The Washburn Crosby Company of Minneapolis, one of the six big milling companies that merged into General Mills in 1928, received thousands of requests each year in the late 1910s and early 1920s for answers to baking questions. In 1921, managers decided that it would be more intimate to sign the responses personally; they combined the last name of a retired company executive, William Crocker, with the first name “Betty,” which was thought of as “warm and friendly.” The signature came from a secretary, who won a contest among female employees. (The same signature still appears on Betty Crocker products.)In 1924, Betty Crocker acquired a voice with the radio debut of the nation’s first cooking show, which featured thirteen different actresses working from radio stations across the country. Later it became a national broadcast, The Betty Crocker School of the Air, which ran for twenty-four years.Finally, in 1936 Betty Crocker got a face. Artist NeysaMcMein brought together all the women in the company’s Home Service Department and “blended their features into an official likeness.” The widely circulated portrait reinforced the popular belief that Betty Crocker was a real woman. One public opinion poll rated her as the second most famous woman in America after Eleanor Roosevelt.Take that Felix Baumgartner
In 1835, the American Anti-Slavery Society (AAS) took their campaign to a new level with what could be called the first use of a direct mail campaign. The Society, founded two years earlier by Arthur and Lewis Tappan of New York, mailed a number of anti-slavery newspapers and printed materials to religious and civic leaders in the south. They selected names from newspapers, city directories, and other published lists. The reception for these unordered and mostly unwelcomed publications was swift, widespread, and hostile.First content marketing campaign?First direct mail?Certainly not inbound. Heretical to say at an inbound marketing conference, but direct mail not all badDirect mail was controversial since the beginningWhat does this have to do with modern content-based marketing and inbound marketing?It begs the question of whether inbound and content are synonymous, but we’ll get to that in a minute.
At the core of content-based marketing is a very inbound marketing ethos that the buyer deserves better.Put it another way – it’s very easy to find the information you need about products and services you’re considering. Marketing, to some extent, used to be about effectively communicating information about your product – your customer value proposition – to the intended buyer. That’s not good enough anymore. The companies that out-inform and out-entertain the competition (but also have a reasonable product.)I have a theory that everything become a commodity eventually. Today open innovation means that’s happening at a breakneck pace. We see it all the time in our research, the pace of change and innovation is daunting if you’re competing on technical product differentiation. Content, and the market conversations it supports and drives, is actually creating customer value. Inbound may be the most pure approach to engaging buyers in this conversation; but if you know a certain segment has a higher propensity to purchase based on certain factors, recent acquisition, contract renewal, etc. you’d be daft to wait, fingers crossed, for them to type the right search terms. You go find them. But content is critical to having something to say once you have.
What are the intentions of this buyers?What are the resources I should dedicate to this relationship… are they ready to talk?Lead nurturing / scoring is how data-driven marketing organizations listen and respond to the conversation.
Content is difficult. OK.How many people in this room work for a company with dedicated content creators?Allan Bonde talks about force multiplying your content by being smarter in the way you generate contentOne good example is webinars… Webinars are still a bread and butter content element for marketing. But how often does a live webinar take place, and even if it’s recorded, is never seen again after the live event. Probably most. Why not record it, make it available on demand where it make sense on your website, have it transcribed and turned into an ebook or white paper, edited into a pod cast, made available as a slideshare?
What does this mean?It depends on the content. Views, shares, comments, traffic – all good ways of assessing the value of top of funnel contentClick-throughs and conversions for mid-funnel contentRevenue performance would be greatBut requires attribution modelClosed loop reportingWatch out for false negatives – i.e. content that’s in the wrong placeDon’t be afraid to cut loses – bad content is bad contentThis largely depends on whether we know the buyer or not. When we know the buyer, we can get a much more granular understanding of the value of our content.
Align content to funnel stage and buyer persona. Aligning to funnel stage seems straightforward, but it requires making hard choices. It can be so difficult to NOT put a great piece of content behind a form. But only you know it’s greatYou must be confident that the relationship you’re building with the buyer is real. There are also plenty of ways to find out who you’re buyer is. The average closed-won customer has received 10 marketing touches during their journey through your funnel. Why not drop a cookie and wait until the 3rd, 4th, or 5th visit to present an offer?
