I was intrigued enough to click through and find out more.
Strike one for Cisco. (Get the click!)
Arriving at the landing page I find this headline giving a great summary of what awaits:
Business Video Case Study: How Business Video Transforms Cisco Business Processes
Strike two for Cisco. (The job of the headline is to entice the reader to stay on the page and see what’s on offer or of interest.)
Alas, when I click on the link to go read the case study I get redirected to a Cisco login link.
And wouldn’t you know it but I don’t have access to my password.
It’s probably at home on my main machine… grr!
A little frustrated with myself, I look beneath the fold and there’s a section titled “Associated Files” with three very relevant file names just waiting for a click!
There’s an ‘executive summary’, a ‘presentation’ and, to my amazement, an ‘IT Case Study’ file! All in pdf format, and with file sizes shown for convenience.
And not a login or registration form in sight!
Strike three for Cisco?
Well, maybe. Though in soccer terms, this is probably a yellow card event for time wasting or offside behavior.
You see I was all fired up to read the case study only to be confused at the final hurdle. Part of me is worrying about the login requirement while another brain processing time slice is wondering if the three pdf files are the same, or different, to what lies behind the authentication firewall.
Why should a b2b marketer be worried about that? For the simple reason that a confused mind is less likely to buy (in the long term) or to feel confident about spending more time on ambiguous web content (in the short term).
In this case I’d probably give Cisco the benefit of the doubt and assume that the three associated files and the protected case study are one and the same. Which makes the Cisco login requirement an anomaly.
However, if they are in fact different then I’d be much happier as a prospect if the web page clearly spelt that out. I could then make an informed decision about registering or not.
How about you?
Do you think case studies should be hidden behind firewalls?
– Mark ‘IT Case Study Writer‘ McClure