Today, Businesses NEED White Papers, Study Highlights Importance

By Michael Stelzner

White papers are essential marketing tools for businesses during a down economy.  Why?  Because lead generation programs become essential during times like this.  In addition, prospects are more resistant to sales hype.

A recent study examined the importance of different types of collateral among buyers.

“White papers remain the most effective piece of marketing collateral, with 86% of respondents finding them moderately to highly influential in the purchasing decision,” found a new Eccolo Media study reviewed in B2B Magazine.  When asked to rank order the importance of white papers, case studies, podcasts, videos and brochures, survey participants overwhelmingly ranked white papers as the most important collateral they use when making buying decisions.

In the same edition of B2B Magazine, white papers were mentioned as critical marketing pieces in two additional articles.  Here are the highlights:

Naylor Gray, director of global marketing at research firm Frost & Sullivan said, “Companies need to focus on opportunities for growth…  The most important thing is to focus on ROI and focus on things that will make the company money, such as sales lead-generation programs, webinars and white papers.”

In a separate article, the following was noted.  “White papers really do have a lot of influence. They are definitely the best investment you can make in terms of your collateral budget. That assumes you stick to the good guidelines for creating white papers: not too long; an objective discussion; delivered in a digital format to make them easily shared and looked at,” said Lorie Loe, president of Eccolo Media.

These findings also support a series of other new research.

Is your business using white papers?  Do these findings make sense to you?

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  • http://www.netage.co.za Goran Giertz

    Yup, lead generating schemes are most essential at this stage of our current economical crisis. Marketers have to be smarter and bolder. It’s in times like these that you’ll find more “hard sell” marketing than “soft sell”.

  • http://www.printplace.com/printing/brochures-inserts.aspx Brochure Printing

    White papers can be an effective marketing tool, but it depends on who you are marketing to. Some executives are too busy to read white papers and want a truncated version, preferably in a flyer or brochure format. Although brochures were noted as being least influential, I can’t help but wonder what the content of those brochures were. I think a marriage of the info in white papers in easily digestible chunks and a pleasing format of a brochure could be the ultimate influencer.

  • http://www.seoresults.co.za/pages/seo-tips/ Jacques Seoman

    Hard sell indeed. If one is presented with the choice of two offerings, and one is represented by a white paper, vs the other by a less comprehensive splurb, which one will you choose? Especially if you’re making BIG decisions!

  • http://connectbykohler.com Lelsie Kohler

    Good Eccolo statistic and expert testimonials to have on hand when pushing the persuasion button to use the White Paper as marketing tool of choice.

  • http://www.types-of-flowers.org/ Sandra Dowson

    I totally agree that white papers are a very useful and profitable marketing technique. However it is very important to take into consideration various groups of your customers as not all of them have time or willing to read quite detailed white papers and tend to prefer short, comprehensive info forms.

  • http://copywritingservices.blat.co.za/ Xander

    Compelling… And uplifting, in its way.. But I also tend to agree with Sandra, that sometimes people don’t want to spend that much time reading a white paper and would prefer a less-detailed “brochure” format that leads to a meeting in which the offering is explained further.

  • http://www.fountainpenclub.com Fountain Pen Club

    White paper is definitely an important marketing tool, but you should really know the market you are catering to, like Xander said, no one really likes detailed information. I’m not saying that it does not give a positive effect, you just need to be aware of your market.

  • http://www.vovici.com web survey

    Many good points made here and I do think White papers are very beneficial if kept to a certain length. Give them just enough information and then further discussion can take place at a meeting.

  • http://www.konferensnyheter.net/ Konferenser

    Just like any tool, whitepaper too needs to be monitored. With good control I’d say whitepaper would be a brilliant marketing tool,and is definitely beneficial for most of us in the modern world..

  • http://www.konferesntips.com konferens

    It is known that white papers really do have a lot of influence. They are definitely the best investment you can make in terms of your collateral budget. That assumes you stick to the good guidelines for creating white papers: not too long; an objective discussion; delivered in a digital format to make them easily shared and looked at, so why not use white paper??

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    Thanks.
    totally agree that white papers are a very useful and profitable marketing technique. However it is very important to take into consideration various groups.