Big companies often shell out five figures to industry experts to write 15-page white papers. I’ve even done a few of these myself for some pretty big companies. I’ve often wondered, though, why these companies don’t just publish books?
Note here that I’m talking about true, content-laden books–not glossy, glorified brochures that espose the benefits of what the company is shilling.
White papers are a dime a dozen on the Internet. Do you know anyone who’s ever made a massive purchase based on a forwarded link or a PDF? I do not.
Printing a thousand copies of a book to give out at conferences isn’t terribly expensive. In fact, it’s often one of the cheapest forms of marketing. Plus, a physical book distinguishes one company from another.
At conferences, you hopefully have the attention of your audience. The question is: What are you going to do with it? The wrong answer: start spamming them after the conference ends
Conference attendees are captive audiences. On the plane or train ride home, they may well decide to peruse the book. Is this guaranteed? Of course not. But that same conference attendee may give that book to a CXO or someone else with decision-making authority. These are often older people who tend to respect the value of a book. Alternatively, you can send people books if they fill out an online form. I’ve seen a few companies do this.
For not a terribly big sum, a company can publish a book through Motion–or another company. To me, the costs trump the benefits by an order of magnitude.
What say you?