I regularly write about advanced technologies, but I will admit what some may consider a hopelessly antiquated bias: I much prefer print materials and rarely watch online videos or listen to podcasts.
The main reason: Most rich media wastes too much of my time.
I want to find to the information I'm looking for fast, and skip all of the introductory throat-clearing content, company and product promotional hype, empty transitions, and other irrelevant information.
Easy to do when you scan a printed document; much more difficult to find the relevant parts by using the fast forward or reverse functions on a rich media file (if those functions are even available).
Of course, this assumes that I can actually stream or download the media file easily, and that the file has enough quality to make watching or listening a tolerable experience.
So, if a site offers content only in video or podcast form, I usually leave and look for a print resource elsewhere.
It turns out that I am not the only one who prefers reading print materials as the first or only way of becoming a sales lead from a Web site.
In a B2BOnline Webcast, Alexa Wriggins, the director of online marketing for PC World Magazine, discusses the factors and constraints that guide site visitors to choose a traditional print document such as a white paper over rich media content (audio or video).
She notes that site visitors have limited time, and may find reading a document faster and easier. They hesitate about investing the extra effort required to view or listen to rich media files. And, working in a cubicle means that video & audio files may be an annoyance.
Her conclusion: Marketers need to offer communications in a variety of formats to meet visitor needs.
Although her presentation is brief and high level, it will likely prompt you to consider more carefully the choices you offer site visitors for accessing lead-generation content.
See the slides and link to the Webcast: Lead Generation Webcast
And a survey from the firm Doremus and the Financial Times newspaper found that C-level executives prefer print materials over online information. Read the article in BtoB Magazine: Executives Prefer Print