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

Buyers to Marketers: Don’t Call Me, I’ll Call You

“Why do you want my email and phone number again? So your sales consultant can contact me? No thanks, I’ll pass.”

Boonville Missing Bucky Walter PhoneMost B2B marketers are still fixated on capturing registration data, and no wonder. The marketing automation machine lives on a diet of email and your sales process is built on the telephone.

The problem is, your buyer’s process is not built on your email or your phone. According to research, buyers only engage with companies directly during the last 40% of their research process.

When you insist on registration, you are in effect telling prospects:

  • We don’t want to be involved in the first half of your research.
  • We are only willing to engage with you on our terms and timetable.

Read more of this post

Recommending Content and Automated Sharing of Content

You find a great blog, read regularly, and tweet or share everything posted. So why not automate sharing what you already share, and get a few minutes back each day?

On the surface, it seems logical. However, if you are using automation, it likely is having side effects.

  1. Automation has made your algorithm, primarily your selection of sources, more important than the content itself.
  2. You share more than you used to. I follow people that, with the addition of automation tools, now share more content than I have time to read, even if they were my only content source.
  3. It has disconnected you from your best content sources. Your time savings are from spending less time reading, considering or commenting on content from the best sources, those you are willing to automate. The simple act of sharing is a minimal time savings.
  4. Your sharing does not include a comment or note that adds context for your audience. The comment or note improves the recommendation, helping your audience see what content is right for them.

Read more of this post

Is Social Media Just Winning Price Sensitive Customers?

Box o' couponsIn social media, marketers buy attention with promotions or discounts. And research shows consumers expect this from marketers. 44% connect with brands on Twitter for discounts (source). The problem is, buying attention is an old school mindset, plopped into a new communication paradigm.

For social media to become an important part of the marketing mix and create loyal customers, it cannot continue to rely on tactics that reinforce consumer price sensitivity. Consistent discounts and promotions erode your pricing power; preference increases your pricing power. Read more of this post

Can We Save Twitter From Ourselves?

Canyon ItaimbézinhoTwitter is not a communication channel, it is a platform that allows each of us to create and evolve our own custom communication channel.

If Twitter is not working for communication, it is not a problem with Twitter. As a platform, Twitter is developing and our behavior reflects its infancy, with the full spectrum of human behavior on display.

The societal norms for Twitter have yet to be established. The fact there are so many posts on Twitter etiquette is proof. A Google blog search for “Twitter Etiquette” returns 32,000 results, to just 11,000 for “Dinner Etiquette”.

If Twitter is no longer an effective channel, like Kary Delaria postulated in Three Reasons Twitter is Beginning to Suck, the problem stems from how people are building and evolving their own communication channels on Twitter. Read more of this post

Social Media, Opt-In Marketing, and When Valuable Isn’t Enough

Please!What would happen to your marketing programs if every channel required explicit opt-in and opting out or unsubscribing was just a click away?

Although it may seem absurd, this question is relevant today for two reasons:

  1. Congress continues to consider privacy legislation every year, and although not well understood, it is broadly supported by constituents. In need of popular support, this Congress may finally take on extensive privacy reform.
  2. More importantly, social media is much closer to an opt-in channel than email. On Twitter or G+, the difference between spam and consensual contact is much clearer than it ever has been in email. On Facebook, it is the only option.

Read more of this post

TV Really Is Easier to Measure than Social Media

KMart’s CMO made waves recently by saying TV, and other traditional channels, are easier to measure than social media.

Social media proponents responded, defending social media’s measurability and highlight the data social media provides. My favorite was this tweet from Jay Baer (who I have a tremendous amount of respect for and I don’t disagree with lightly).

http://twitter.com/#!/jaybaer/status/93742009034084352

The problem is, most social media measurement is myopic. Read more of this post

Three Questions for Measuring Social, Not Media

You Manage What You Measure.broken dreams, broken heart, broken relationship, broken key

This should be a call to ensure you measure your social media activities, and to measure them correctly.

One of the challenges of measuring social media ROI is the return comes in many different forms. As companies develop social media plans and programs, anticipating the ways social media will deliver ROI is a challenge few have addressed. Most companies quickly implement traditional media measurements, slightly adapted for social media.

Before you continue, ask the following questions: 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

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