Needs assessment research is a crucial step to complete before writing a white paper. It will enable your writer to better focus and execute exactly what you’re trying to accomplish. It can also head off many problems that can occur later on in the development of the white paper. Here are the main steps to keep in mind:
1)Identify the primary and secondary audiences.
industry niche, typical title, basic job function, age,
2)What is the objective of the white paper?
Generate leads? Educate? Introduce? Establish market position?
3) What is the main challenge, problem, issue the target audience faces?
Since most white papers use a problem-solution approach this is important to agree upon before even an outline is written.
4) How does your product/service address this problem/challenge?
While a white paper is not overtly promotional you should integrate your solution into the main argument.
5) Who are the key people who must be interviewed?
While company documents and research are important to development of the white paper, interviewing key people to get the company’s perspective is crucial.
6) What is the schedule and timeline?
Make sure all the players involved in the development of the white paper are aware that there is a schedule and deadlines need to be met.