The most successful B2B marketing organizations are using account-based selling. They are not waiting for the right person to search or click on a link to their blog on twitter. However, high quality, relevant content is critical in starting and maintaining the conversation. These companies need to break through. They need to be relevant.
Content-based Marketing Comes of Age Prepared for: Trip Kucera, Sr. Research Analyst Marketing Effectiveness & Strategy Aberdeen Group@TripKucera
1. Content-based marketing ≠ inbound marketing2. Content-based marketing is guided by the ethos and spirit of inbound marketing – whether used in outbound or inbound3. Content-based marketing best practices revealed 3
Aberdeen Maturity Class FrameworkAberdeen’s Methodology What are Best-in-Class External and internal forces that impact an organization’s companies doing differently? Pressures: market position, competitiveness, or business operations. What pitfalls are they Actions: The strategic approaches that an organization takes in response to industry pressures. avoiding? The business competencies (organization, process, etc…) Why are they achieving Capabilities: required to execute corporate strategy. greater success? The key technology solutions required to support the Enablers: organization’s business practices. What technologies and services are enabling them to succeed? @TripKucera 4
Companies NOT Best-in-Class require 20X more site visits to generate a customer*.* Based on difference in website & lead conversion rates 5
88% of companies either have a robustcontent-based marketing strategy inplace (16%) or are assessing / takingsteps to improve content creation anddeployment (72%) Source: Aberdeen Group, October 2011 10
Content Best-in-Class Industry Average Laggards 60% 56% Percentage of Respondents 50% 41% 40% 36% 30% 20% 10% Resource dedicated to creating content to support marketing campaigns n = 163 11
Best-in-Class Industry Average Laggards 50%Percentage of Respondents 42% 40% 30% 25% 24% 20% 10% 0% Process to analyze effectiveness of marketing content n = 163 12
Best in Class Industry Average Laggards 70% 61%Percentage of Respondents 60% 50% 40% 28% 29% 30% 20% 10% 0% Process to review web content for search engine optimization n = 130 14
Best in Class Industry Average Laggards 60% 52%Percentage of Respondents 48% 47% 41% 40% 22% 20% 14% 13% 9% 9% 0% Track the utilization Knowledge of how our The ability to optimize and performance of web content is being web content based on web content viewed (i.e. browser, cross-channel buyer mobile, etc.) activity n = 130 16
Companies that track utilization / performance of web contentCurrent Percentage All Others 3.9% 4.0% 3.0% 2.2% 2.0% 1.0% 0.0% Average website conversion rate n = 130 17
Companies that track utilization / performance of web content All Others 15.0%Year-over-year change 11.3% 10.0% 5.0% 3.9% 0.0% Unique website visitors n = 130 18
Mapping it Out Best-in-Class Industry Average Laggards 40% Percentage of Respondents 35% 30% 24% 20% 15% 10% 0% Content marketing map defined based on funnel stage and buyer persona n = 163 19
Video 67% Marketing Awareness 65% 30% 60% Marketing Conversion 65% 10% 53% Marketing Nurturing 35% 40% 47% Sales Qualified 35% 20% 47% Sales Mid-Stage 17% 10% Best-in-Class 33% Sales Closing 13% Industry Average 10% Laggards 33% Post Sales 22% 10% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% Percentage of Respondents, n = 110 23
Content marketing map defined based on funnel stage and buyer persona All Others 4.0% 3.5%Current Percentage 3.0% 2.7% 2.0% 1.0% 0.0% Average website conversion rate n = 273 24
Content marketing map defined based on funnel stage and buyer persona All Others 25% 24% 21% 20% 20%Current Percentage 15% 12% 10% 5% 0% MQL to sales-qualified lead Conversion rate of marketing (SQL) conversion rate response / lead to Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) n = 273 25
1. When it comes to content-based marketing, don’t get hung up on inbound vs. outbound2. Get creative about (creating) content (see @abonde)3. Align content to the buyer’s journey. To do this effectively, you must measure the impact of your content 27
Thank you Trip Kucera, Sr. Research Analyst Marketing Effectiveness & Strategy Aberdeen Groupe: firstname.lastname@example.org: @TripKucera