By Nettie Hartsock
|We all know that white papers are consistently used as tools in many different technology companies’ marketing initiatives. However, white paper usage is growing rapidly in several additional diverse arenas, including medical, government, travel and automotive.For a quick take on the topics related to white papers, look at the growing Ziff Davis WebBuyersGuide, which boasts over 857 topics and close to 3000 white papers in their burgeoning library.
Barry Harrigan, VP for Ziff Davis Media, says, “Digital content assets - especially white papers - are becoming critical in the demand generation strategies for many industries - wherever there is a long sales process involving a complicated technology or scientific process.”
“Measurements of white paper engagements online and tracking their impact (together with complementary assets) is the new direct marketing,” says Harrigan.
Beyond Ziff Davis Media, the uncrowned king of white paper coverage in diverse verticals would have to be BNET’s expansive library. The site serves an outstanding range of vertical markets, including construction, entertainment, manufacturing and retail.
In the life sciences arena, the usage of white papers is directly impacting the bottom line of businesses, according to Melissa P. McCaslin, director of marketing for Clarkston Consulting, a management and technology consulting firm specializing in life sciences
“Life Sciences is an industry where time is truly money. A day in the life of a sample can mean hundreds of thousands of dollars to its manufacturer. Combine this with a constantly changing regulatory- and technology-driven environment, and I think many execs are finding that white papers are extraordinarily useful in helping them quickly understand a solution’s technical and business implications so they can make the best decisions for their business,” says McCaslin.
Diedre Dardis, marketing director for NetLine, the white paper syndication company behind the popular TradePub.com, says she has seen a remarkable and diverse growth of the uses for white papers. “We’ve seen popularity and use of white papers explode in recent years. Historically, white papers were perceived as academic and purely technical in nature, while targeting more aloof audiences. White papers have transformed over the years, expanding a broader reach toward a wide variety of audiences.”
Dardis also notes that the tech sector and its usage of white papers has laid the groundwork for white papers’ growth in other arenas. “The success of white papers in the tech sector has delivered high value by being both an information vehicle and powerful marketing tool, and is increasing in popularity across industries including diversified verticals such as real estate, life-sciences and education.”
Dardis says the use of white papers has not made the full leap as standard practice across non-technical verticals, but the trend definitely is growing.
“Today these businesses leverage white papers more as a source to provide intelligible information, with the opportunity to leverage them as marketing tools being secondary. Current trends indicate continuous evolution and growth, and we predict we’ll one day see the use of white papers in these markets become a standard business tool and practice, as it is for the tech sector,” says Dardis.
For white paper writers and marketers, regardless of the industry, now is the time to leverage the white paper to further your marketing efforts.
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