The arguments for and against registration are fairly easy to summarize. Proponents of requiring registration argue that for most B2B companies, the purpose of offering content is to generate leads, and you don't have a lead until a person identifies himself/herself. Without registration, content offers simply can't generate actionable leads.
Proponents of making content available without registration argue that this approach will cause your content to spread much further and thus make many more potential customers aware of your company. David Meerman Scott is an advocate of this view, and he shared an example to make his point in this blog post.
My view this that a significant amount of content should be made available without any registration requirement. Ungated content is becoming a critical component of B2B marketing because the way business buyers make purchasing decisions has changed dramatically.
We now know that B2B buyers are researching potential purchases long before they are ready to talk with a salesperson. Most of this research is conducted online and, increasingly, through the use of social media. We also know that B2B buyers are performing a lot of research anonymously. A recent survey by DemandGen Report and Genius found that:
- 70% of buyers began their research by using online search or by visiting a vendor Website
- 78% of buyers started their purchasing process with informal information gathering
- 44% or buyers conducted anonymous online research