Wondering Out Loud

Information isn’t power anymore

Leigh Anne Reynolds of The B2B Lead Blog posted yesterday about tearing down the gates in front of her marketing content and watching the clickthroughs rise. David Meerman Scott has been advocating the practice for a long time, but many of us – marketers – have been slow to adopt it because it goes against conventional wisdom and, frankly, everything we’ve ever learned about lead generation.

It wasn’t very long ago that visitors to websites were happy to provide contact information in exchange for a whitepaper, or a fact sheet, or a brochure. They wanted information about your products and services and where better to go then the company website? But that was when information was power and that time is long gone.

Before moveable type made it possible to print books in large quantities, education was for the elites. All that changed when books became available to the lower classes. Similarly,before the explosion of the Internet, you owned your collateral and were free to distribute it to whomever you wished. But the Web has become a supercharged information distribution system and much, if not most of the information you once owned is now accessible to anyone who knows how to use a search engine.

Information isn’t power if everyone has the information.

There is another element to this and that is the two-sided coin of value. Side one is the value you place on your content. Side two is the value your customers and prospects place on your content. Would you be surprised to find out the two values rarely match?

Let’s face it, we are all proud of the work we do. And because is it we who spend the hours creating the whitepapers, podcasts, videos, brochures, etc, it’s not unusual that we would be less than objective when deciding whether the material should be gated. Unfortunately, we are not the final arbiters. That role goes to the marketplace, and when the marketplace has dozens of information resource to choose from the value of the materials decreases to almost nil.

Here’s the ugly truth: the internet has rendered our marketing materials powerless and valueless.

Here’s the new challenge: make sure the your targets are going to your website to view your content and give those targets a new reason to give you their contact information.

Difficult? Yes.

Impossible? No.

Critical? Absolutely.


January 13, 2010 Posted by | Communications, Marketing, Social Media | , , , , | Leave a comment


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