Ad Age has offered many fee-based white papers over the past several years under the label, "Ad Age Insights", which has covered important topics as: The Working Woman, Online Media, Hispanic America, the Automotive Industry, and many many more. Each white paper runs from about $99 to over $250. For enterprise organizations targeting an audience featured in one of these white papers, that's 'chump change' as the saying goes.
You can see their complete library of fee-based white papers by following this link.
The way that Ad Age promotes their fee-based white papers provides those of us with high value, business research-oriented research with some valuable insights into how to craft a fee-based white paper strategy. Here are the components of the Ad Age fee-based white paper strategy:
1. A Good Price/Quantity Ratio - Just like your local buffet, we like to get lots of stuff for our money, and Ad Age provides this in their white papers. Each one is anywhere from 30 to 50+ pages of well researched, high quality market information. Assuming the an average price of $249, that equates to about $4 a page. If they're addressing a topic that is important in your industry, that's a clear bargain!
2. Easy Digestible Information - Most pages include easy to follow charts, graphs, illustrations, tables, and callouts. Here's an example of one interesting factoid in their latest issue on Mobile Marketing pertaining to the amount of time the average mobile user spends talking while in the bathroom.
3. Provide a Sample - Ad Age provides a sample with each fee-based white papers so you can see the high quality nature of their information before you buy it. Here's an example of how they preview their samples using PDF technology.
4. Give Readers a Choice - Ad Age has committed to conducting ongoing research on several key topics. Obviously mobile marketing is one of many that fit this category. Readers have a choice of either buying a single white paper or an entire annual series of four papers at a steeply discounted price. For example, while a single issue of their Mobile Marketing white paper is priced at $249, all four quarterly issues are only $595.
5. Have Some Freebies - The reports includes downloadable PowerPoint slides of key charts, as well as a directory of location-based marketing companies so that subscribers can easily repurpose key factoids and research gleaned from the white papers.
6. Ensure Regular Updates - Ad Age knows that this information has a short shelf life. Within six months after each publication, the research has probably gone stale. By providing regular updates to each of their white papers, they are able maintain a steady stream of revenue from their subscribers that they can keep going back to an ongoing basis.
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