The Content Imperative


Published on

Published in: Business, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • This is the presentation I gave at a @silverpop event on Tues 16 th March 2010. Great feedback from the 180 strong audience. In this session, I explained why content is now so important and outlined how to plan for creating awesome content.
  • Describe what you see Video? Advert? Viral? Entertainment?
  • Describe what you see Words? Conversation? Updates? Content?
  • Describe what you see Apps? Utilities? Entertainment? Content?
  • It’s very easy for brands to get drawn into the hype around the latest format, platform or tactic. Where as a couple of years back brands were all asking for a ‘viral’ it feels like they are now all asking for iPhone apps. It is worth noting that content is merely a means to an end, content drives conversations and conversation are how you engage with people, and engaging with people is the only way brands will be able to survive in this social media disrupted world we now live in.
  • Even if you are the market leader!
  • The tools and platforms have turned the Internet into a global, hyper-word-of-mouth engine
  • Everyone now has their own personal soap-box to talk about brands - good or bad, true or not, in real-time
  • Google and Microsoft are in an arms-race to deliver the best real-time search engine
  • The balance of power has firmly tipped from brands to people
  • In an immature market with small budgets it is obviously right to test on a tactical basis, however as brands investment in content increases a strategic approach will pay dividends.
  • Commitment to continuous activity, brands don’t control the end of conversations unlike campaigns Authentic Transparent Humility Engagement policy Crisis policy
  • Active Listening Clarify objectives Identify success metrics Set targets Set budgets
  • What subjects and topics are important to you? What’s your position on things, your point of view? Where’s the evidence you’re serious about this stuff? What’s your story? Why should people give a damn? Ogilvy talk about identifying your ideal * Dove believes the world would be a better place if women were allowed to feel good about themselves * Fanta believes the world would be a better place if we grew up less and played more * Scrabble believes the world would be a better place if we loved words more * Adidas believes the world would be a better place if people went beyond their normal boundaries * Coca Cola believes the world would be a better place if we saw the glass as half full - not half empty
  • What value does it deliver directly to people? We call this the social currency What is value does it deliver indirectly, i.e. by telling someone else about it? Entertainment – Advertising typically deals in this currency – does the idea lend itself to being parodied – Cadburys Gorilla example Personal value / Fame – The rise of Reality TV & X Factor type show how potent this value is to people Information / Knowledge – B2B thought leadership via whitepapers Monetary / Competitions - Consumer PR typically deals in this currency – Threshers 2006 40% off Voucher Utility – a lot iPhone apps fall into this category Sky+ Nike+ Fiat EcoDrive Charmin rolls out 20 restrooms in Times Square B&Q kitchen planner Can we tap into popular culture? – T-mobile Dance Can we ride a meme? – EA Games – Tiger woods How can we blend some of these together to make them more potent? - Game with a leader board hits two areas, competition for the next flavor of Walkers crisps (bragging rights) This is the modern day equivalent of challenges of creating an integrated campaign, i.e. you need a multi-disciplined/experienced/talented team to work collaboratively For more info on this read my blog post -
  • Employees – Zappo US online shoe retailer encourages all staff to twitter and even have a Leaderboard which introduces a competitive effect. Agencies Industry Peers – Sign-posting people to relevant, interesting stuff UGC, crowdsourcing and co-creation – EepyBird - Mentos & Diet Coke, Can you have multiple sources? – Cadbury’s Gorilla and Eyebows parodies
  • Distribution Strategy? Brand media; outposts, web sites, email, events Influencer Network (Bloggers & media relations) Earned media (community and the media) Paid media How are you going to balance and/or integrate content across these spaces? Experiential and social work really well together – Event or PR stunt – WOM spreads online – trad media pick up the buzz and cover it - T-mobile Flashmob in Liverpool St station Is it possible that you could become a social destination brand? Not many brands can pull this off, if you try and you don’t currently have enough pulling power you could find yourself spending a lot of budget on traffic generation activates. It may be better to get out into the communities that already exist.
  • Blog posts Presentations Videos Pictures Podcasts Tweets Facebook or iPhone apps Live streams Virtual world Can you re-purpose content in different formats? – Whitepaper into a YouTube video interview with the author into a series of blog posts into an iTunes podcast Is it in a format that is easy for people to share? Is it in a format that is easy for people to remix? - Cadburys Eyebrows actively encouraged people to parody it
  • Who’s manning the outposts? Who’s managing the conversations? Who’s building the relationships? Who’s re-directing to the appropriate function? Who’s looking for early signs of a online crisis? Who’s responsible for engagement? Who’s responsible for your social brand? Central team Distributed team Employees (Policy) Agency
  • Remember conversations can’t be turned off like campaigns Look to plan a rolling 3mth content schedule What’s pre-planned, what’s not? How will you ensure a constant stream of content? How are you going to create peaks of interest?
  • Actively listen to find out what the reaction to your content has been? What conversations have you started? What conversations do you want to join? How are you tracking against your objectives, targets and budgets?
  • Resources:
  • The Content Imperative

    1. 1. The Content Imperative. Image source: Steve Sponder Chief Digital Officer, Five by Five // // @stevesponder NB: Slide explanations are in the notes
    2. 5. The Content Imperative. Image source:
    3. 6. The disruption briefing.
    4. 7. 1. Disruption is not always obvious.
    5. 8. This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communications. The device is inherently of no value to us. Western Union internal memo (1876) “ ”
    6. 9. The problem with television is that the people must sit and keep their eyes glued on a screen; the average American family hasn’t time for it. The New York Times (1939) “ ”
    7. 10. The Internet? We are not interested in it. Bill Gates (1993) “ ”
    8. 11. 2. Social media are the disruption drivers.
    9. 12. 3. People are sharing their views and experiences.
    10. 13. 4. People can easily discover others’ views and experiences.
    11. 14. 5. People are now ‘in the know’ and in control.
    12. 15. 6. In this transparent world, brands are forced to change their approach and behaviour.
    13. 16. Engage through conversations. Image source: Content drives conversations.
    14. 17. Strategy Image source: /
    15. 18. 1. Principles Image source:
    16. 19. 2. Objective Image source:
    17. 20. 3. Substance The world would be a better place if…
    18. 21. 4. Value (Social Currency)
    19. 22. 5. Sources
    20. 23. 6. Spaces Image source:
    21. 24. 7. Formats
    22. 25. 8. Social Agents Image source unknown
    23. 26. 9. Schedule Image source:
    24. 27. 10. Review Image source:
    25. 28. Last thought … If it’s not worth talking about, it’s not worth doing. Source:
    26. 29. The Content Imperative. Image source: Let’s continue the conversation: // @stevesponder