White Paper Christmas

Well, it’s Dec 25th and just another working stiff’s day in Japan. But, be of good cheer, because your tech poet laureate’s been putting pen to paper again…

… not content with the Internet classic, “Case Study Opportunity – The Twelve Days of Christmas“, he now gifts you with:

A White Paper Christmas

I’m dreaming of a white paper
Just like the ones I used to see
Where the headlines glisten,
and vendors listen
To content marketing made for me

I’m dreaming of a white paper
With every online form I write
May your signups be simple and light
And may all your papers be white

I’m dreaming of a white paper
With every online form I write
May your signups be simple and light
And may all your papers be white

And there you have it. I do requests for a fee…

Oh, and the answer to my question in an earlier post about that IBM Software Group Case Study.

IBM’s document is written as a classic case study and deserves a separate post describing just how good it is. However, the focus.com site’s unfortunately cataloged it under “Industry White Paper”.

This oversight is more than mere semantics because white papers and case studies fulfill separate roles in an evolving b2b lead generation relationship with the prospect.

The white paper is often used as an educational and familiarization tool by a prospect in the early stages of looking at possible solutions for existing business problems or meeting future opportunities.

Prospects, at this time, are not really interested in buying – or in being sold to.

But, of course, that doesn’t stop some vendors from cramming their ‘white papers’ with “buy us now” sales messages.

And then wonder why lukewarm leads go cold… it’s like pouring scalding water on a tender sapling.

Case studies, on the other hand, can help with the middle to closing end of the solution cycle. Here, the prospect is looking to buy and probably has your offering, along with those from some of your competitors, in the internal review arena. Your case study is one piece in a social proof jigsaw that your prospect is constructing from each vendor’s sales and marketing collateral.

– Mark ‘Bing.com’ McClure

Posted in Case Studies, SEO, White Papers
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About the Author
Author: Mark McClure - A freelance b2b case study and white paper writer to the computer networking industry. Based in Tokyo, Japan. About the 'Samurai Writer'.

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