Tag Archives: Content Marketing

Why Content Marketers Should Be Certified in Your Sales Process

When you think about whether to certify sales reps on the sales process, the answer is obvious – of course you should! Reps use the sales process every day and need to understand how the sales stages relate to the buyer’s journey. Reps also use the sales process as an activity checklist to drive intended outcomes. Reps are coached on the sales process, which is reinforced by first-line managers, and success is confirmed by buyers’ actions. However, one group that often is forgotten in the certification process is marketing, especially marketing roles who create content for reps. Unless they have gone through sales training, they may be unaware of how reps and buyers actually engage with one another, and how reps use and present content during those meetings. Yup, classic misalignment.

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It’s Not Content – It’s a Lack of Buyer Insights That’s the Problem

At last year’s Summit, we stated that 60 percent to 70 percent of content produced by b-to-b marketing organizations goes unused, sitting on sales portals and Web site shelves. This statistic was eye-opening to many marketing leaders, who realized that they put a lot of time and effort into content creation, delivery and curation without obtaining clear content usage measurements or an understanding of whether the content is valued by its audiences. What I found even more surprising was the number of clients who told us after we released this statistic that their content non-usage rates were even higher. They reported that more than 80 percent of their content went unused, and they spent millions of dollars on content that was never viewed or downloaded.

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Content Sequencing for Inbound Marketing

At SiriusDecisions, we are always on the lookout for new and interesting technologies that can potentially help sales and marketing leaders meet their business goals. Until recently, content sequencing (providing specific, sequential offers to a target audience based on its last behavior or response) has been the exclusive domain of outbound marketing – typically in the form of e-mails. OneSpot, a vendor from Austin, Texas, recently briefed us on its offering, which brings content sequencing to inbound marketing. OneSpot uses earned and owned content, converts it into standard-size Web advertising units and sequences those ads using retargeting to match the content to the phases of the buyer’s journey. It’s not hard to imagine the use cases. Almost every marketer I know has, at some point in their career, had a CMO hold up a great media review and ask, “How are we going to leverage this?” The standard answer has been to post the review on the company’s Web site or social properties, and occasionally order reprints for sales. With content sequencing, that review could be used in a series of ads placed on the target audience’s favorite Web sites and could take visitors who click on the ads to additional useful or thought-provoking content. The sequencing case study that OneSpot recently shared with us went like this:

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Lost In Translation: When Should You Translate Marketing Content?

Marketers often struggle with weighing the costs of translation (in time and money) against the costs of potentially being ignored or misunderstood due to not translating. In 2010, Hiroshi Mikitani, cofounder and CEO of Internet service company Rakuten, launched a plan that he called Englishnization. He gradually made English the corporate language of his global enterprise, even though the company is based in Japan and has mainly Japanese staff. At the time, some called Mikitani’s plan crazy, but since then, many multinational companies – including Nokia, SAP, Airbus and Renault – adopted a similar policy of using of English as their global language of business.

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Content Marketing World: Recap of Day Two (Through the B-to-B Lens)

Erin Estep explains her top five takeaways from Wednesday’s Content Marketing World sessions, through the b-to-b lens, as always: 1. Content measurement is difficult. Not only that, but you can’t take a one-size-fits-all approach to content measurement, because content should behave differently depending on what you’re trying to accomplish. Which leads me to…

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Content Marketing World: Recapping Day One Through the B-to-B Lens

Despite our keen interest in the role of content in all types of b-to-b marketing, we at SiriusDecisions (myself included) tend to lean away from the term “content marketing.” To me, the term is redundant and a little jargon-y. Content is the product created by marketers, and the act of marketing is about bringing great content to market for our target audiences. There is no marketing without content, and most bad marketing is a result of bad content. Both are usually a result of a lack of insight into buyer needs and interests. Despite some minor differences in terminology, I think we share this philosophy with the hosts, sponsors and attendees of this week’s Content Marketing World conference, which is currently underway in Cleveland. Here are my top five insights and takeaways from the first day of the event:

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Building a Case for Better Content

I work with a lot of talented and experienced digital and social media marketers, and if there’s one thing I hear from almost every one of them, it’s that they are in dire need of content. Most of them need more content, and almost all of them need better content. In large, complex b-to-b organizations, content expertise is inconveniently spread across functional silos. For example, portfolio (e.g. product, solution, industry, segment) marketers tend to be the resident subject-matter experts, but a different marketing resource usually needs to unlock and repackage that expertise into a compelling piece of content. Rarely do industry expertise and content expertise reside in a single function, never mind in a single individual. So, what can social media marketers do to contribute to the turning of the ship? Instead of just wishing for more, better content, conduct a research project using these five steps:

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The Three A’s of Content

We get a lot of questions about content – from organizational structure and workflow process all the way down to “Which should we do – a white paper or a webinar?” That’s because you can’t market without content, which makes the whole idea of “content marketing” as something new a little absurd, but I get it – we need more content than ever before, and that content needs to be better. Many organizations are in the process of mapping existing content assets to the buyer’s journey and developing strategies for filling gaps, but how do we ensure that the new content we’re creating is of high quality? Low-quality content often lacks one of the following “Three A’s” of content.

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What We Talk About When We Talk About Content

Raymond Carver's 1981 book of short stories What We Talk About When We Talk About Love is a series of vignettes focusing on characters seeking to define and understand the true nature of love through conversation. The deeper the characters delve into attempts to articulate love, the more inarticulate they seem to become. The same seems to be happening for those of us in b-to-b marketing seeking to define (never mind solve!) the content conundrum. The deeper we get into the conversation, the more broad and complex the problem reveals itself to be. Often, we find clients trying to solve the “content problem” before coming to a shared understanding of the nature and scope of the problem in the organization.

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Buyers Don’t Want Your Content

Something struck me the other night as I was creating some new content for an upcoming event I’m facilitating. So, I’m building content, and actually thinking about content itself as a topic area we have been thinking and talking about a lot lately as a research team. And here’s what struck me: Buyers don’t want content. Buyers want information.

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