Thursday, February 28, 2013
In Consideration of Content Marketing
I just read an article titled: “What comes
after content marketing?”
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It sounded like a familiar story I have seen too many times before
(e.g. “Customer Satisfaction, now what?, Where do we go after customer relationship management? etc.) We’ve barely
all learned the term, and someone has already decided that we have wrung all the benefits possible out of content marketing,
and that it’s time to move on. Just as with satisfaction and CRM, my only thought – you’ve
got to be kidding me!According to the Content Marketing Institute, “Content
marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage
a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action”.
A failure to fill-in the blanks in that definition might be what’s causing some marketers to believe that content
marketing has so little to offer them that it’s time to move on.
The issues in that definition that
we all need to address are: 1) Who is that target audience we are trying to deliver the content to? 2)
How can we efficiently and most effectively deliver the content to that audience? 3) What kind of action
can we reasonably expect to drive?
believe that the most effective uses of content marketing is to deliver shareable, bite-sized pieces that educate, build emotional
ties, and entertain existing customers, turning them into advocates, who build image, awareness and purchase consideration
for the brand with friends, relatives, neighbors, co-workers, and even strangers (online). If you accept
that strategy then we’ve got a long way to go before any of us have achieved the full advantages of content marketing.
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Finally Somebody Quantifies the Value of Word of Mouth
Companies today generally recognize the benefits
of word of mouth, but most view the phenomenon as a magical, immeasurable, unmanageable force – or a reward
for good customer care. A recent story in Ad Age (Feb. 6, 2013) finally sheds some light on the quantification of the impact
of “social voice” (the combination of offline and online word of mouth). According to research
conducted by MarketShare, a 10% increase in social voice results in a sales lift of from 0.2% to 1.5%.
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Some might be quick to dismiss such small percentages, but it does means for example that
a company currently generating $100 million in annual sales could, through a program that identifies their best customer advocates
and stimulates their activity, to produce more frequent and more positive word of mouth, gain an additional $200,000 to
$1,500,000 in revenue.
much would it cost to generate that kind of lift in word of mouth? For corporations that can identify their customers
by name, and even better yet for those who also know the email and street addresses of those individuals, the stimulation
of the social voice can be accomplished relatively inexpensively. Those who are already buying your product
or service, and who are emotionally linked to your brand and who possess the “communicator gene” need only be
provided with a bit more motivation, given some additional content, and pointed toward opportunities. The
bad news is that such a lift in word of mouth won’t just happen as the result of good service. It
can however be accomplished for a modest cost by the marketer willing to step forward away from the perceived safety of the
traditional approaches. The potential sales gains are waiting to be enjoyed.