Thursday, March 4, 2010

Yes, You Still Need "Promotional" Content

In two recent articles, MarketingSherpa described the results of research into how technology buyers view e-mail offer content.  The research was conducted by Bob Johnson with IDG Connect in partnership with MarketingSherpa, and it involved two surveys.  One survey was directed to technology buyers.  The second survey presented the same questions to B2B marketers.  The marketers were asked to answer the survey questions based on what they believed motivated buyers.

One of the survey questions was, "Do each of the following offer types increase the likelihood a prospective buyer will click on a link to additional information and insight?"

Here are the top five types of content offers identified by buyers - based on the percentage of surveyed buyers who answered "yes" to the above question:
  • News and Articles - 84%
  • Competitive Comparisons and Buying Guides - 73%
  • Promotional Content - 70%
  • Educational Content - 65%
  • Free Research Reports - 64%
Here are the top five types of content offers identified by marketers:
  • Educational Content - 92%
  • Free Research Reports - 86%
  • Peer Best Practices - 79%
  • Competitive Comparisons and Buying Guides - 77%
  • Interactive Peer Comparison Tool - 74%
Only 42% of marketers said that an offer of promotional content would motivate buyers to act.  Seems like we marketers may not know buyers as well as we would like to think.

Those of us who advocate content marketing stress the importance of using buyer-centric informational and educational content, and we argue that most marketing content should not be self-promotional (focused on my company or the features and attributes of my product or service).  This is the right approach, but the key word in the previous sentence is most.

Prospective buyers who reach a certain point in the buying cycle will want and need to learn about a prospective vendor's products or services.  Therefore, every company needs "promotional" marketing content that provides that information.  The problem with promotional content comes when you use it with prospects who aren't ready for it.

In my next post, I'll explain the importance of mapping content to all stages of the buying cycle.

No comments:

Post a Comment