Words from Waller: Content Marketing Observations and Insights

The Power of Consumer Behavior

The continued and developing rise of content marketing within the marketing, communications, social and CRM areas of brand owners is following a familiar path – with a resulting scramble by tech companies and marketing agencies to position new services and offers. The pace of change and innovation is extremely rapid.

I’ll be assessing some of these developments as a regular monthly column, Words from Waller. We’ve set up a task force within Pace to track new technology offers as they affect our clients – and it’s worth noting, in passing and by way of an overview, why I believe that content marketing is not a fad, but is here to stay as a fundamental marketing discipline of the future.

There are three main reasons to be bullish about the future of content marketing as I see it:

  1. Customers now expect regular contact from their favorite brands. There has been a deep mind shift in consumer expectation in this area – from being suspicious of companies who contact you, to now being worried when your favorite brand appears to have nothing to say for itself. But, as we know, what you say and how you say it is critical.
  2. Customers expect you to have a point of view. The millennial generation (but also, increasingly, all other demographics) makes purchase decisions based on what brands and companies believe in as well as the traditional 3 P’s of price, product and place. So, add another “P” to the three P’s – as in POV. This, together with consumer and third party reviews, forms the basis of consumer decision making today.
  3. It works! It’s alive! It has an ROI! Like many service and creative businesses, content marketing has been transformed (some might say created) by the ability to collect and measure detailed data to show the powerful effect that engaging content has on consumer behavior.

So, what have we observed over the past few weeks that’s noteworthy?

  • We’re seeing the beginnings of consolidation on the tech side of the content marketing industry. On the organization and distribution side, the acquisition of Compendium by Oracle is significant.
  • Agencies continue to organize themselves around the notion of the “brand newsroom” for their clients. Oddly enough, although PR agencies would seem to be best suited to take on this role, they appear to be struggling to get themselves established as the go-to solution. This may be because there are multiple definitions of “brand newsroom” and PR agencies have been notoriously slow to adapt. One exception may be Edelman.
  • Continuous changes in the search parameters at Google seem to favor what we do best for our clients: generating fresh, original, well-produced, expertly crafted content. Here’s an article maintaining that a new acronym needs to be created to replace SEO. We think they might be better off calling it content marketing. See what you think.

See you next month!
Craig Waller

Written by Craig Waller

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