Content, Content, Content…it’s the new buzz word in marketing circles these days. Since Social Media isn’t living up to its claims for many companies, they are looking for the new “silver bullet”…which now happens to be “Content Marketing or Content Management.” Is it the new found Promised Land for marketing?
I would encourage you to think a bit broader and deeper when it comes to a discussion about Content Marketing. We have to remind ourselves that “Content Marketing” is actually just a “TOOL” with a Bigger Purpose if used correctly. Like many of the other traditional, digital, and social media “tools” already being used, this one can fit into the same category…unless you THINK DIFFERENTLY.
Start with the concept that generally, “Marketing ruins everything.” OK, I know this will get some people’s feathers ruffled and for others of you, you will say Amen, it is completely accurate. The point I want to make is that when marketing gets a hold of “a new thing (tool)” they tend to do two things to it…over use it and use it incorrectly. Content Marketing probably won’t be any different so it will follow the same path at some point in the future…unless you treat it differently.
If you think of Content Marketing as a “tool” you are missing the point and its value.
There are two concepts in marketing…“PUSH” and “PULL” marketing. All traditional marketing was designed as “Push”…shoving out lots of ads and other information to the audience. This worked amazingly well in the Industrial Revolution when there weren’t any other options for the consumer to hear about products and services. Ad agencies were born and raked in millions of dollars on the backs of this approach. It has essentially died when we left the Industrial Revolution behind and entered into the Internet/Digital Revolution.
Unfortunately, many people in marketing didn’t get this was happening right under their nose. Instead, they saw a whole bunch of new “tools” called Social Media show up that they thought were simply a new and improved way to “push” their information to the customer. They were wrong. The customer initially thought this was pretty cool and welcomed the new way of getting information…then marketing ruined it. They started shoving everything they could…faster and in more volume…than they ever had before. They thought this would work…it didn’t. It was still “push marketing” only using a different tool called Social Media instead of direct mail, TV, radio, magazines, billboards, and a host of other traditional media tools.
The audience grew up and learned how they wanted to receive information and it wasn’t by having billions of pieces thrown at them through every channel they were on…they learned where the “off switch” was and turned off this barrage of messaging. The numbers have been declining steadily and marketing is wondering why their audience doesn’t want to see their valuable ads and self-promotional information. They really never did…
Enter Content Marketing as a new way to “push” more information to the customer. It is new because it actually involves content…something of substance (written, video, podcast, etc.). The consumer is asking for this…they want to learn more but invest less time in consuming the information. Once again we are seeing most marketing groups seeing the next “Promised Land” and as such are shoving more and more “content” to their audience. The right concept…wrong execution.
The content isn’t RELEVANT, HELPFUL, or TIMELY for their audience…it is just once again voluminous amounts of information…much of what we can already get by doing a search. This is where marketing stands to “ruin content marketing” as they have done for so many other forms of media.
But there is a solution…“PULL MARKETING.”
Pull Marketing is all about the “customer WANTING the information you have because it is relevant, helpful, and timely and so they PULL it to them…when they want and how they want.” This is an entirely different way to think about marketing. It is marketing the customer actually wants in their life because it is VALUABLE to them.
CONTENT MARKETING is an absolutely amazing way to create an effective PULL MARKETING strategy and execute it in a way the customer will love. Now companies have the opportunity to truly understand their customers wants and needs and anticipate what will be helpful and relevant in their lives and then give this to them in a timely manner. When marketing adopts this mindset, they have crossed over from the old traditional “push” process and adopted a completely different strategy of “pull” into their strategy.
THIS WORKS…AND THE CUSTOMER IS BEGGING YOU FOR IT.
Content Marketing can be the next PROMISED LAND for your marketing and company efforts…if you adopt a “PULL MARKETING” strategy and erase the “PUSH” strategy from your brain. Content marketing is absolutely something that your audience will love and reward you for when developed with a PULL MARKETING STRATEGY. It is what they want…marketing just has to understand this and not screw it up again.
What will you do as the leader of your company…the business owner and CEO? Will you allow your marketing to be done the old traditional way and lose the immense value in front of you that you could benefit from by using a “PULL CONTENT MARKETING STRATEGY?” I believe the leadership team needs to direct the marketing function to be more OBSESSED with their CUSTOMERS and give them the ability to create a powerful PULL MARKETING strategy…using CONTENT as the core. Today leadership teams need to be more involved in marketing than ever before.
Today it can help to significantly solidify your brand, create true differentiation, and endear your customers to you in ways your competition can’t…this is where marketing and customer obsession can become your true competitive advantage. When this happens, Content Marketing can become the new PROMISED LAND for your company…and your customers will reward you both with business and much more WORD-OF-MOUTH…and we all know this is the ultimate success for marketing and the organization overall.
Will you adopt and drive a PUSH or PULL strategy as a leader of your company? This is an excellent time and opportunity to put your company in front of the pack of competitors.