|These documents were supported with impartial, unbiased facts to aid in the
decision-making process. The authors had no agenda other than to
assist their readers to understand the subject in question.
Times have changed!
Such White Papers are now reserved for University research programs and Government
In todays competitive landscape, the humble white paper has evolved into a
different creature. In the IT industry, it is used to:
- Generate interest in new products
- Differentiate products and services from competitors offerings
- Demonstrate market leadership
- Promote authors are subject-matter experts
- Create news-flow for journalists
- Win business
White Papers are frequently based on market research, polls, or surveys that a company
has carried out, or has sponsored in conjunction with a research firm.
White Papers help convert prospective customers into paying customers.
Key Strategic Marketing Tools
In the IT world, these documents are critical to your companys survival, growth,
and success. White Papers influence prospective customers. Not every customer will phone
or email you about your products but they will download your white papersand
case studiesand then read them at their convenience.
According to market research, white papers are the first port-of-call for
decision-makers when investigating a product.
Decision-makers, such as CIOs and IT Managers, are under tremendous pressure to make
the correct choice when choosing a products and/or service.
You can help them make that decision by producing persuasive arguments
in your paper that demonstrates why your product/service fits their requirements.
Your document helps them build a case for recommending your product to their superiors
e.g. Board of Directors. It is for this reason, that graphs, charts and diagrams are so
valuable. They will frequently be cut-and-pasted out of your documents and into the
PowerPoint presentation that the CIO will make to his team.
Role of White Papers for Decision Makers
Dont underestimate the role that white papers now have in the IT industry.
For example, consider these facts:
- White papers are the first external source of information consulted by decision-makers
on a particular product.
- White Papers are widely distributed amongst those in the decision-making process.
- Executives often consult White Papers even before their own Sales team.
- White papers provide critical input into the final decision about selected a product or
- White papers have a very long shelf life. Magazines, newspapers and other material get
discarded quite quickly; white papers, in contrast, get filed for future reference and
remain for long periods on corporate intranets.
With this in mind, your White Papers need to be more than dry technical documents. They
should present your company as a market leader, as the right choice, and reinforce why to
select you over your competitors.
Use White Papers as strategic tools in your marketing arsenal and influence those in
the decision-making process.