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Author's profile photo Clinton Jones

Gated content – things are now going too far!

/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/gate_496051.jpgI am sure I am not alone in noticing that there has suddenly been an explosion in gated content on the web.

For those of you that have never heard this term before who don’t understand what I am referring to: gated content is a marketing mechanism used to block resources (e.g., videos, blogs, whitepapers, and case studies) behind a form.

From a marketing management standpoint it is a great way to capture information about the person who is trying to access that content. Marketing tools then convert that content into a lead.

This approach is faster at identifying visitors and then being able to reach out to them to on-sell a product or service.

If something is overtly promoting something, I get it, in fact I support businesses being able to see who exactly is accessing their content but then there is another aspect to this – namely the cost to me.

My real investment in the gated content is limited by the extent to which I am prepared to offer true, honest and valid information about myself without knowing what I am getting.

There’s no irrevocable commitment for me, I have nothing really to lose. I part with a few minutes and pretty much that’s the extent of my investment.

If the content on the other side is not very substantial then I just move on to find something better. If it is a good read or discovery then I might feel a little ashamed about giving trashy information but in reality that almost never happens I don’t have “mouse clicker’s remorse”.

If I want to connect with your business and have you sell me something, then believe me, I will find a way to buy it. If I can avoid talking to anyone in the process that might constitute a perfectly executed sale for me.

Is this the future?

So when I come across a email via TechTarget from a large software company that just decided to register itself as a European company I was surprised at the way it actually turned out.

The message that was dropped into my mailbox takes me to a website that then tells me to fill in a form and then takes me on to nothing more than a YouTube video that I have seen before and is nothing more than a promo, you can imagine, I feel a little cheated…

This has happened to me more than once this week and seems to now be the norm – I am getting frustrated.

As a consequence several newsletters that I used to subscribe to and LinkedIN groups that I belonged to are now pretty much useless because the previously altruistic way in which people were disseminating information is now blocked by the need by publishers to hide the content in paid website subscriptions or gated content forms that require too much information.

I guess the ride is over…

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