Companies that get it

Another company that is getting how marketing 2.0 works: Metastorm is publishing podcasts on iTunes (that is, you can get them without providing your personal information to Metastorm) as well as having a YouTube channel and customer success stories on their own site that don’t require registration.

I posted a while back about how Active Endpoints is publishing webinar replays (video) as well as audio podcasts and product release information (PDF) all in an RSS feed that I subscribe to in iTunes, no signup required. IDS Scheer has ARIS TV, also on YouTube. More companies are realizing that blogging is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to new ways to interact with their audience.

Examples of companies that don’t get it: one who sent me an unsolicited email with a 2MB product brochure attached, with the comment:

As I see from your blog that you don’t like registering for basic information (which we currently require you to do at the moment on our website – although it is currently up for discussion!) I have attached our corporate overview brochure for you and would be happy to send you any other info you would find useful.

The point is not that I don’t like registering on vendor websites, it’s that no one likes registering on vendor websites. I’m not looking for special treatment, I want companies to change the way that they interact with anyone looking for information: the easier to you make it for someone to get information about your company and product, the more likely that they are to return to your site.

Oh yeah, while you’re all at it, can you please publish full feeds for your company blogs? With over 250 subscriptions in my reader, the chance of me clicking through to a vendor blog to read the entire post is near nil.

9 thoughts on “Companies that get it

  1. “seen from the inside” it’s of course a bit more complicated than that. You constantly have to weigh when to “broadcast” (for general info and brand awareness) and when to be more targeted and give yourself a way to follow up on potential demand. I agree that large companies are slow to react to new channels and communications patterns but such is it. Are you sure real potential customers share your distaste for registration? You are after all not a potential customer in most cases and you register for far more stuff than most people.

  2. You don’t need trust me on this: find out from vendors what their abandonment rate is on registration pages that show up when someone clicks on a “click here for a free white paper” link. For basic product information, such as brochures and customer case studies, vendors should be removing all possible barriers — including their own registration — to the people who are trying to access it.

  3. I would even go further. To me it isn’t just about companies making it easy for you to find the information *they* want you to access. It is about companies opening up and exposing their warts to the disinfectant of sunshine. Obviously companies don’t want to come right out and broadcast their top ten disasters, but having open forums where customers discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly goes a long way to building trust with customers.

    Marketing 2.0 to me is about a participatory community where, as a good friend Brian Solis (PR2.0 – http://www.briansolis.com/) writes, marketing is about customer service more than anything else.

  4. Yes, abandonment rates might be high, but the flip side is true too. Ask most vendors what percentage of their leads (and deals) comes from registration pages and you’ll find they are the largest lead source for most companies.

    It’s not that I don’t agree with you, but companies are going to be very reluctant to put the golden goose in danger.

  5. But David, it isn’t a question of getting people to register. I think most people agree that needs to be done. It is all about what we (as marketing professionals) are asking them to register for. Asking people to register for information that should be freely available is not the sign of a strong company – it smacks of desperation. Get them to register for stuff that really matters

  6. If I want to read a tutorial (advertised as free) or find out more about a product through a company’s website, I don’t see why I should have to register for anything. If it’s free, it should be completely free, I see having to register as a cost.

    A time cost because nowadays, once you’ve registered you have to wait for an email to confirm the registration. Plus, with so many vendors requiring me to register, each with different syntax rules for usernames and passwords it becomes a downright chore.

    I understand the motivation behind having users give contact information (you know, statistics about usage, potential new customers, etc.) but it should be done in a better, more user friendly way.

    I’ve given up on quite a few sites because it just wasn’t worth registering.

  7. There’s always the option to use a fake name and phone number, and an email address from mailinator.com in order to anonymize yourself, but it’s also a waste of time. Using my real details is even more of a waste of time when I have to deal with phone calls and emails from BPM vendor sales reps contacting me to see if they can sell me some gear, without bothering to check my website to see that I’m an analyst.

Leave a Reply