There is a strong tendency to put the date of publication on digital content assets or mention a time period within them. Doing that changes an asset to have a limited shelf life as the assets time clock starts ticking. And tick it does, as B2B buying team members are less patient then in the past when it comes to assets they consider too old.
Four years ago IDG Connect conducted extensive buyer preference research among enterprise organizations. At that time, buyers stated that a asset was considered too old if it was 14 months or more past its offering or publication date. It’s important to note that once an asset went beyond 18 months, buyers stated that it negatively affected their perception of the vendor. The benchmark was clear, and content management required keeping content fresh enough for buyer needs.
Now that age baseline has shifted, compressing the acceptable limits of content before it is considered old. New global research conducted by IDG Connect among enterprise buyers in the US and United Kingdom reveal that in both markets content is considered old after 10 months and has negative impact on perception after 13 months. But there are some clear ways for vendors to avoid negative perception among buyers who prefer content currency.
1. Avoid Unnecessary Dating: Look at you asset portfolio and confirm your tendency to inadvertently highlight content that is dated with a limited shelf life. Those limitations can come from something as simple as the asset identification system you use. If the date of publication is part of your numbering and tracking method, consider making a change to something that is coded, so you understand from the system the date of the asset but that will not be clear to those that consume it.
2. Set Dated Asset Standards: Set standards for content that requires dating. This can include assets that present market research. Some content types do require dating. One area is assets that include research where buyers want assurance that they consume insight that reflects current sentiment or trends. For that type of content, insure that you have set refresh points to update the findings. Vendors should conduct research to periodically refresh their view of market conditions even if it is for internal purposes. But both in cases for external thought leadership or internal strategy and planning, make it an annual event at a minimum.