Attention, marketing leaders: Join me this week as I take you front row, backstage, and among your 6,500 digital marketing peers from 33 countries at Adobe Summit 2014 in Salt Lake City.
Today, Summit kicked off with a discussion about one of the most important marketing transformations we all need to embrace and strategically incorporate into our go-to-market and customer-engagement approach: content marketing. The dynamics leading to the need to embrace content marketing are applicable to any B2B or B2C enterprise.
The keynote for this session, during which Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) 6.0 was introduced, was given by Robert Rose, senior analyst at Digital Clarity Group and chief strategist at the Content Marketing Institute. Rose is a leading authority and pioneer in content marketing. (For more about Rose, read CMO.com’s exclusive interview.)
Here are the most important takeaways from Rose’s keynote and backstage chat with me.
• Overall, content marketing is about telling your brand story in a differentiated, compelling, and contextual way that adds value for your target audience. If you believe Seth Godin, your brand story is one of the most important--and, possibly, the only--differentiated brand asset you have left because of the commoditization of many categories.
• Your customers and brands have been living in an omnichannel, digitally enabled world for a while now. Regardless of the business you are in, you no longer have the ability to use “command and control” marketing strategies and tactics. Rather, you need to “orchestrate” the way your brand integrates into conversations about the brand itself, its vertical, and the content areas your target audience deems important and valuable. This is the new way to lead your brand and how customers will discover you.
• A good content marketing strategy is not about “more.” It’s about “better, more contextually relevant content with which you are adding value that is important to your current and future customers where, how, and when they want it.” Content marketing should not be a subset inside your marketing plans; it should be fully integrated and a key strategic component.
• Marketing used to be about scaling. Now you also need to be more agile and responsive to change from a content marketing standpoint.
• One key marketing must is to stop outsourcing and/or compartmentalizing content marketing into specialist teams. Marketing is already too siloed by function. Rather, think about how to organize and orchestrate teams that are content-centric across any online or offline customer touch point. For example, when The Coca-Cola Company hears a big idea pitch from an agency or associate, it challenges the idea to see whether it would manifest itself across all channels. Essentially, this is a story-centric, journalistic approach.
• Stop thinking about individual campaigns with finite time periods. Instead, think about the long tail and short tail of your brand’s story line, and how you can evolve it to be relevant and add value to your customers. The forward-leaning work that Progressive Insurance is doing with its “Flo” storyline is a best-practice example of a brand infusing content marketing into its go-to-market approach, with episodes and characters telling different parts of the brand’s story bit by bit.
• While metrics are important to determine the ROI of your content marketing, hone in on the ones that truly matter. Use attribution analysis to understand how your content marketing is contributing to growing revenue, reducing costs, and building lifetime customer advocate relationships.
• Bottom line, according to Rose: Content marketing can be a brand’s big differentiator, helping to connect with customers’ real needs (often hidden and emotional) and turning them into advocates for life. Accomplishing this will make your marketing spend work harder, reduce your sales costs, and, ultimately, make your team more successful and efficient.
Please join the content marketing conversation on Twitter:
For more about content marketing, check out the following links:
- Robert Rose’s weekly content marketing podcast: http://www.thisoldmarketing.com