Dave Knox over at Hard Knox Life just posted this great slideshow on Content Marketing by Helge Tenno. Although I strongly dislike the addition of “two-dot-oh” to the end of any term, I will admit the Agency2.0 he speaks of at the end of the show sounds pretty appealing!
The first few slides call out the development of online marketing. “2007 was all about rich media and customer participations”…”but 2008 is ..all about a range of different ideas coming together and forming a new kind of marketing changing the way brands connect to their consumers”.
The ideas are the following:
- Emotional Research
A few statements worth calling out:
Content isn’t king. Conversation is king. Content is just something to talk about.
The application itself is not a goal at all – it’s an obstacle between the user and their goal.
we tend to throw out the most meaningful and most revolutionary if we ask people about their preferences.
Content marketing = participating in activities facilitated by the brand.
Slide 13 states that “most products and services are actually developed by users, who then give ideas to manufacturers”. The premise (and this is one I called out in my recent review of Accidental Branding,) is that the best products are designed to address specific problems. If that’s the case, obviously why not give users the empowerment (and the forum) to help drive innovation for you?
As a developer, I probably shouldn’t like the comment that the application is not the goal. For me, though, effective marketing and strategy is not about jumping to implementation. A client shouldn’t want “a widget”. They should want “a means to drive traffic from the social networking space”. A widget is one way to do this. By assessing what the user goals are, we can work to achieve those goals, and they’ll be satisfied. But unless we determine the rationale behind a decision, we have a hard time assessing its success (and risk having an unhappy client in the end). I maintain that the decision of the best technical solution to a business need should be left in the hands of we web geeks, who have been eating, drinking and sleeping this stuff for a loooong time! 🙂
This notion of “don’t tell me what you (think you) want” is raised later in the deck as well. I can only attribute the reason that we ‘throw out the most meaningful information if we ask people their preferences’ to a lack of self-awareness or willingness to be honest. My biggest concern with a blanket statement like this is that some organizations may take this as justification not to solicit or incorporate feedback from users at all.
As someone who espouses user-centered design principles, this whole idea of “content marketing” makes sense. People are doing to “do” stuff and talk about it. Why not facilitate these activities by offering something to talk about? I am currently listening to “The Anatomy of Buzz” and Jeep Jamborees are mentioned. There is a certain demographic that buys Jeeps and has a certain lifestyle. Why not support them in their activities? We are an experiential society, and people who go off on a Jeep Jamboree weekend are your best brand advocates. They will converse among themselves, further establishing that brand loyalty, and also tell others about their experiences.
I love the idea that we are looking at establishing relationships with consumers, as well as between them. It’s no longer about focusing inward on creating that ultimate pitch: it’s about a facilitating a personalized experience for each individual based on his own needs and desired level of interaction.