- Product brochures/data sheets
- White papers
- Customer case studies
- Podcasts/audio files
- Videos/multimedia files
The 2011 survey revealed a surprising shift in the consumption of some types of marketing collateral, so surprising that Eccolo Media conducted a follow-up survey to gain additional insights. (Note: Eccolo Media has conducted this survey since 2008, so year-to-year comparisons can be made.) I'll describe the change in consumption patterns, but first here are some of the major survey findings.
- Product brochures/data sheets are the most widely consumed type of marketing collateral, followed (in order) by white papers, video/multimedia files, case studies, and podcasts/audio files.
- Marketing collateral continues to have a major influence on purchase decisions. At least 61% of survey respondents said that all five types of collateral were "very" or "extremely" influential.
- White papers remain the most influential type of marketing collateral.
These results do not mean that case studies, white papers, and product brochures are becoming less critical to effective marketing. The follow-up survey conducted by Eccolo Media addressed five additional types of marketing collateral - company Web pages, social media sites, blog posts, e-books, and presentations. It showed that buyers are using all of the "new" types of content to research business issues and learn about products and services.
So, what's happening is that companies are offering marketing content in a wider variety of formats, and buyers are taking advantage of the expanded options to consume content in the format they prefer.
The results of these surveys contain three important lessons for B2B marketers.
- Informative, valuable, and compelling marketing content is more critical than ever for successful B2B marketing.
- The number of content formats available to companies is increasing, and many of the newer formats are attractive to potential buyers.
- It's becoming important to deliver the same basic content message in a variety of content formats. For example, B2B buyers view white papers as highly influential because they present valuable information in a objective, non-promotional way. This type of information is still essential for marketing success, but it's now important to embody that information in Webinars/Webcasts, podcasts, and presentations, as well as in white papers.