Is Respondent Generation the new Content Syndication?

Whether or not you feel that, content marketing has had its day, there’s is no denying that a well crafted whitepaper or case study can still have a positive impact with a prospect.
So rather than get into the pros and cons around content marketing itself; it’s the way in which this content is delivered that I would like to talk about. Traditional content syndication relies upon a prospect visiting a syndicator’s website and browsing/downloading content. These interactions are tracked by the syndicator and given a score based on a range of pre-determined criteria. The theory being applied here is that these interactions suggest buying intent and clients can buy these ‘leads’ for a fixed price. Having been engaged on many occasions to qualify these ‘leads’ with an outbound calling activity, I have experienced a very mixed bag in terms of the results.

Straight out of the gate, many of the contacts have Gmail or Hotmail accounts (rather than a business email address) and so it is not even clear which company they work for. They may have signed up for an account at the syndicators site years prior and have moved on to a new company/role to the information they populated in their profile; so they are no longer even at the target account!

Routinely, the prospect turns out to be a dead end – a consultant, student, competitor, or recruiter – not a buying persona. And a more worrying development we are starting see are prospects who have no recollection of interacting with the content and are not even responsible for this topic area
We have even encountered individuals who have told us that they were contacted by the syndicator to confirm their contact information and 10 minutes later received content via an email stating, “Thank you for your interest in this topic. Please find attached the information you requested.” A worrying trend indeed and an example of shady practice on the part of the syndicator and/or their calling partner.
And even if the syndicator is willing to replace the “lead” on a like for like basis, you may have already exhausted the total number of genuine prospects and you still are incurring a cost if you are having your demand gen partner call the contacts up to qualify them (it’s a double whammy – you pay for the lead and waste budget following it up)

All of these weaknesses dilute the effectiveness of “traditional” content syndication and erode the ROI

So, what is the alternative?

Respondent Generation is a popular and effective twist on traditional content syndication.

The service still relies on leveraging digital assets to elevate the conversation but rather than relying on the possibility that the prospect has interacted with the content on the syndicators website, it pivots around an outbound call to a) validate that the topic of the whitepaper/digital asset is relevant to their role; and b) provides an opportunity to confirm a valid business email address so that the asset can be shared with them.

And before signing off on the call, there is an opportunity to agree for a follow up call in a couple of days to see what they thought of the content.

This provides an excellent vehicle for having a more detailed conversation, to uncover any possible buying opportunity and potentially accelerate the sales cycle.

So, next time you are thinking of investing in traditional content syndication – pause for thought – and seek out a partner who can provide the Respondent Generation approach.

For more information, please get in touch:

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