Yesterday, I was running in the gym at work. I generally hate running indoors. I get bored, and I haven't yet found earphones that stay in while I run while retaining comfort and non-sweatiness. Consequently, I turned on the TV.
We don't have much in the way of daytime TV at work, so Montel was one of my best options. They had a segment about LifeLock, an identity theft prevention company. An ad came on after the segment, not surprisingly for LifeLock. Then another segment about LifeLock, with a different executive from the company. It was only after that segment, when I was beginning to get suspicious, that I realized it was a paid advertorial, AKA infomercial.
In the meantime, I learned a whole bunch about protecting yourself against identity theft, and I began to remember my accountant saying something about getting identity theft protection. Realizing it was an advertisement made me think about advertising's value to the customer.
This value is particular important in business-to-business marketing. Some of the all-time best B2B advertising I have seen provided excellent insights to which I have returned time and time again, such as the simple but elegant paper from Sawtooth Software on choosing a conjoint methodology. The next time you start to create a whitepaper or seminar series, I say to stick to the LifeLock standard: would someone spend time on this information just for the value you are providing?