Marketing would entice a prospect with the lure of an asset, like a whitepaper. You fill in a form, providing your information, in order to gain access to information. PR held back on its best information to gain an exclusive with a top journalist. MarCom and Corporate Comms primarily added value by filtering outgoing information. Brand marketers held true to the one true promise of their brand. Sale held back on information to gain access to power. Want pricing? Get us in front of the decision maker.
Social Media is changing all that. Want pricing? Tweet and you will find other buyers willing to share. Brands are a lie, except the conversations that define them. People who use to run filters now drive feedback. We’ve moved from a world of exclusives to one of inclusives.
Let me provide one biased example from a company I advise. Slideshare is turning the whitepaper industry on its head with a Business product called LeadShare. Lead generation is done in the context of a professional sharing community. You can provide the lead form in the middle or end of a presentation, whitepaper or webinar. This lets marketers engage through sharing the actual content before posing a more natural, “want to learn more?” to an engaged prospect.
My bet is that B2B marketers that share information will out perform those who horde.