B2B Lead Generation Blasphemy-Whitepapers without reg forms

men's public restroom symbolImage via Wikipedia

Can the B2B lead generation world accept whitepapers without reg forms?

Two pieces are talking about/with this company Docmetrics known better as the smart reg form:

1. Writing whitepapers blog article on smart pdfs
2. Podcast with Paul Dunay interviewing Vitrium Sytems CEO creator of docmeterics tool

The idea here is that these guys have created registration forms that are embedded in the PDF. Now, you don’t have to force prospects to fill out a reg form in order to access the whitepaper. Instead you can give the whitepaper and collect registration data as the reader begins to access the document. Docmetrics will tell you when the document is actually opened, how many pages were read, and how much time was spent on each page.

So now what?

First let me say, I love the massive innovations taking place today in the marketing world. This is an interesting idea that would seem to have tremendous benefits to marketers and, as such, I will watch closely.

Right now, the buyers potential frustration worries a bit:
1. Is this going to be a bad buyer experience? I mean, I personally will be really bummed having to fill out forms all the way along my reading experience, I wonder what buyers will say?
2. Whether it is eco-friendly or not…most people print the whitepaper and read it in the spare time including the toilet.

From the vendor point of view:
1. This concept is worth the test, primarily for sophisticated marketers who are doing dynamic lead scoring (ie scoring leads not merely when they enter your system but continually scoring after the lead has entered you system and has “interactions” with your various sales and marketing actions). Conceivably the disposition data you receive from docmetrics can be fed back into your marketing automation that will trigger the following:
a. A change to the dynamic score of the prospect.
b. An action like an email or a call

2. The concept that these leads are more sales-ready will lead to disappointment. This tool should be used to help a Lead Development/Inside Sales rep whose job it is to qualify leads before they go to bag-carrying reps. In other words, the “I don’t remember downloading it” or “I haven’t read it” issue may go away but another objection will arise. Lead Development reps overcome those types of objections, sales reps use them against the marketing folks. So YES this is a great tool, but NO this doesn’t open the flood gates to send white papers to sales reps.

3. On the other hand, what about using this as a post-contact tool for sales reps? That is, passing a docmetrics whitepaper for followup…Half the battle on the sales side is the connect and as part of the connect, figuring out where to spend your best time. If we know a guy read what you sent and when, that has real strategic value to both lead development and sales.

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Craig Rosenberg is the Funnelholic. He loves sales, marketing, and things that drive revenue. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter

  • whitepaper connosieur

    What happened to the picture? It was much funnier with the toilet.

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/craigrosenberg the funnelholic

    Too many complaints…had to do it. I think the new picture is more appropriate.

  • http://marketinginteractions.typepad.com Ardath Albee

    Craig,

    Interesting post. But what gets really interesting to me is your #3 idea about follow-up – instead of lead gen. The Docmetrics surveys could enable the company to ask questions that help flesh out profiles over the course of nurturing in a way that creates progression for your prospects.

    Since you already know who they are, inserting several questions throughout the PDF that relate to the subject matter can help salespeople (and marketers) gain insights about how to extend conversations because they know how a prospect is thinking about specific points.

    Additionally, it will be considered less intrusive if the questions are actually designed around the subject in the PDF. It might even help build engagement by making the material more applicable to their situations, or by helping extend their thinking on the subject.

    What do you think?

    Thanks for the post!
    Ardath