February 4, 2014 Leave a comment
February 3, 2014 Leave a comment
Watching another Family Guy marathon on BBC Television earlier this week, I came to realize that we need to start taking back-to-basics marketing seriously. What marketing lessons do you see in this brilliant piece of storytelling?
I believe there are many lessons to observe in this Family Guy episode. They are detailed under the video. I encourage you to watch the full episode. It rocks. Hard.
People are social animals. They live in hordes. We like to call that communities. Basically we’re still cave men. That’s how our mind works deep inside. As result, we can look at “Cavemen Sales processes” to understand marketing and communication lessons for today.
Cavemen Speak. Peter Invent Wheel. No one want wheel. Maybe Peter Wheel Sales Pitch not good enough?
Peter tries to sell the wheel to potential customers by putting up a story to convince them. He tries different tactics, tactics that might sound familiar to you:
So, everything fails, huh? Yes. And maybe because the fragment doesn’t show how Cavemen Trade happened. It occurred while surrounding around the fire. Not on an advertising stage.
The snag: Cavemen didn’t have an “advertising stage”. They had a conversational fireplace.
There’s a snag in the above. Cavemen didn’t have an advertising stage. They had a conversational fireplace where all stories within the community resided. Sounds familiar? It should be. Today’s consumer sphere is mostly happening in a conversational fireplace. Yes, Think social media.
In case the context is similar, one should deploy the success factors. These elements are the essence of back-to-basics marketing – which I detailed in an earlier post.
Back-to-basics Marketing. How Cave Men Traded.
To describe characteristics of Back 2 Basics Marketing, one can look at how “Marketing” worked in the age of the cavemen. Let’s dig a little deeper into that.
Cavemen initially had no media except for their own voice. Speech was important. It was the manner to transmit information from one to another. This not rarely occurred in “community gathering” fashion, to know, gathered around a fire.
It was the perfect moment to inform people about specific skills, knowledge and expertise another community-member possessed. The way information was transmitted was mainly through telling stories. Stories are easier to remember, pass through, etc. than e.g. bulleted lists.
Furthermore, discussing one’s “business” ( = something he could provide to the community) in a public forum (the fire) resulted in a strong focus on delivering quality and servicing customers. Successful cavemen entrepreneurs made sure their quality & service was endorsed over and over by customers around the fireplace. Today we call that customer advocacy & ambassadorship.
Finally, because of the above context, there was no single cavemen offering “crap” to the market. Crap couldn’t survive very long. All products and services had value that exceeded the pure financial one. Crappy products, services (and hence brands and enterprises) were put to flames during the community gathering.
December 24, 2013 3 Comments
Just before we turn this year’s last pages, it becomes quite apparent that the first chapters of the 2014 book will definitely be about Content (Marketing). As I read a lot of confusing shit about Content Marketing, I believe it’s time to set things straight. First of all, imho, Content Marketing is not (merely) about Marketing Content. That’s why we have to start reviewing the very own definition of content marketing.
Defining Content Marketing
In order to get a solid foundation for proving my point, I’d like to start with the definition of Content Marketing as stated by the authoritative Content Marketing institute.
Basically, content marketing is the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling. It is non-interruption marketing. Instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent. The essence of this content strategy is the belief that if we, as businesses, deliver consistent, ongoing valuable information to buyers, they ultimately reward us with their business and loyalty.
Redefining Content Marketing
Don’t get me wrong. The above definition is a valid one. But it just doesn’t live up to its own rules.
The definition mentions customers and prospects but in reality I often notice Content Marketing is limited to prospect communication. Servicing customers with information (content) is left out of the picture. That is a shame. Content is able to confirm the buyer that he made the right choice. I hardly see any content marketer focussing on these customer service content pieces.
Content Marketing is the art and science of communication with all your stakeholders in a non-interruptive way.
Content Marketing is too important to leave it up to marketing.
Sure, you need marketing content. That’s the typical marketing powerword buzz “we’re the best / the cheapest / the coolest / ..” . That might be true. But people don’t buy that any more. We’re well-educated and see right through your typical agency / campaign power words. And that’s logic. An agency can never know your business, customers, industry, etc. better than you do – regardless of what they state. They cannot. They are very good at coming up with campaigns, making creative good-looking art work for it and generate a proper reach. But that’s campaign content. That’s not the essence of Content Marketing. That’s the essence of Marketing Content.
Content Marketing is structural. Marketing Content is campaign-ish.
Content Marketing is “always-on” – be it long or short. It’s about bringing valuable content to your stakeholders structurally, through specific platforms: owned, bought or earned media. The practices of Content Marketing focus heavily on the owned media (website, blog, app, social channels, webinars, …) whereas the practice of Marketing Content focusses on bought media. In short: marketing content is interruptive advertising; content marketing is timely information.
Content Marketing support by an agency?
Forget it. Traditional agencies will – of course – state they know content marketing. But in fact they know Marketing Content. That’s valuable. But that’s not what you’re looking for. You need a different kind of breed. A new agency. A white-labelled media house. It’s the only valid way to bring content structurally to the right people within the right context.
Content Marketing too important to leave it up to marketing solely?
As a result, content marketing needs in-depth information instead of shallow power word stuffed content pieces. As a result, one cannot give “Content Marketing” to Marketing only. It’s the marketers job to learn others to catch stories, write about them, etc.
In summary: Content Marketing vs Marketing Content.
I don’t have any intention to believe that this list is exhaustive. What’s even more, I believe it’s only a starting point to make things more clear. The point is: it’s not about marketing content but about getting (and maintaining) market through your content.