How Several White Papers Are “Adequate?”


Marketing and advertising people frequently wonder how a lot of white papers their firm must publish. How numerous are really “enough?”

The appropriate answer, of course, is “that depends.” One particular of my clients asks me to create a white paper every single time his sales force comes up against a significant objection. The far more objections, the a lot more papers.

But isn’t there a a lot more scientific technique? Yes, there is. And here’s a check list of questions to support you find the answer to the question, “How numerous white papers are enough?”

1. Experience: How many papers has the organization published? If the answer is none, they need to almost certainly do 1 or two to understand about the process.

two. Industry segments: How a lot of markets does the firm cover? It will probably need at least one particular new paper for each important market place, each so frequently. Segments can be defined by vertical markets, such as education, finance, retail, airlines and so on. Segments can also be defined by size, for example little, enterprise or Fortune 500, and by volume of transactions, SKUs or workers. You can also define segments by the quantity of diverse product lines supplied, or by the part of prospects, for instance economic, technical, or company-oriented.

3. Issues solved: How several business or technical issues does the firm solve? Does it require one particular paper for every single? At times every “problem” has a separate product line with its personal advertising group in this case, treat each as a separate business.

4. Competitors: Does the organization have aggressive competitors that publish many particular reports? The scope and pace of competition is a factor.

five. Price range: How a lot of white papers can the company afford to publish and promote successfully? If the firm only has the spending budget for a single per quarter, four a year may possibly have to be “adequate.”

A Sample Business

As you can see, there is no neat formula for figuring out how several white papers any business truly demands. Let’s look at a sample business, named Contextualistics. Let’s say Contextualistics is a software startup with a smarter way to scan natural languages like English.

The company seeks partners to embed its language processor into search engines, help systems and virtual personas. The advertising and marketing director wants to use special reports to acquire mindshare and create leads. So how many papers does Contextualistics need to have? To discover the answer, let’s go through our inquiries.

1. Experience: No a single in the firm has ever designed a white paper just before, so they should most likely start slowly with one particular or two, then review what they discovered before moving on to much more unique reports.

2. Market place segments: Contextualistics requirements customers who do search engines and on-line support. (Virtual personas will come later.) Are these two segments so various that each and every a single requirements its own paper? Let’s say yes, so the organization demands two (or 1 “cloned” into two versions).

three. Problems solved: The language processor actually solves one massive problem, getting machines to understand all-natural language. So we can remain at two papers.

4. Competition: The firm has a couple of competitors with a single white paper every. So two will do nicely to start.

five. Budget: The marketing and advertising director can get the budget for two white papers in the subsequent 3 months.

So Contextualistics has its answer: For now, two papers will be “enough.” Following that, the firm can assessment the results and revisit this physical exercise for the upcoming period.

A bigger business with far more aggressive competitors could clearly need far more than two white papers. For instance, a medium-sized firm with 3 major markets may possibly want one particular report for every industry every single quarter. In this case, 12 papers a year are “sufficient.”

A Fortune 500 firm most likely has a lot of solution managers, each and every wanting white papers for his or her goods. In the case of such a massive organization, the answer is “as many as all these solution managers want and can spending budget for.”

So, how a lot of white papers does your business need?