First, let's look at how different industries work with PDFs every day and the pros and cons of dealing with this format.
Marketers and sales reps use PDFs for sales collateral, including case studies, brochures, presentations, white papers, and business proposals. They print them out and refer to them when meeting face-to-face with clients or they send the materials by email.
Manufacturers often have many of their product catalogs as PDFs. Such catalogs can be very large, up to or surpassing 300 or 400 pages. They send them to dealers or put the files on their websites so clients can download them.
Educational institutions also have many of their materials as PDFs. They usually upload textbooks and learning materials to their websites for students to read and download.
Sooner or later everyone in these scenarios, whether they are sales reps working in the field, manufacturers, or students, face similar problems:
- When they print out all the PDFs they need, they often find themselves carrying around heavy piles of materials.
- In today's fast world, a simple PDF, access to which depends on the internet connection, feels obsolete. Sales reps, who often work in places with poor internet connection, have to wait for PDFs to load. This can interfere with meetings and even affect their results.
- Static PDFs don't have very good quality and appearance on the web. It's hard to read them. People have problems viewing PDFs in different browsers and on various devices, and finding specific information in a big document is even harder.
- Updating PDFs wastes time and effort. By their nature, PDFs are not editable. You have to convert them to Word, for example, to make changes. Because of this, the information often goes stale. As a result, salespeople, manufacturers and their clients end up with outdated information.
- Last but not least, the marketers can't receive any analytical data about their PDFs, such as client behavior when reading the document (e.g., what they read, what they skip, and what information is the most popular).