Excellent book! The authors suggest a somewhat different view on content marketing – an experience-based approach. A concentration on the experience itself as the “product” is the 7th era of marketing. The content marketing in this era should become an additional experience for the customer, independent from the product or service the company provides.
As experiences, in general, become more and more important for new generations, entrepreneurs take notice. An interesting example of a pure “experiences” business: https://www.ifonly.com/
The business “sells” experiences and generates donations to different causes at the same time. The business is a typical platform, which connects “experience producers” with “experience consumers” and does not own any “experiences inventory” itself.
The future: share of voice and share of wallet will change to the “share of experience.”
Brands can pay for rising above the noise, but they can not pay for showing experiential value for the customer – this value needs to be carefully designed.
Instead of four Ps of marketing, the authors suggest a new approach: SAVE
- There is no correlation between a number of interactions a brand has with the customer and depth of relationships.
- IT systems: consider them systems of engagement rather than systems of record. If a business can invest into systems of engagement, IT becomes a point of differentiation in the marketplace.
- Practical approach to creation of experiences in the organization; ask for forgiveness rather than permission 😉
- Content marketing center of excellence success: “it was important for us to position our content center of excellence and our team as nearly an extension of processes we already had in place”
- “…they did not go to management to organize the group – they created a function and went to management to formalize it.”
- Skunks Works issue – the team might fight for their project’s survival, which might be difficult to incorporate the project into the overall business.
- Important – evaluate experiences instead of teams; encourage cooperation in the organization and inclusiveness.
How to allocate investment into content?
- Expensive – low-risk content; inexpensive – high-risk content
- Coca-Cola uses 70-20-10 approach:
- 70% of efforts are allocated to the content, which has to be produced
- 20% – slightly “out of the box”
- 10% – high-risk creative content (this part is not as expensive as marketers think, but it takes more creative time to come up with the content)
- Why (content mission) – value we deliver to the audience; who will receive the value and why would they care; how this initiative aligns with the larger story of the brand; how this experience will be different from what is available in the marketplace of ideas
- What (what does the success look like and when is it going to be achieved) – differentiate the success of the initiative and the mission of the business – how the initiative will integrate with other parts of the business
- How (proposed map) – how do we approach the initiative over time
Interesting CMO requirement to achieve alignment: when pitching an idea, the team is required to explain how the initiative will be cross-functional. This requirement assures cross-functional buy-in in advance.
Four layers of customer experience focus:
- Awareness and introduction – lightweight tech, almost disposable – marketers will need to move fast and CIO should care less about this layer. (Flexible, portable, and disposable).
- Engagement and relationships – as visitors become leads and opportunities, more data is needed to provide delightful experiences down the road. Unified customer experience management solution is critical. (Engagement management – needs to interface with everything above and below)
- Intelligence and insight – after leads become customers, it is important to understand how needs of customers evolve. The ultimate goal is to create brand evangelists. Integration is the key. CIO must work with CMO to understand which data is needed. (Core data management – closely adheres to standards).
- Shared values and exceeded expectations
New marketing technology is “built to change.”
Analytics: marketers often use metrics unrelated to business objectives.
- More traffic – great! …even if it happened because a negative comment went viral?
- More time on site – great! …even if a prospect cannot find the next step and conversions are down?
- More likes on Facebook – great! …even if liking the page is needed before customers can post comments how much they hate the company?
- Primary indicators, goals (Example: increase MQLs by 10% in 6 months with only 5% budget increase – includes Objective > Timeframe > Constraint)
- Secondary indicators – KPIs – progress toward primary goal – what helps us to improve the possibility of achieving goals (Example: unqualified leads, cost per lead, downloads, seminar attendees, etc.)
- User indicators – data points we collect on daily basis, which help us to improve secondary indicators (Twitter followers, page views, etc.)
This approach does not require reporting secondary indicators; this can allow teams to concentrate on reaching goals through initiatives, which might reduce site traffic, for example.
An important objective is to de-silo the measurement so different groups do not compete with one another for audience attention. Example: an insurance company team launched a blog and asked a website team to place a prominent button on the home page of the company site. Website team said “no” as blog traffic won’t be counted as site traffic, and web team was measured on site activity. The blog team asked social media team to promote the blog; the social team also said “no.” Social media team was measured on engagement, and cute pictures of cats were receiving over 1,000 likes, while insurance articles could generate less than 10.
- A “channel” team should be responsible for an “audience development” instead of a channel.
- Content-driven experiences are not measured separately – they are part of marketing strategy.
- “You don’t measure channel – you don’t measure how many leads telephone produced… it is just a part of the whole program called “sales.” Content is the part of the entire program. But – you should examine content contribution.”
- “The objective of a blog can be the traffic to website – everything does not have to produce sales directly.”
3 skill sets are common in companies succeeding in content marketing:
- orchestrating events, not guiding journeys
- meaning-driven, not data-driven
- organizing for agility, not speed