The marketing importance of white paper can’t be overestimated. Experienced marketers suggest adding white papers to the marketing mix. Each customer faces business problems and challenges. The white paper is the key to solving these problems.
Michael A. Stelzner defines white paper as a guide or report which provides readers with non-promotional information about product, new technology, specific business problem, etc. White papers widely used as a marketing tool for selecting facts and arguments which are suitable for solving specific business-cases. This document may also present research results, new product, technology or service from a vendor, especially in digital marketing. (Stelzner, 2006)
The term of white paper appeared in government. One of the most famous examples is the Churchill White Paper of 1922 (also known as the British White Paper of 1922) which is dedicated to political conflict in Palestine.
In B2B marketing white papers appears in the early 1990s. Researchers have identified three types of commercial white papers: backgrounder, numbered list and problem/solution.
Backgrounder gives a look at the main benefits (technical or business) of a certain product, service or vendor’s offering. This type of paper is used for positioning the company as a leader in the field, supporting technical evaluations and product launch.
Numbered list provides a customer with tips, questions, hints and answers about business issue. Numbered lists used when the company wants to attract attention, submit a new approach to the problem or even cast aspersions on rivals.
Problem/solution is a kind of essay which gives facts and logical arguments for presenting brand-new idea or solution to an industry-wide problem. This type of white paper helps to educate customers and presents the company as a dependable advisor. It is also helps to make the company recognizable and trustworthy.
Researchers like Michael Stelzner and Jonathan Kantor proves that publishing white papers conduces to enhancing business revenues. White paper increases the number of customers and their loyalty to the company. (Kantor, 2009)
1. Eccolo Media (September 2011) The 2011 B2B Technology Collateral Survey. Retrieved from http://www.eccolomedia.com/IMAGES/PUBLICATIONS/2011_B2B_Technology_Collateral_Survey_Report.pdf
2. Graham, G. (2013).White Papers For Dummies. New York: Wiley. p. 366. ISBN 978-1-118-49692-3.
3. Stelzner, M. (2006). Writing White Papers: How to capture readers and keep them engaged. Poway, California: WhitePaperSource Publishing. p. 214. ISBN 978-0-9777169-3-7.
4. Kantor, J. (2009). Crafting White Paper 2.0: Designing Information for Today’s Time and Attention Challenged Business Reader. Denver, Colorado: Lulu Publishing. p. 167. ISBN 978-0-557-16324-3.
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