June 02 2015 1:47 PM
As a Marketing Manager, I of course understand the importance of data capture. It’s the main goal of my role – to gain as many quality leads for our business as possible in the least intrusive manner. But I absolutely question the way data capture forms are being used by businesses. There is such a fine, and sometimes blurred, line between making sure that people are viewing your content and putting them off with overwhelming data capture forms.
Because a lot of hard work goes into every content piece. Businesses want and need to be seen as thought leaders. And the higher quality and more informative the piece, the more likely you are to engage with potential customers and keep them coming back for more. And ultimately, to become customers in the future. So you don’t want to put them off at the first hurdle.
However, the issue I wanted to address with this blog is the level of information that businesses are asking for at the data capture stage. Are they really stopping to think about what it is they are asking? And why? If you want to gain a valuable new prospect, do you really need to ask for all of their personal details down to their inside leg measurement? Do your target audience have time in their busy day, or do they have the desire, to share their name, job title, address, email address and company details? Especially as they know exactly what they consequences are of doing this.
I recently went to download a white paper - and the number of fields to fill were extensive. But I wanted the white paper so made the decision to part with my vital stats. As I reached the end of the form, I un-ticked the 3rd party box as a matter of course. However, as I hit the download button, I discovered that unless I was prepared to tick this box I wouldn’t be provided with the white paper. So I promptly left the site with no white paper and a bitter taste in my mouth. Since when did this become acceptable? Or a wise business decision? A simple email address should surely suffice at this early stage in the relationship.
I’d be very intrigued to see their website drop off stats – surely there can’t be people who want this content enough to agree to this level of information gathering?