Content marketing: Content is king—and we are his servants
March 4, 2014
By Gregory Hooven
January 14, 2022
Within companies and corporations of all sizes, major goals are only achieved when there is alignment between the executive-level goals and the departmental-level goals set by individual managers. Everyone has to be fighting the same fight and pulling in the same direction. In the same way, extended team members from third-party organizations must be active players in the achievement of those goals, and again, it’s important that all parties be working toward the same objectives.
But after working on many campaigns together, teams often lose that strategic goal-oriented thinking and instead fall into familiar routines. In that process, marketing can get detached from the organizational goals, resulting in the production of assets that may no longer serve a strategic purpose or achieve a measurable objective. This article addresses how you can help your extended team stay goal oriented and create more effective marketing assets.
When kicking off a marketing campaign, most teams usually have a checklist of marketing assets that they want you to create, and they generally move ahead without reviewing it. Years ago, that checklist may have been built around measured marketing objectives, and each item on the list represented an essential asset targeted for a specific purpose. But technology (and a certain pandemic) has changed the way consumers shop, make purchase decisions, and buy.
This means that a company that is still marketing like it’s 2015 is almost certainly creating some ineffective assets out of habit, as well as missing opportunities to produce more effective assets geared toward modern consumers. And there’s the problem. Instead of working toward the goal—i.e., getting the right message in front of the right audience using the right assets—the focus is on checking items off the list.
If you’ve been working with the same client for many years (or many campaigns), it may be time to organize a “goal meeting”—the same kind you likely had when you first began working together. Make sure the right people (decision-makers) are there.
Consider an upcoming campaign, and establish some measurable goals for it, whether that be in terms of sales, profits, ROI, downloads, website traffic, new customers, etc. Review the checklist of assets for that campaign and discuss how each one is going to be used and how it contributes to reaching the established goals. Check for items that aren’t needed anymore. For instance, if you’re not doing live events this year, do you still need all those printed materials? Remove the assets that don’t pass muster but look for opportunities to use new assets that you may be underutilizing, such as video and social media.
If your client team isn’t on board for this discussion, you can still initiate the process based on whatever insight you have from them. For instance, do you think they are spending their time (and money) in the right places? Are they missing opportunities? Can you identify specific areas where marketing help is needed, such as lead generation or closing sales? Prepare a report and share it with your extended team. Even if they only agree with some of your findings, use that as an inroad to start the process of establishing some measurable goals and rethinking the assets required to achieve those goals.
When considering which types of assets would best support the accomplishment of the outlined goals, a great resource is your client team’s sales force. These are the people on the front lines, and they often have keen insights into their customer’s psyche. Ask them what they know about their customers online habits, social media and digital device preferences, and how they prefer to pay for things. Most importantly, find out what assets they want to be equipped with when they engage their customers.
If interacting with the sales team isn’t plausible, the next best alternative is to do some old-fashioned marketing research based on customer demographics. Find out as much as possible about their online preferences and how (and where) to best engage them. Do they prefer reading or watching videos? Texts or emails? When you begin creating assets that meet the customer where they are, they’ll get more exposure and generate more sales opportunities.
By this step in the process, you and your extended team should have a revised checklist of the marketing materials that you are going to create as well as how and where they’ll be used. Next, you’ll need to put into place the means to measure performance after the campaign begins. For instance, if the end goal is to drive traffic to a landing page or a website, someone will need to monitor web traffic.
For example, to truly measure the effectiveness of an asset, it’s necessary to qualify the website traffic, that is, to separate the visitors who are genuinely interested from those who are just browsing. To do this, provide an opportunity for the user to download additional information, join a mailing list, or sign up for a free webinar. Those are your qualified leads, and they are a key performance indicator as to the success of the asset.
Be aware that in the above scenario, the initial asset was only responsible for driving the consumer to the website. If that website experience is underwhelming, that once-hot prospect could cool down quickly. Avoid introducing any doubt by making sure all messaging, stats, pricing, and “promises made” are consistent across all marketing assets and the website.
Any process you do repeatedly is bound to become routine and automatic, and that can be okay when none of the variables are changing. But we are entering a time when technology is moving exceptionally fast, continuously creating new avenues for consumers and new opportunities for businesses and service providers. These advances are changing the way things are bought and paid for and will necessarily change the way that businesses communicate with their customers.
As the marketplace evolves, it’ll be essential for you to work closely with your client teams to find new ways to be successful, to set new goals, and to be capable of advising and directing them through these quickly shifting sands.
Greg’s goal for every client is to make MarketReach feel like an extension of their own team. He understands the how, where, and why that make every deliverable as effective as possible. As president, Greg is a man of few words, but he would never tell you that. His affinity for T-shirts is in sharp contrast to his positive “roll up your sleeves” attitude.View our Team