White Papers or White Noise?
In today’s world of instant information, it is easy to sound like an expert on any subject matter. Companies create or commission studies and publish white papers so that the information can be shared. Quoting a LIMRA study or ACA enrollment figures does not qualify a company as knowledgeable in insurance. As a marketer, it is my job to take all of that information and apply it to campaigns that create brand awareness, acquire new customers and increase lifetime value of existing buyers.
My favorite question to ask is “Why”. Why is this statistic important? Why is this something I need to know? My second favorite question to ask is “How”? How is this information going to improve my results? How does this information change consumer’s behavior? Knowing statistics about a target audience is important, but if you do not know how to make it actionable, is it anything more than white noise?
I am thankful that companies share their findings and make them accessible to everyone. I use that information as a foundation for the marketing strategy our agency develops. What makes the information useful is how we incorporate it into executable ideas and deliverables for our clients.
Publishing white papers is a great service, and a way to increase your company’s awareness within specific verticals, especially insurance and financial services. But then what? That is my third favorite question. What do you mean by that? What can you achieve with that knowledge?
When marketing companies offer statistics as a qualifier for subject matter experts, it can be helpful. I love when we can use the findings and connect statistics, demographics and trends to marketing strategy. When you can provide actionable strategy based on the “How, Why and What”, that is the difference between an impactful white paper and just white noise.