The survey report, Eccolo Media 2008 B2B Technology Collateral Survey, definitely provides validation for their premise.The survey results will also be helpful to B2B marketers who're planning for nurturing content development. It also validates the need for content that provides information buyers need, not just what you want to tell them.Eccolo Media set out to learn:"We asked them about their preferred collateral types, how they used content, if they shared it,and just how influential it was on their final technology purchase."Worth noting, 67% of participants were decision makers, 33% influencers - all from U.S. companies.
They were asked if "the collateral was viewed, listened to or read in the six months prior to a technology purchase."5 types of content were included in the survey:white paperscase studies / success storiespodcasts / audio filesvideoproduct brochures / data sheetsHere are some of the survey findings:white papers were thought extremely or very influential by 44%brochures were the least influential at 33%48% responded that case studies were very or extremely influentialvideos only hit 39%, but it's interesting to note that studio quality was considered important by 93% - casting doubt on that do-it-yourself idea being touted by social media folks.
Well, at least for tech purchases.Some interesting things to note:Although product brochures weren't considered all that influential, they had high consumption rates, which makes sense at some point in the buying cycle, so you still need them. You just need to pay attention to when they're needed.The younger the respondent, the more likely that they've listened to a podcast or viewed a video, so knowing who your buyers and influencers are can dictate content formats to some extent. And, even though many decision makers are older, the shift to the digital generation will happen.Over 70% of white papers, case studies and product brochures were viewed on the computer screen, not downloaded.
This means it's critical to think about format and design your content for consumption on computer screens. For example, do you really think people like to scroll up and down to read content in columns laid out in portrait format?Pass along is alive and well. Over 60% shared collateral with other decision makers and influencers within their organization.
So, think about how you can be even more helpful by offering versions that answer the specific needs of the decision makers and various influencers on the buying committee for your customers.And, it's important to note that they don't just forward content to one person. Forty-four percent pass along white papers to 4 or more people. For those of you only targeting decision makers with your content, consider this:"White papers are very viral for influencers.
While 66% of decision makers said that they share white papers with others, influencers shared them more often by a wide margin (83%). This may relate to respondents' role in the purchase, with influencers passing on relevant information and decision makers considering the content more often than sharing it."Your buyers want information focused on objective discussions of technology, not products. Gee, go figure!
The length decision makers prefer is 4-6 pages, while influencers will go for 8 pages. Consider that influencers need to formulate discussions and learn how to speak to the issues to sway decision makers' perspectives. So, keep that in mind when targeting your white papers and help them out. Yet another validation for content designed for specific audiences.This report is chock full of useful information that can help you not only prove the value content can provide during the buying process, but also to position it for higher consumption.You can download the report with a fairly painless registration.
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