Archive for October, 2012

Breaking Brick Wall
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So now that you’ve written that white paper, what do you do with it – do you put it up on your site and make it immediately available with one click?  Or do you put it behind a wall (AKA “gate”) and ask for the requester’s contact information?  “Gated” or walled-off content asks for various levels of contact information from the requester. It enables you to build a database. But does this hinder your efforts to build a large audience quickly?  Turns out there are no clear-cut rules for free-form vs. gated.  You’ll have to decide the relative merits of the tradeoff.  To our way of thinking, it boils down to this:  if you’re an early stage outfit, you likely want to build an audience. This means you want to make your content easily available.  Anything that slows down the acquisition of your material impedes this process.  If, on the other hand, you’re at the point in your audience volume where you want to start filtering out the tire-kickers and place greater focus on sales-ready leads, a gate that extracts some profile or contact information is appropriate.

Still, we concur with Dayna Rothmanof marketing software developer Marketo, who says that you have to formulate your own policy. “You have to find your own balance to meet your own audience and lead goals”.  This is why Write Angle  advises against putting your early-stage content in front of a gate.  In the early going, it’s more important to have a wide funnel.   As the brand is being built, then you can start making decisions about adding the filters.  If you need a rule, consider the one offered by  If you are out to position your company or brand as a thought leader, offering insights into the issues and challenges of the day, then free-form (un-gated) is the way to go. If you are more interested in driving leads to conversion quickly, then gating the content makes more sense.

(This post appeared today in The Write Stuff, a blog published by technology writing and content development agency Write Angle)



Props to Marketo’s deconstruction of today’s requisite skills and temperament for marketing in the digital culture.  In 2008 Steve Turner and I wrote the book on how forward-looking marketers could leverage the the social-marketing revolution that was hotly underway.  Our predictions were pretty accurate as it turned out, but I admit you’d have to have been unconscious at the time not to have seen some of this stuff coming.  As it happened, some folks were — but that’s a topic for another time. Here’s the way  sums up IDC’s survey of CMOs, which gives us a consensus on today’s dream-team for marketing departments. You want process-geared, systems thinkers who are service-minded, detail-oriented and analytical by nature; with a passion for their craft and are problem-solvers at heart.  The trick is, especially for an early-stage outfit, to find a combination of these traits in one or two individuals.  Good luck with that.  Still, it’s useful see it all spelled out like a recipe.

As for skills required, there may not be anything new here but, again, putting it all down on a list makes it easier to absorb and remember: first and foremost, you want working knowledge of marketing and sales; specifically, how campaigns are mounted and what constitutes “pipeline flow”.  Next, how to extract and analyze data, which has become a science unto itself and given rise to its own industry category, AKA Big Data. Finally, and here’s where Marketo enters the picture, it’s useful to implement the applications of marketing automation.

What’s the composition of your marketing group? See any resemblance to the above profile?  Any vague similiarities?  Who’s on your go-to list of outside specialists in marketing 2.0 skills and services?