Fighting for the Shortlist: 3 Reasons you Need a Publisher in your Corner

Ben Bradley
Ben Bradley

Director of Strategic Accounts - Client Consulting

fighting for the shortlistOver the past couple of years many marketers have put a heavier emphasis on content marketing.  During this time many brands have pushed to become “publishers” .  As a marketer with 10+ years’ experience and 6+ in publishing, I know this isn’t an easy task.

Even the biggest and best brands are inherently going to have limits on who they can reach with a pure inbound model. Here are 3 data backed reasons why it helps to have a publisher in your corner as you fight for buyer influence and shortlist consideration.

Reason #1: Reach – Content written by publishers guides IT projects

project shortlist journey
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At TechTarget we have a product called IT Deal Alert: Qualified Sales Opportunities, with this we use our own Activity Intelligence and a comprehensive qualification process, to validate fully sales qualified opportunities. Since the start of this year we have confirmed 8,620+ active IT buying projects.

Of those 8,620+ projects across all technology segments:

  • 68% of confirmed projects this year had at least 1 editorial activity PRIOR to being a confirmed opportunity.
  • 73% of confirmed projects this year had least 1 editorial activity DURING their Journey

(Full journey is defined as 90 days prior to the opportunity being confirmed and through the duration of planned purchase timeframe)

Clearly the above metrics illustrate that IT Buyers rely on 3rd party editorial content to help guide them in the research process.

Digging deeper:  our premium editorial is gated with a registration page, and available for sponsorship. When we look at the IT buying journey across the same 8,620+ confirmed projects, we also see that 56% of confirmed opportunities downloaded gated editorial content during their research journey.

With a publisher in your corner, you align your brand with content proven to be in front of active IT buying projects.

Reason #2: Experience – A publisher can help guide your content creation process

As a brand your visibility into content and performance is naturally limited. According to CEB the average vendor only obtains about 12% of the journey mindshare.

At TechTarget through 120+ different sites, and 15,000-20,000 editorial articles written each year, we have built an audience of more than 14 million IT buyers. With a deep taxonomy of over 10,000 topics, we have a unique view with significant depth into what copy, pain points, topics, etc. resonate with IT buyers.  Being a 3rd party, IT Buyers have a difference relationship with us than they do any technology brand.

With a publisher in your corner you get access into how content from across our sites performs. We are top 10 ranked in Google across 250,000+ terms, and ranked #1 in 15,000+ terms.  We can help you identify what content performs best and why. Additionally we can offer best practices on messaging, content creation, and provide content audits to analyze your own content library.

Reason #3: Data – Actionable, Deep and TimelyBig Data

According to MIT Technology Review, the average office worker produces about 5,000 megabytes of data a day. Data is perhaps the most hyped topic in marketing.  There are lots of publishers or ad techs offering data solutions.

Big data alone isn’t enough to work with a publisher.

The challenge in dealing with data is sorting through it to find what will propel the content journey you are offering to the next level. The data you receive needs to be timely, easy to digest, actionable, but most importantly it needs to be relevant.  To identify if the data you are getting is going to meet this criteria ask these questions:

  • Does it have breadth? (How many technology segments does it cover?)
  • Does it offer depth? (Does it account for engagement at each stage of the buy cycle?)
  • How granular does it get? (Is it based on 10,000+ topic taxonomy?)
  • Does it cover different point of views? (Engagement with vendor and publisher written content)
  • Does it update weekly?
  • Does it adjust for individual researchers as well as the buying teams they roll into?

With a publisher in your corner you get relevant and deep data to personalize content, and accelerate sales cycles.

As modern marketers continue to build out their content marketing efforts, partnering with a publisher is a complementary strategy that can help you reach more buyers, optimize your content, and mine relevant data to drive actionable follow up and get you to the top of the shortlist.


Boxing image via Shutterstock.

buy cycle considerations, content marketing, IT publisher, marketing intelligence, TechTarget, vendor shortlist

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