Monthly Archives: July 2009

18 Marketing Objectives Addressed by Content Marketing

how-to-select-project-management-software-objectives-2

Was tasked the other day by a potential client with providing a list of marketing objectives that are addressed by Content Marketing.

While not exhaustive by any means, I came up with eighteen…and would invite all to add to the figure.

Sheepishly, I admit that none of these include a numerical goal or time period, both requirements of a true marketing objective.  That said, when I printed out the list, I was so pleasantly surprised on how many key challenges strategic content addresses.

Again, feel free to add:

  1. Customer acquisition
  2. Customer retention
  3. Cross-sell
  4. Up-sell
  5. Loyalty
  6. Churn reduction
  7. Advocacy
  8. Reputation Management
  9. Branding
  10. Awareness
  11. SEO
  12. Thought Leadership
  13. Lead generation/formulation
  14. Increase Customer LTV
  15. Integration
  16. Internal communications
  17. Stakeholder/shareholder communications
  18. Increase share of wallet
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Engagement is a strategy, not a metric

with this ring

Interesting take on engagement by Gene Liebel at Adweek (So You’re Engaged — Now What?)

I’m positive many marketers indeed look to ‘engagement’ as the new metric:

MarketingGuy 1988:  “We need reach!”
MarketingGuy 2008:  “We need engagement!”

Yes, marketers need to engage their customers/prospects, but engagement isn’t a metric, or even a goal — engagement is a route to the goal.

Whether the objective is awareness, consideration, interaction, transaction, bonding, advocacy, or any other label on a stage in the Customer Journey, engagement is the chief means to achieving that goal. And that, by definition, is a strategy.

What then is engagement? My definition is the customer-centric need being fulfilled not necessarily by the purchasing of your brand, but rather by your actions as a brand: information, education, entertainment, inspiration = problem solving. Think about being “engaged,” such as by a professional speaker. S/he likely delivers on all of the above.

Yes, time-spent, page views, clicks are all metrics that can help define ‘engagement,’ but they are by far not the only ones. ‘Engaged’ prospects/customers also visit more frequently, are more apt to cross-purchase/up-purchase, and ultimately become the strongest advocates for your brand. They sign up for e-newsletters and RSS feeds, they download whitepapers and attend webinars, they refer friends and forward pages, and they talk you up in social media settings.

Engagement means different things depending on the objective of the marketing stage.  ‘Engagement’ in the reach phases is still very wide-net-casting, with the greater in-depth engagement occurring in later stages of the Customer Journey.   Hence, metrics used to measure the objectives achieved via Engagement differ as well.

Oftentimes, the bulk of engagement resources (e.g. Content Marketing) demand back-load weighting/allocation, as customers likely deserve greater attention than suspects, and advocates more so than customers.

Different stages of customers?  Mixed allocations of resources based on customer groupings?  Migration of customers from one stage to another?  Different metrics in place to measure different stage objectives?  Smells an awful lot like CRM.

As it should.  Engagement is a close relative of CRM. And like CRM, the end goals of engagement are sales and maximizing LTV. Engagement isn’t the end goal, or even a metric…it’s a strategy.

MarketingGuy 2009:  “We need sales and LTV:  let’s focus on engagement.”

That’s one huge engagement thing

engagement ring

CONTENT is the key driver to engagement.

Consider the times in your life you’ve been totally engaged:

  • Not able to put down a page-turner until you realize it’s past 4 am and you’ve still not been to sleep…or
  • Losing yourself so deeply at a movie theater that it takes a loud cough to help you realize you’re not in the move, but watching it…or
  • Driving on a road trip and the local radio station you’ve scanned plays three perfect songs in a row, seemingly just for you, and you forget where you are…or
  • A magazine article makes you laugh out loud on a red-eye flight, waking the lady in 7B…or
  • A sporting match has you alternatively cheering or screaming at the television…or
  • Stumbling upon a blog only to spend two hours reading the POVs of two highly partisan groups…or
  • Finding yourself literally on the edge of your seat agreeing with a professional speaker at a conference…or
  • Finding it simply impossible to believe an entire hour has flown by and you are destined to wait another whole week, incredulously, to see your favorite HBO drama…

All of these demonstrate high levels of ENGAGEMENT through compelling content — the real art of storytelling.

Our media, at their best, have excelled in storytelling, creating compelling content to engage their audiences.

We frequently cite the mantra “think like a publisher” or for marketers to “be your own media.”

What is meant is for marketers to engage customers through compelling content.

And while it’s en vogue to tout the benefits of the ‘new media,’ there are still a few things we can learn from our old-school forefathers:  how to engage.

What ‘old media’ example of engagement do you model?