I was struck this morning by an email from Experian Hitwise, a nifty global brand that is an information powerhouse in fun-to-read format. Experian acquired web Intelligence firm Hitwise in April 2007 for $240 million, but just got active with its outreach in September.
What struck me this morning was the usefulness of information the company is giving away in its newsletter. Not only were there thought-provoking stats (Top Fashion Websites Visited by Men Aged 25-34, most popular keywords related to “costume,” tips for leveraging competitive intelligence, etc.), the newsletter featured a worthy downloadable pdf titled “2009 Holiday Marketer: Benchmark & Trend Report,” plus links to three FREE archived webcasts about holiday content planning. Nice touch for a late October, pre-holiday communication.
There's a larger point. Hitwise’s first-class approach to communication underscores the allure of contemporary marketing that starts with education and training for current and prospective customers. E-newsletters, webinars, white papers, and videos increasingly replace "advertising" in the new social media "conversation" with customers. It's instructive to watch the formerly somewhat staid Experian master the concept.
-- scrubbed by Marketing Brillo