When thinking of purchasing a product or service, what do people search for when they use search engines or visit the company website? A new study reveals the kinds of things people are looking for and the important role of white papers.
A joint study by Google and TechTarget, called the The Google/TechTarget Research Project, examined the search patterns of information technology professionals during the purchasing process. While this is specific to technology professionals, much insight can be applied to other professions.
Here’s what you need to know:
A few interesting factoids from the study in relation to white papers:
- 55.2% of respondents indicated they always or frequently seek out white papers, case studies and success stories when visiting a solution-provider’s website
- 82.2% of respondents always or frequently use search engines to research a problem
- 61.6% always or frequently use search engines to seek out white papers, case studies and success stories
My take: If search engines are a key research tool for business professionals attempting to solve problems, it makes sense that white papers should be prominently advertised and placed on search engines. Numerous studies show the importance of white papers for people in the research stage. This study validates much of the previous research.
A short blurb from the report:
Both Google and TechTarget believe that revealing the mindset of the IT buyer
in the context of their purchase process, and aligning this to the key stages of online
marketing would put marketers in a better position to make keyword buys, choose
content to syndicate, and determine both the optimal selection and scheduling of
media and website types. This insight will help marketers more efficiently attract the
IT buyer as a target audience with the right media at the right time and in the right
The report goes into much more detail and is worth a read.
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