Posts Tagged ‘content is king’

Marketing Automation: Don’t Forget Content!

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

I’m always surprised when I talk with someone about all the wonderful things that marketing automation can do for their organization, and at some point during the conversation I realize that their expectations are way off.

Usually the problem is not that the person expects too much in terms of bottom line results for the organization. We all pretty much agree at this point that marketing automation works beautifully, especially in the B2B space, to push sales and increase a company’s bottom line.

The ability to create precise marketing campaigns, with carefully sequenced and highly targeted messages and content, is priceless of course. Rather than blasting emails and essentially spamming prospects, your marketing automation system helps you to get to know them , their needs, their behavior and their response, in a way that enables you to turn your messages from spam to a service, from bad marketing to good marketing.

Having said that, prior to investing in a marketing automation system, it’s important to realize that one thing the system will not do for you is content creation. The system can help you sequence your messages according to individual prospects’ needs, increasing the chances that these prospects will eventually become buyers. But no marketing automation system can create content for you. Content is still king, and you will still need to create, or pay someone to create, relevant, high-quality content, including emails, white papers and landing pages for your website.

The real power of marketing automation comes from the ability to create different types of content for different prospects, and drip them in the right amount and at the best timing. Organizations that combine continuous creation of high-quality content with a good, easy to use marketing automation system, are positioning themselves as leaders in their industry.

Back in 2009, Ian Michiels wrote, “The value of marketing automation is that it has the potential to impact the top and bottom lines of an organization. Marketing management capabilities address operational efficiency, productivity and cost savings — the bottom line. Customer engagement helps maximize the demand for products and services — the top line.” His words still apply: your high-quality content will engage prospects. Marketing automation will make sure that high-quality content is delivered in a targeted and timely manner, and will help you measure your campaigns’ results.

It’s True: Content IS King

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

Saying that “content is king” has become such a cliché – so much so that I went back and forth on whether I should even say it here. I decided to go ahead, because no one who does marketing can afford NOT to discuss the importance of creating useful, rich, varied content.

Content is king in B2B marketing because long buying cycles mean that rather than pouncing, marketers need to patiently build relationships with prospects. A single inquiry does not turn someone into a sales-ready lead, and sending those leads to Sales would be a mistake. The need to patiently build relationships with prospects until they are sales-ready, a process that can easily take months, brings us to the perhaps overused, but in no way overhyped, concept of “content is king.”

Content is king for marketers because building those relationships with prospects is best achieved by being useful to them and providing them with timely, relevant information. Whether you provide that information that sustains the relationship through social media, white papers on your website or email – ideally a combination of those – the information needs to be of high quality.

“High quality” means, of course, well-written, but it goes beyond that. High quality content is content that is relevant to the audience you serve, and content that is timely for that audience. Ideally, you want to send an email to a prospect that addresses a major pain point for that prospect, and you want to send it at the right time.

While your marketing organization would need to create, or outsource the creation of, great content, making sure it is delivered in a relevant and timely manner can be achieved by automating your lead management process. Marketing automation and sales acceleration tools provide your marketing and sales organizations with the information about prospects that enables them to deliver that great content to the right person, at the right time.

In a market where B2B buyers report that they were the ones who have found the vendor, make sure they find YOU by creating and distributing consistent, constant, high-quality content that keeps your company top of mind when it’s time to make a buying decision.