Available to those who sign up with KnowledgeStorm (sign up is free), Issue One: How Technology Marketers Meet Buyers' Appetite for Content (March 2007) is a must-read for B2B technology marketers trying to figure out how to get through to their buying audience.
Based on a survey of 4,000 tech marketers and buyers, the report frames its conversation in terms of what technology buyers "crave": content.
For starters, as someone who for years has argued (sometimes fruitlessly) that techies like to read and learn stuff, not just see an ad with a pretty picture and 3 words, I love and laud the premise that marketing to techies means providing rich, meaningful content.
Among the findings: nearly half of the respondents "considered the information they found online to be of greater value to the content they received through other means such as events, mailings and publications," which certainly speaks to marketers' need to put increasing focus on what's online.
Another finding: content should be tied to the buying cycle, from "research to purchase." This is very important to keep in mind. I know that I give lip service to this concept all the time, but spend more time on the theory than the practice. Of the customers I'm working with at present, only one is consciously and officially addresses the buying cycle. Not surprising, it's the only really large company I'm working with.
But whatever the constraints that small companies face - and half of the companies I work with don't have a marketing department at all, so they face many - size shouldn't be an excuse for not mapping content to where the buyer is in their buying cycle.
White papers topped the list of what's on the technology buyers reading list.
Interestingly, webcasts were high on the technology marketers list of things to do, with two-thirds of them using them as part of their marketing mix, but less than one-third of technology buyers looked regularly to webcasts. (Ooops. Wish I'd seen this before I planned a webinar for one of my clients.)
Anyway, the report is a treasure trove of very current data (the survey was conducted in February 2007), and B2B technology marketers are well advised to give it a look - and then give their content marketing programs a long hard look of their own.
Just to make sure I get all my begats straight, this originated from iMedia (which, in one of those viral "thangs", was e-mailed to my friend Sean who e-mailed it to me).