Content Marketing Through The B2B Lens

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tumblr_inline_mtfkv3N3hc1rpkp36The following is an excerpt of  blogs from Content World by Erin Estep of SiriusDecisions. Click on the links to see her full blogs of Day 1 and Day 2.

There is no marketing without content, and most bad marketing is a result of bad content. Both are usually a result of a lack of insight into buyer needs and interests.

Despite some minor differences in terminology, I think we share this philosophy with the hosts, sponsors and attendees of  Content Marketing World conference.

Here are some of my insights:

  • B2B and B2C are really not the same. It’s not “all just person-to-person.” Sure, at a tactical level, B2B marketers need to think more about their buyers as actual people and understand their challenges and initiatives, but most B2B companies market and sell complex solutions to other companies through a long, complex and group-oriented decision-making process.
  • Today, B2B organizations tend to go to market through their own functional silos and business units, and market and message to a single monolithic external “audience.” This paradigm must be flipped on its head. Successful marketing relies on an audience-centric go-to-market architecture and a single brand voice with differentiated narratives to speak to those audiences.
  • Customer marketing content and narrative should drive and inform prospect lead generation efforts. Your customers represent the possibilities for the future for your prospects.
  • Publishers, brand PR and advertising are colliding within forms such as sponsored content, and the rules aren’t entirely clear yet. Authority, audience and authenticity are the three A’s that guide successful investment in branded publishing.
  • Content measurement is difficult. Not only that, but you can’t take a one-size-fits-all approach to content measurement, because content should behave differently depending on what you’re trying to accomplish.
  • Although we need to bring the person (or persona) back into marketing, we also need to acknowledge that today we reach people mostly through machines.
  • Many B2B organizations struggle to understand content performance because they have no shared understanding about the purpose of different types of content.
  • For a large B2B company, transforming from a product content machine to an audience content machine takes about two years and requires executive buy-in and strong change management. It’s not just about implementing a content strategy.
  • The content technology landscape has exploded, but it’s still pretty irrational. There’s a lot of overlap in functionality, and the lack of well-defined categories makes it difficult for everyone (including analysts) to bucket and compare these vendors in a meaningful way.
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