b2b, content strategy, Digital Channels, Social Media Marketing

Content: Focus on Your Customers, Not Volume

Feed the beast. Tame the monster. Stop the roar. Why do marketers insist on characterizing their content consumers as unruly, insatiable animals?

I suppose it’s because that’s exactly the way many have learned to think of it. For years now, marketing organizations have been trying to create messaging that can fill what may seem like an infinite void. Just keep churning out the content, and somehow, someday, some way, it will all pay off in the end . . . right?

There is a better approach, and now that 90% of B2C marketers and 93% of B2B marketers say they’ve thrown their hats in the content marketing ring, you need to start using a strategy that’s more efficient – and more effective. If you don’t, much of your effort will be wasted, because your customers are becoming increasingly distracted by the marketing messages – the content – bombarding them at virtually every turn.

To be more effective, you need to cut through all that noise. And to cut through all that noise, you need to produce content that’s targeted, useful, succinct, and shareable delivered at the right time within each buyer’s journey.

I’m not suggesting that we simply substitute one impossible beast with another. Rather, the key here is to break the problem into more manageable pieces.

First, take a long, hard look at the data surrounding the content you’re already creating. Analyze it. Find out what your audience wants to consume and how you can best present it to them. In other words, learn which 10% of your content does 90% of the work to create impact.

Then, strive for operational efficiency in your engagement tactics.

For example, our research shows that Millennials turn first to social networks for content discovery, and then to online and customizable newsfeeds. How many of your customers are doing the same? Or let me ask an even more fundamental question; do you know where your customers are engaging with content? (A recent study from Forrester showed that for some top brands, Instagram delivered 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook, and 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter.) Are your customers using Instagram and wondering why you’re not?

As you dig into your customer data, you may also discover where and when to create triggers for communication at different points along the customer journey. Fine-tuning your messaging so customers feel like they’re being acknowledged as individuals –with unique preferences and paths to purchase – can also lead to very effective (and cost efficient) content marketing.

In the end, it’s not about satisfying an endless sea of content consumers. And it’s not about taming. Instead, marketing success today – and even more so, in the future – is all about paying attention to your data and implementing a solid strategy so your content finds the people who matter most, your customers.

photo by: Paige O'Neill
Customer Experience, Digital Channels, Digital Marketing

London Is Known For Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace And Now . . . The Customer Experience

I’m in London attending a number of different events, and over the past few days I’ve been struck by this: It seems that companies here truly understand what it means to deliver a great customer experience. (And yes, I’m feeling that way even after struggling with the hassles of London’s current transit strike . . . so, you know I must really be impressed.)

As an example, let’s take a look at the digital marketing, technology and commerce consultancy Amaze. The talented people at Amaze have created winning customer experiences for a wide range of leading brands, including Coca-Cola Enterprises, Bridgestone and Asics (to name just a few). Most recently, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group selected Amaze to champion large digital marketing projects for two brands in its portfolio, Radisson Red and Radisson Blu.

According to Rose Anderson, Vice President Branding at Radisson Blu, Amaze was awarded the job because of its fresh thinking, talent for storytelling and grasp of technology – a trio of capabilities essential for connecting with customers today and even more so, in the future.

After all, consumer appetite for digital engagement is growing year after year. Deloitte’s eighth edition of its Digital Democracy Survey reveals that:More than one-third (37 percent) of U.S. consumers are now digital omnivores, a 42 % increase over the previous year.

  • More than one-third (37 percent) of U.S. consumers are now digital omnivores, a 42 % increase over the previous year.
  • Growth in digital engagement is primarily driven by continued tablet adoption (33 percent increase) and, to a lesser extent, smartphone ownership (18 percent increase).
  • Women, who made up over one-third (35 percent) of omnivores two years ago, now account for 45 percent of this group.
  • U.S. consumer interest in streaming content has nearly doubled in the past year (from 17 percent in 2012 to 32 percent in 2013), with interest in digital formats outpacing demand for physical media.
  • More than half (54 percent) of U.S. consumers check social networks daily, some as often as 10 times a day or more.
  • Online reviews have an impact. Among U.S. consumers, the majority say online reviews or recommendations from someone within their social media circles (68 percent) or even from someone they do not know (60 percent) have a high or medium level of influence over buying decisions.

Clearly, the customer experience is evolving and engagement across digital channels is becoming increasingly significant as a revenue driver.

In light of my earlier blog post, Exceptional Customer Experience Begins With Employee Engagement, it’s also worth noting that for the tenth year, Deloitte has been named to Fortune magazine’s list of “100 Best Companies to Work For.” That, in combination with the exceptional content and videos at its website, offers proof that Deloitte fully recognizes the value of an outstanding customer experience, as well.