Content Will Not Be King

Coronation crown of Louis XVNearly every marketer in every industry has heard the cry “Content is King“. Even the cover of Ad Age was emblazoned with Content is King last month, complete with a crown. Once a call for change and recognition of a new marketplace reality, Content is King has become conventional marketing wisdom.

The problem is, conventional wisdom is average. Following conventional marketing wisdom will not differentiate you.

Why is content king today:

  • Being customer-centric required moving away from creative executions as the primary way to deliver a message. Focusing on the customer requires providing something that meets their need, and content perfectly fits the bill.
  • Content marketing was not the norm. Companies embracing content marketing were able to provide unique value to clients and prospects.

Today, the situation has changed. Read more of this post

Content Marketing and Choose Your Own Adventure Books

Choose Your Own Adventure books were a staple when I was growing up. I could read them for hours, choosing different paths and seeing each outcome unfold.

Original Choose Your Own Adventure

As a child, these books gave me a sense of control, they engaged me with choices and opportunities throughout the book.

Today, B2B marketers use content to meet the information needs of their audiences. However, the experience is often built on the assumption the marketer knows best, with a carefully planned stream of content dictated for each person. Read more of this post

Three Social Media Lessons Learned

There is no learning like hands on learning. Books, seminars, or cocktail discussions are valuable, but it cannot compare to what you learn by rolling up your sleeves and doing something yourself.

In that light, here are three things I have learned through my increased involvement in social media and starting this blog seven months ago.

Find the UnexpectedNo one is so brave that he is not disturbed by something unexpected.  Julius Caesar

Until I actively engaged in social media, you could not anticipate the type of return I would see. The real results from my social media involvement have nothing to do with numbers. Not only has it exceeded my expectations, the return has come in areas I never considered.

Over the last few months, I have had exposure to pre-launch initiatives from a number of companies, including Bizo’s Switchboard, which I was able to share here the day it was released.

I have developed new industry relationships, some with people I have had tremendous respect for over the years, but who hardly knew I existed before. I’m awed by this democratizing power of social media. Read more of this post

Social Media is Lowering Our Content Standards

Sharing has ceased to be an endorsement of the quality of content. Social media has created the expectation that we share content, and in the drive to meet the content demands social media places on us, our content standards are falling.

Here are signs that sharing content may have become more important to you than the content itself:

  • You have started reading in order to find content to share, not because you want to spend time reading content.
  • When you find content you REALLY like, you have to share it differently, emphatically stating how great it is to differentiate it from the only OK content you shared before. (ie “LOVE this post! …” or “+100 RT …”)

If so, it is time to stop listening to the social media experts, the ones Read more of this post

Five Signs Your Content Marketing is an Illusion

do not look at the center...Content Marketing should provide valuable information to your market at large and to prospects at each stage of the buying process. Ideally, your content is easily discovered, naturally making you and your content a resource.

But how do people find your content? Is it through search and peer recommendations (which are increasingly connected), or will they only find it in their inbox?

Five Signs of Illusion

Here are the signs Read more of this post

Thought Leadership Marketing is an Oxymoron

Thought leadership is a common marketing topic, but unfortunately thought leadership is not a common outcome of marketing. Part of the problem is that thought leadership marketing has lost all notions of actual thought leadership.

Gartner defines thought leadership marketing as “the giving — for free or at a nominal charge — of information or advice that a client will value so as to create awareness of the outcome that a company’s product or service can deliver, in order to position and differentiate that offering and stimulate demand for it.”

The problem is, knowledge of what a product or service can deliver or its differentiation does not establish real thought leadership. Read more of this post

Five Marketing Changes You Need to Make

CardsIf B2B marketing isn’t dead, it is changing very quickly. But the real change isn’t the marketing, it is how marketing has evolved in response to the evolving buyer.

The biggest factor driving the changes in today’s buyers is the accessibility of information technology has enabled. This change has turned demand creation upside down. In the past, your prospect held the budget cards and you held the information cards. Through the sales and negotiation dance, the cards were slowly revealed one at a time, with you and your prospect jockeying for advantage through the entire process. Read more of this post

Five Keys to Creating Content that Drives Awareness

StartCurrent marketing wisdom says content should be mapped to buying cycles. Yet according to a study from MarketingProfs and Junta42, 78% of B2B marketers say awareness is an objective of content marketing.

Question: Where is awareness most valuable in the buying cycle?
Answer: Early stage research and creation of a consideration set.

Question: Would it be better if prospects where aware of your company when they started the research process?
Answer: “Well, DUH!”

It is time to step back from planning content for the buying cycle and focus on Stage Zero Content. Read more of this post

What Comes After Lead Generation?

Steering WheelTwo weeks ago, I wrote Five Reasons Lead Generation is on its Last Legs, exploring the reasons why today’s common lead generation tactics are beginning to fail. However, the requirement that marketing deliver leads will not change.

Marketers need to move beyond today’s content for contact information exchange and embrace new ways to drive demand and capture more interested and qualified contacts. Underlying the new demand generation activities will be two key changes.
Read more of this post

The Hidden Message from SiriusDecisions: Serve Your Audience

SiriusDecisions’ B2B Sales and Marketing: Forging a New Alliance was an impressive event last week, and I was glad to have the opportunity to attend. Between companies sharing their own cases on sales and marketing alignment and the planning frameworks, examples and data from SiriusDecisions analysts, it was a three day information firehouse.

Underlying the content I saw a common thread: sales and marketing needs to serve prospective customers. Here is my view on how a service attitude towards prospective customers underlies three of the key messages from SiriusDecisions. Read more of this post

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