Is content a sustainable competitive advantage?
No. It’s not. And, now let me tell you why.
A reporter was interviewing me a couple of weeks ago for our upcoming book launch and he asked if he could “push back” a little on a word that I used. It was a word that, in his mind anyway, was one that we marketers tend to throw around a lot. I said “sure, push away.”
The word was “strategy.” He said, “Tell me – what is strategy?”
OK, yeah, time to go get a cocktail.
One of the overriding themes to emerge in marketing during the last 15 years is the end of “interruptive” advertising. From Seth Godin’s Permission Marketing back in the late ’90s to inbound marketing and even content marketing more recently, the central idea is a world where audiences opt in for content that ultimately helps to position a brand more favorably in the eye of the customer.
But what’s happened is that in many cases interruptive advertising is mistakenly seen as synonymous with paid media. In other words, the idea of the 30-second paid spots, banner ads, full-page spreads, and even cold calls as methods to engage a potential customer is considered antiquated. And a good argument can be made that this idea creates a large portion of the drama and confusion around native advertising.Continue Reading
Consumers have changed. Great digital experiences are no longer new … they are expected.
In response, marketing departments have flexed and stretched with each new disruption, channel, and technology … but only within the existing bounds of their confined, comfortable, and well-worn structures.Continue Reading
When I say the words “marketing data” what’s the first thing that comes to mind? If you’re like most marketers – it’s probably math, numbers, analytics; basically the statistical information that provides us insight into becoming more effective. Yuk. It’s like medicine – hard to swallow but we know we need to take it to get better.
But it’s actually so much more than that. Data can truly be tasty: valuable information we collect, analyze, and use to deliver better content to our audiences and really improve the impact of the experiences we’re creating.Continue Reading
Exactly one year ago, we were just coming off a great Content Marketing World – and I was steeling myself for a family-filled Thanksgiving. As I was talking with Joe Pulizzi during our weekly phone chat – which we regularly ended by gossiping, ranting, and raving about what was happening in the industry – he asked me a seemingly innocuous question: “Should we do a podcast?”
“I think that’s a great idea,” I said – having absolutely no idea what I was signing up for. (Note: This is how I’ve adroitly managed my career thus far: Say “yes” to anything that sounds remotely interesting and figure out how to do it later.)
Caterpillar proves even traditional B2B content marketing can tell fun, captivating stories. We spoke to Renee Richardson – one of our Content Marketer of the Year finalists – about how she and her team breathed new energy into a staid, conservative brand.
Caterpillar’s Built For It™ Trial video series launched the brand into social media stardom this year. In three quirky videos, Cat® equipment is put through outrageous trials:Continue Reading
I’m beginning to believe that 2014 may be the pivotal point where product companies actually start evolving into media brands. The Lego Movie, which has to date earned more than $500 million worldwide, is also very likely to be the first movie produced and sponsored by a product company to win an Academy Award. Make no mistake, for content marketing, This. Is. Big.
Now, certainly the idea that consumers’ buying habits are shifting is nothing new. But, (as I discussed earlier this month), in many cases, we have yet to shift our approach to meet those new realities.Continue Reading
In 1999, the world-renowned marketing professor Philip Kotler published Kotler on Marketing. In it he discussed the latter 1990s — the time span that would fuel most of the thinking for the book — as a time of tumultuous change. But he knew that this was merely the beginning.
Professor Kotler concluded the book with a section called “Transformational Marketing,” in which he discussed how the field would change with the “new age of electronic marketing.” In the coming decade, Kotler wrote, “marketing will be re-engineered from A to Z. Marketing will need to rethink fundamentally the processes by which they identify, communicate, and deliver customer value.”
There’s only one problem: Fifteen years have passed, and this vital transformation hasn’t happened yet.Continue Reading
We are all aware that the process of engaging consumers has changed — so much so that the cliché of starting a blog post or conference presentation with a series of “did you know the world is changing?” statistics has reached astounding proportions.
Nevertheless, the fact of the matter is that content marketing — and how brands use it to interact with buyers at all stages of their engagement journey — is fundamentally reshaping the way businesses create their go-to-market strategies. This impact is both good and bad. As Joe and I have discussed frequently on our podcast, there are strategies and then there are “random acts of content.” Either of those activities will affect the business — it’s just a matter of how. Continue Reading