The White Paper is a rather unique document utilized in the marketing process. It normally never directly addresses the product or service being considered. Yet it could be the most important document in the marketing process.
In the realm of business to business, B2B, the White Paper holds historical significance. Even its name comes from the fact that it was originally a simple document of facts written on plain white paper. Back in the day, the sole focus of advertising was on the features of a product or service. The White Paper served as the primary marketing document by defining and explaining the problem. Today it is more on a setup document. It informs and educates potential customers to create a foundation of understanding. This complements the other marketing materials. Follow-up documents create more persuasive and compelling arguments by building on this foundation.
The fact that the White Paper still exists at all attests to its importance. It is not a marketing document for a particular product or service. There is no sales push at all. Written at a higher level, white papers address one specific problem in a particular field or industry. It explains the technology or methodology which provides a solution to that problem. A successful White Paper clearly shows how this common problem can be resolved.
There are significant differences from the business to consumer, B2C, area. B2B purchases are frequently a significant investment or commitment. Therefore making a purchase is a longer, more involved process. A chain of B2B documents have developed to facilitate each step of this process. One of the key differences is the role of education, a role primarily filled by the White Paper.
The White Paper fills a necessary role. It creates the firm foundation by educating the prospective customer. Other B2B sales documents then show how your business utilizes this specific technology or methodology. From there it is easier to specifically show a customer that your company is the solution their business is seeking.
Are you ready to talk about how a White Paper can help your business? Contact TKB.