Survey Says… Marketers Focus on Content in 2009

By Michael Stelzner

When opportunities start drying up, businesses focus their marketing efforts on creating valuable content.  This was recently affirmed in a new study by Junta42. And, it turns out white papers are still an important marketing tool.

The study conducted last month found the following, “Even in tough economic times, money is still flowing into content marketing initiatives… More than half (56%) of marketing- and publishing-decision makers plan to increase their content marketing spending for 2009 (31% increase significantly, 25% increase slightly). Only 13% plan on decreasing their content marketing spending (9% decrease slightly, 4% decrease significantly)”

Here’s the breakdown of the top content types marketers will invest in this year:

  • Social media (other than blogs) (68%)
  • Enewsletters/email (60%)
  • Blogs (56%)
  • Case studies (55%),
  • Online video (51%)
  • White papers (46%)
  • Microsites (43%)

I asked study author Joe Pulizzi what he thought about why white papers were going to be used by so many marketers in 2009.

“When buyers see or hear ‘white paper’ they get the impression that it will contain valuable, relevant and compelling information and not ‘sales speak.’

That’s what all decision makers want today – information that will help them do their jobs better in some way. White papers continue to be an excellent way businesses can reach their customers and prospects with a targeted, relevant message.

Even though more and more communications tactics are available to buyers – they still love white papers. Marketers are keenly aware of this, which is why they continue to focus their time with these bite-sized content packages. Smart organizations are packaging and integrating white papers into their sales cycle, which make them even more powerful than just one-off conversion pieces.”

Do these study results match your plans for 2009?

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  • Joe Pulizzi

    Hi Mike…thanks for the round up. As we’ve discussed, marketing today is all about publishing. If it’s valuable, compelling and targeted to the customer, good things happen. A pretty simple formula that, in order to work, must be consistently delivered, whatever the format. Although, customers keep enjoying “content packages” like white papers and eBooks. It makes it easy for buyers to engage in content.

    Keep spreading the gospel.

    Joe Pulizzi’s last blog post..Check out this Social Media Event in Tampa Bay (Junta42 Discount)

  • Michael Kelberer

    Hi Michael,
    I think another reason why content-based marketing is on the upswing is that consumers (both B and C) are much more skeptical towards push/hype marketing, and want to be convinced as well as motivated. Pushing pain buttons might get their attention, but content will make up their minds.
    Michael Kelberer

    Michael Kelberer’s last blog post..Recession Marketing

  • J.D. Meier

    I like the precision point about the expectations that a whitepaper won’t contain sales speak.

    J.D. Meier’s last blog post..13 Motivation Techniques

  • Reverse Cell Phone Lookup

    As they say, content is king!

  • Tony

    My 2 cents: I frankly don’t think many if most folks know what a white paper actually is. Infact every time i initially hear the term ‘white paper’ my mind starts assuming ‘detailed technical content that will take a lot of time to digest.’ But maybe that’s just me.

    Content in 2009 – I think we all are just scratching the surface with content creation. There is a lot of nonsense out there for the sake of SEO that seems to hold a little value.

  • Online Marketing Agency

    I agree with you Meier preciseness point about the anticipations that a white paper won’t contain sales speak. But that post is nice.

  • Sandra Dowson

    Big thanks for this review. No doubt, nowadays marketing represents all about publishing. It makes wonders in case it is valued and high-demanded by the customers. At the same time the customers still prefer so-called content baskets such as online books, articles and, of course, white papers and eBooks.

  • http://N/A Ntarugera François


    Many thanks on behalf because of this tough work. I do not disagree with Sandra Dowson in her comments.But I have more to say when it comes to comment about content baskets. Customers are more willing to read what is available for them in terms markerting business simple because time has become for them a precious bank account.
    If you can serve the purpose well and good. That I thing White Papers does it!

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