Discover the Value of White Papers
Last week Fire Enterprises (FEI) Marketing Tribe Leader Marka taught rookie customer-service rep Aetius how to create an excellent “baseline study” in advance of a case study. This week, Marka shows Aetius how white papers can function as effective informational pieces for B2B companies. Remember, fire = print.
Six months after creating a baseline study for Sully’s Stonecarving Factory, Aetius checked in with Sully. Sure enough, the business was on track to achieve the annual $5,000 Drachma savings it had estimated—all from using FEI’s FireStarter Kilns.
“I was thinking about Sully’s,” Aetius said to Marka one day as they lunched in the break room. “I bet a lot of similar manufacturing businesses are bleeding Drachmas because they use their kilns inefficiently. We should write an article explaining how FireStarter kilns can help these businesses greatly reduce manufacturing expenses.”
“How about a white paper?” Marka suggested.
“In B2B marketing,” Marka began, “Companies often put out white papers. These are extensive formal reports that demonstrate how a certain solution can be used to solve a common business problem.”
“Like a research paper?” Aetius asked.
“Kind of. White papers are informational pieces that educate FEI prospects about specific solutions. By demonstrating FEI’s expertise on important industry topics, they enhance our thought leadership status.”
Aetius was a little confused. “So how do white papers help us sell?”
Marka was indignant. “The point of white papers is to educate, Aetius. That said, FEI’s white papers will always focus on solutions we offer ourselves. But we can never mention the FEI solution by name. Instead of titling our white paper ‘FEI’s FireStarter Kiln Makes Stonecarving More Efficient,’ we’ll title it ‘Long-Burning Kilns Make Stonecarving More Efficient.’”
”I get it,” Aetius said.
“White papers can elevate FEI’s thought leadership,” Marka said. “To accomplish this, white papers must take a formal tone like that of a research paper. They must also, of course, contain excellent ideas. White papers should be more understated than our typical marketing materials. We can include graphs and pictures if relevant, but no flashy graphics, big calls-to-action, or anything like that.”
Very much alive and now officially an industry curmudgeon, strategic growth expert T. J. Tedesco can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-404-2244.