By Anne Holland, President
In 2006, from November through February, researchers for Outsell Inc (a research firm much like MarketingSherpa) interviewed 7,000 professionals in corporations, government, healthcare and academia to find out:
o How much time they spend searching and reading info for their job: 12 hours per week, up from 10.9 in 2005.
o Where they search and read that info: They look first at search engines just like everyone else with a computer on the planet.
I was expecting both those factoids. However, the rest of the study's findings surprised me quite a bit. Here's the shockers, plus how your marketing might be affected by them:
#1. Press releases online (especially in sites such as Google News, YahooNews and MSN News, which is where most executives find and read them) have overtaken trade journals and their respective sites as the top information source for knowledge workers.
My suggestion: Now more than ever, consider posting your knowledge-offer promos such as white paper, article and webinar offers as press releases through the wires. Here's a basic how-to blog I recently wrote on the subject -- it's a bit 101 but good as a starter:http://www.marketingsherpa.com/sample.cfm?ident=27447
#2. 47% of study respondents were reading "real content" such as news and e-books on their wireless handhelds regularly.
My suggestion: Great excuse to get yourself a variety of handheld devices and expense them to your company! Consider them your testing platform for all email newsletter templates and campaigns plus your significant Web content that might be accessed by a prospect or customer via handheld. Then use the results to have your design team redesign everything to look better on the "third screen."
BTW: If your prospects are unusually heavy mobile users-- such as doctors, young adults and field sales development reps -- then consider this a high priority.
#3. The average respondent was reading nine (9!) blogs on a regular basis. And these weren't blogs for personal info -- these were job-related.
My suggestion: Add hotlinks (copywritten in suitably bloggish fashion) to your press releases to your company-written blogs. Also make sure your blog can be read via handheld device. Best way -- add an email opt-in form to the blog as a standard part of the page template and then start emailing out updates to your opt-ins. (Don't rely on RSS feeds alone, there's a big population of professionals who don't use them routinely.)
Plus, if you are in a tight vertical niche, start investigating blog sponsorships. You may only hit a few readers per media buy, but they could be incredibly qualified candidates for your goods and services.
BTW: Sorry no, we don't accept sponsorships to this blog. So that wasn't a plug in any way, shape or form for your business ;-)
Until next week.