White Papers Still King Among Buyers, Study Shows

By Michael Stelzner

Are you wondering whether white papers still have pull as a marketing tool?  Well look no further.

TechTarget has released it’s Media Consumption Benchmark Report, a very comprehensive analysis of white papers as a marketing tool.

Rather than make you comb through 47 pages of details, I have highlighted the key findings here:

TechTarget serves the high-tech market, so these results need to be examined within that context.

What buyers think about white papers:

White papers are number 1 for people evaluating a solution:  The white paper still sits at the top for evaluations, with 59% saying they rely on white papers more than newsletters (51.8%), trials (46.2%), product literature (40.7%), articles (38%), webcasts (47.7%), case studies (25.7%), podcasts (9.3%) and virtual trade shows (8.4%).

Buyers read a LOT of white papers: 52% read 5 or more white papers in a three month period of time.  In addition, buyers consume more white papers than any other type of media.

The two biggest disappointments with white papers: The two biggest turn offs to buyers are white papers that are too product focused or too long.

White papers most effective information source to buyers: 80.5% of buyers find white papers to be either very effective of somewhat effective in the decision making process, more so than any other marketing tool.

White papers number one for building awareness and consideration among buyers: 47.6% of buyers use white papers to gain awareness and 35.7% use them when considering a solution.  This places white papers above all other forms of marketing for gaining awareness and consideration.

White papers most forwarded material among buyers: 41.6 percent of buyers either frequently or very frequently forward white papers to friends or colleagues.

What are your thoughts on these results?

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  • http://www.adigaskell.org Adi

    Hi Michael, I should return the compliment. It’s a really good study and should be of interest to marketers from all industries. I guess the term white paper itself can be a stumbling block to adoption as it suggests a highly academic report. If this report replaced the term ‘white paper’ with ‘how to guide’ then I’m sure many companies would take notice and start utilising such documents an awful lot more than they do currently.

  • http://N/A Ntarugera François


    Is there someone who doubt that White paper is not a king among buyers form different directions marketing corners?

    I’ve no doubt about that because white paper has more to offer than the few I have read.

    Ntarugera François

  • http://www.timelessinformation.com Armen Shirvanian

    White papers appear to be quite fact-based, and lead buyers in a direction that is quite reliable for their own growth. The various percentages here are fairly high, and they must represent the validity of the information that tends to be provided through white papers. If buyers find them to be this effective, their value is very high for a company.

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  • http://www.ressonomics.com/ Mark Ress

    Can you provide more information on this? I am doing some extra research on online business and this post is really what I want to see.

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