Want Respect For Content Marketing? Kill ‘Em With Numbers — Not With Kindness

south-park-you-will-respect-my-authI just came across an article on Fast Company that waxes philosophical about the uneasy relationship between product people and content marketers. It’s worth reading, but here’s the gist:

…content creators are usually a little despised, or at least not as valued as entrepreneurs. A double standard currently exists as represented by this commonly shared belief that “all the marketing in the world won’t help you if you don’t have a great product.” Yet, time after time, great entrepreneurs turn to great content marketers to promote their product.

So, what is it? Do entrepreneurs really think content marketing is a waste, or do they in fact rely on us to help others fall in love with the product they created?

The author, after a detour into the idea of Freudian narcissism, concludes that it would be great if both sides learned to get along and respect one another. I agree, but it’s ultimately a pointless sentiment.

There’s one thing the product people will always understand: numbers. Show up at the table with a touchy-feely explanation of what content marketing can do, and you’re taking a wet noodle to a gunfight.

Show up with hard data connecting a content campaign to lead generation, sales pipeline and revenue activity, and you suddenly have the product team’s undivided attention. More to the point, you have the CFO’s undivided attention, and we all know who signs the checks.

By all means, wage a charm offensive against product people who don’t understand the power of content marketing. It can’t hurt. But if you aren’t ready to track, measure and document the dollars-and-cents impact of your campaigns, don’t hold your breath waiting for respect.

-Matthew McKenzie

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