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Ziff Davis' 'landing zone' program designed to shorten IT sales cycle

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Hoping to shrink the IT sales cycle for its clients, Ziff Davis Media's Web Buyer's Guide recently launched what it calls a Branded Landing Zone Program to enable technology marketers to scale their lead generation and branding efforts. The program consists of "landing zones" that are embedded in Ziff Davis' Web Buyer's Guide (www.webbuyersguide.com), an online resource that features directories of products in more than 1,000 technology categories. The landing zones are also available on Ziff Davis' enterprise technology Web sites, which include Baselinemag.com, CIOInsight.com and eWeek.com.

The Branded Landing Zone Program allows marketers to provide product information, research, webcasts, case studies and podcasts. They can also include independent analysis and content generated by Ziff Davis.

The idea is to enable marketers to place their messages in a contextually relevant environment. Sales leads are captured through the Web Buyer's Guide registration system and are delivered automatically to the client on a weekly basis.

Barry Harrigan, VP of Ziff Davis, who in 2005 helped launch the Web Buyer's Guide, calls the landing zones the next generation of microsites. "They are more sophisticated than traditional microsites, he said, because they allow for a much greater degree of interactivity.

The Landing Zone program guarantees participants 1,000 high-quality sales leads. "Because we're supplying the information to the marketers, it gives them data to prioritize their sales leads," Harrigan said.

The fundamental problem in technology marketing, he said, is that the sales cycle is getting considerably longer. "There's so much content on the Web, and the Landing Zone [program] can help educate buyers to move them more quickly through the sales process."

Harrigan added that b-to-b media clients "recognize the need to track the critical behaviors in order to feed those leads with the highest propensity to close a sale quickest."

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