked?
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