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We know as people and Marketers that real buyers are happy to give info (eg, via a form) once they see you have an answer to a problem they'd like addressed. A key question is 'at what stage of the buying cycle is your target audience'? For example, I’m prepared to give less or more information depending on whether I’m in Need, Evaluation or Action mode. So perhaps a more flexible hybrid model would be useful. Therefore, stand in the shoes of the customer to get an answer. There’s good reason “personas are one of the most fundamental aspects of great marketing”. The discussion on Free or Gateway (eg, forms) resonates with the legal principles of 'black letter' verses 'equitable' interpretation of law. Black letter means there are identified statutes, rules, cases, etc that have been established over time. It's generally well established, accepted and not open to argument. Thus a 'technical' application or decision (on the law) is clear. We are still relative adolescents in Digital Marketing (let alone Real-time marketing & PR), so are we in a position to be clear in the black letter sense? Arguably not. With Equitable law it depends on the circumstance. So when David Meerman Scott offered an iPad app I just clicked, and it was installed (giving info would have been fine too). See the useful discussion on going Freemium by MailChimp ( They suggest looking at the facts, stats & reasoning, rather than taking a fixed approach.
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Jan 23, 2011