The Agile B2B Copywriter

B2B Technology Marketers Find Out What Works

Last week Eccolo Media released the 2010 B2B Technology Collateral Survey Report. This survey gathered preferences of 500 U.S.-based respondents who were influencers or decision makers on a technology buy

And here’s what they shared…

  • Brochures and data sheets are the most frequently consumed content (83%)
  • White papers are the most influential content
  • Both influencers and decision makers ranked white papers as being most influential
  • After white papers, case studies are considered most influential

While white papers and case studies are must-have tools, they are not all created equally. The number one disappointment?

Poorly written content.

Brochures also aren’t making the impact they might be. While they are the most frequently consumed, their influence isn’t as high as other collateral. A better B2B brochure might solve this issue.

Preferred Format & Length

Most respondents prefer written case studies, though video testimonials are gaining ground. Video is ...


K’s Top Five for the Week – September 24

This week’s top five starts with analysis of a fresh batch of research from Eccolo Media on what B2B Technology Buyers like in their collateral.

It’s followed by some posts on how to be a thought leader and become a trusted expert resource.

All content is meant to have prospects take some sort of action. If you think you may fall short in this area, check out the post on how to improve your calls-to-action.

Last, but not least, see some metrics on the impact of Google Instant.

Enjoy this week’s reads and let me know if you’ve found something you think I’ve missed. Until next week!

B2B Technology Buyers Share Their Content Preferences by @StephanieTilton via @Savvy_B2B

Eccolo Media just released their third annual B2B Technology Collateral Survey Report. In this post Stephanie summarizes the collateral buyers like the most and when they’re most likely to consume it. ...


3 Reasons Why You Need a Creative Brief

When you think “creative brief” you may automatically think “ad agency.” And that’s ok. Creative briefs are well within the traditional stomping grounds of agencies. Many won’t start a project without one.

Interestingly, while clients seem happy to provide key project information for a creative brief, they often look at it as an agency product. Too often they look at it as something unique to agency projects.

It’s not.

A good creative brief is a vital document that should be done for every marketing project regardless of who’s involved. Even if it’s an internal project. Even if it only involves a freelancer or two.


Here’s three reasons why you need a creative brief for every marketing project.

They Set Expectations

A good creative brief sets expectations for the project. It answers key questions such as:

  • What is the project? (i.e. banner ad, white paper, e-mail, ...

K’s Top 5 for the Week — September 17

This week’s roundup focuses on content and the way it impacts our businesses and marketing programs.

We start off with a little research and research analysis followed by tips to improve your website and the content it contains.

Have a great read and let me know what you think about this week’s choices. Did I miss anything that would fit well with these posts?

2010 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Trends and Budgets by @juntajoe via @junta42

If you’ve wondered about what tactics B2B marketers use in their content marketing efforts or which industry has the highest level of content marketing adoption, this is the study for you. This study was a collaborative effort between Junta42, Marketing Profs, the Business Marketing Association, and American Business Media. It’s full of great information and you can’t beat the price tag!

New Study Reveals 3 Things You can Learn from Effective Content Marketers by ...


Can Project Management Rescue B2B Marketing?

A couple of weeks ago MarketingSherpa released the chart below. It shows the processes B2B marketers use (or in many cases don’t use) to manage prospects through the buying cycle. And there’s some biggies.

  • Over half of marketers aren’t collaborating with sales to define sales-ready leads
  • Over half of marketers have no system for rating leads
  • Over 60 percent of marketers have no process for nurturing leads that aren’t ready to buy today

But here’s the thing I find most interesting. In the same B2B Marketing Benchmark survey, B2B marketers were asked to rate their most significant challenges. Here’s the top two:

  • Generating high-quality leads
  • Marketing to a lengthening sales cycle

What constitutes high-quality leads? A lead sales and marketing can agree on as sales-ready -- something over half of marketers have no process for defining or rating. And from Sherpa’s own report, lead quality “may ...


K’s Top 5 for the Week — September 10

Ok. I'll admit I'm a day late. Hopefully I'm not also a dollar short.

Can’t believe how quickly this week flew by…maybe because Monday was a holiday. That sure didn’t stop this from being a busy, busy week.

Here’s a few different posts that should help your B2B marketing program this week. Enjoy!

20 Clues to Find the B2B Content Your Audience Really Wants by @elizabethsosnow via @junta42

We all struggle with making sure the content we create is something B2B buyers really want to see. This post gives some great ideas to brainstorming content ideas that will make your audience sit up and take notice.

Business Casual Video by @dmscott

Want to use more video on your site, but intimidated by what that might mean? Great article by David Meerman Scott on reframing how you think about video.

3 Steps To Get Started With B2B Relationship Marketing via @sengineland



K’s Top 5 for the Week — September 3

It’s been a busy week!

Before I head out for a restful holiday weekend, I wanted to share a few posts that stood out for me this week.

From email subject lines to personas to figuring out which page of your website could be doing more for you, these posts won’t disappoint.

Enjoy and have a great Labor Day weekend!

Email Subject Lines that Won’t be Ignored via @copyblogger

Email is back. It’s an important way to build relationships and nurture your prospects through the buying cycle. Check out this post and see how to write subject lines that will enhance your clickthrough rates.

The Anatomy of a Great Web Persona by @bmassey via @junta42

We’ve all heard of the importance of buyer personas. This post explores how touchpoint personas are different from a typical buyer persona and how they can enhance your marketing program.

The Most Wasted Page on ...


The Power of Why

I have two kids under the age of four, both of whom are now talking. I tell you this because lately my house has been awash with the word “why.”

At first it started with just my oldest answering any statement with the word “why.” Now that her brother is talking, let’s just say the power of imitation has taken over.

Here’s what a typical conversation in my house looks like:

“Please don’t touch the oven.”


“Because the oven is hot.”


“Because I was cooking dinner.”


“Because we need to cook our food before we eat it.”


The questioning goes on until I lose my patience and inform them we’re done discussing it to please just do as I ask. (This violates my oath to never tell my kids to do something “because I said so” since I hated that when I was young, but that’s ...


K’s Top 5 for the Week – August 27

Hard to believe another week has flown by!

Here in Ohio it has been sunny and cool, reminding me of school days. And I’ve had lots of opportunities to learn this week.

In fact, I found so many great things that I’ve got six items in my list instead of the usual five.

Check it out!

Marketing Above the Noise by @ardath421

If you have ever struggled with improving your messaging, this is the post for you. In her usual style, Ardath shows how vanilla benefits like “drive revenues” won’t motivate your prospects as much as you think….and how to create benefits that will. Highly recommended.

Content Marketing Group Therapy: What Suggestions Do You Have for This eNewsletter? by @michelelinn via @junta42

I just sat through a preschool orientation for parents discussing how everyone learns differently. For those of you who love the hands-on experience, this is the post for ...


Is Blogging Worth the Effort for Companies?

To blog or not to blog? It’s a valid question.

eMarketer reports blogging is gaining popularity with companies, but fewer than half will be blogging by 2012.

According to Parker Trewin at, “Whether it’s the time commitment, lack of resources or lack of demonstrable ROI…surveys show that blogging…still is not a ‘must have’ in the marketing toolkit.”

Why not?

I have to agree with Mr. Trewin that lack of time and resources is a big culprit. With the widespread layoffs of the last few years, marketing departments are strapped for both time and people. The need to do “one more thing” that takes considerable time and planning to show results falls to the bottom of the list. Especially if the fear is the results won’t be positive and jobs will be at risk.

There is also evidence traditional content marketing trumps social media activity, such as blogs. When buyers ...