by KnowledgeStorm, Inc
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Published on: September 2006
Type of content: ANALYST REPORT
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For several years, marketers have been transfixed by the possibilities of influencing and engaging large audiences via the Internet. While it's true that the use of Internet marketing has skyrocketed, it still remains (for the most part) a one-way pipe. Email marketing, paid search, banner advertising and other online derivatives of one-way, offline techniques lead the way.
New research by KnowledgeStorm and Universal McCann identifies that this may be changing. This report, the second in a series of studies looking at the impact emerging online applications have on B2B technology marketing, finds that blogs and Real Simple Syndication (RSS) are catching on more quickly than previously thought. This year, for the first time, blogs have joined top-rated communication tactics such as free-trial demos, Webcasts, and white papers as successful means for attracting high-quality technology prospects, according to MarketingSherpa's 2006 Business Technology Marketing Benchmark Guide.
The rising importance of blogs - and to a lesser extent RSS - cannot be understated, and is significant because these technologies are inherently bi-directional. They represent the core and spirit of the Web 2.0 ethos whereby millions of daily peer-to-peer conversations and dialogs occur throughout the Web. Now, instead of these conversations simply pertaining to politics or world events, they are also coalescing around topics such as CRM software and network intrusion detection and other B2B technology topics. Indeed, this report finds that the blogosphere is making inroads into technology circles with 53% of respondents saying that blog content has already influenced a technology purchase decision.
A less prevalent, but still significant, rise in RSS usage is further evidence that technology marketers must come to grips with the fact that they will have less control of the prospective buyer relationship. Technology buyers can anonymously and automatically pull RSS feeds from various Websites and blogs and evaluate this content on its own merits - without input from vendors. This may mean the quality of the content determines whether a prospective buyer engages with a vendor - not necessarily the efficiency of the marketing program.
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