In the wake of a Wall Street Journal story earlier this month about Google shifting from viral marketing to advertising, I wonder if the company has its backwards. I recognize GOOG wants to increase mainstream media awareness of its numerous products beyond “search,” but is TV and print really the way to go?
I continue to run into people who I tell about the recent New Marketing Summit I attended at Gillette Stadium (where the New England Patriots play) and when they raise their eyebrows, wondering what I refer to, I begin with a few case studies about the changing rules of business engagement I heard during the two-day event.
One of my favorite panels (in terms of takeaway points and which is relevant to GOOG) was on content marketing – delivering value and impacting sales.
Discussing the notion that banner ads and click rates are no longer effective for lead generation, and where the best online indicator is targeting content at the consumer, were the following four panelists:
- William Cava, chief technology officer at Ektron
- Darren Guarnaccia, vice president of product marketing at Sitecore
- John Munsell, CEO at Bizzuka
- Peter Nieforth, CEO at docmetrics
What is content marketing?
- Bill: “Ease of management”
- Darren: “Driving behavior”
- John: “Conversation at the point of consumption”
- Peter: “If you can measure it, you can manage it”
Bill explained the purpose of content marketing is to “hook into someone’s flow,” suggesting a company should publish photos, videos, and blog content of its new products before they are released. In this vein, a customer will feel more engaged by the company’s transparency.
Darren succintly said a website should be a “holistic experience channel,” whereby every company is judged how that online experience is matched to the customer.
John summed it for me with his motto, “If content is king, then conversion is queen.” He cited an example of an attempt by Cox Communications to penetrate the Louisiana cable TV market, but when the state public utility advised a different tactic based on how certain customers might react, Cox turned to the social web to measure what constituents thought. Ultimately, Cox changed its goal and successfully converted its prospective customers.
Echoed by Peter, “If you’re not measuring it, how are you responding to it?”
If you’re a business professional reading this, are you transparent and both measuring and converting people who visit your holistic website? If so, how? If not, why not?
If you’re a consultant or agency executive reading this, can you offer any additional tips for the business professionals?