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Content Marketing News & Analysis

It's Time for Sales to Embrace Content Marketing

2014-19-September-Hugs.jpgEffective content marketing can revolutionize the way we sell. The Corporate Executive Board (CEB) reported that 53 percent of organizations select and stay with a vendor based on sales experience over factors such as product features or price. Customer loyalty is driven by the sales experience, yet sales leaders continue to arm sales teams with the same content portals and tools as they have for years. Buying has evolved, but selling has not. It’s time for a change and content marketing can help sales get there.

CMSWire Tweet Jam: Guide Customer Journeys with Content Marketing #CXMChat

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Customer's path to purchase gets more complicated by the day. By providing consistent, relevant and valuable content, marketers help people make informed decisions and (hopefully) win customers and loyalty on the way. But how is this done? And how can marketers make their content stand out in a very crowded field? Tune in to our Tweet Jam to find out! 

Connect the Content Marketing Pieces with Taxonomy

2014-17-September-Bricklayers.jpgHas your company embraced content marketing? Have you migrated your team of copywriters to writers, your press releases to blog posts? Are you in the process of forming exploratory committees and trying to decipher a series of magic quadrants about cloud data systems? Has someone in upper management asked you about “Personalization"?

Q&A with the Master of Content Marketing World #CMWorld2014

digital marketing, Q&A With the Master of Content Marketing World #CMWorld2014The numbers are in: Content Marketing World 2014, the largest content marketing event on the planet, according to conference officials, went off last week in Cleveland, Ohio with 2,600 people from more than 50 countries.

But the conversation isn't over.

That's why we caught up with the chief of CMWorld 2014, Joe Pulizzi, for a Q&A on all things content marketing. Pulizzi is the founder and CEO of the Content Marketing Institute.

Content Is the Foundation of the Buyer's Journey

2014-16-September-Toward-Los-Angeles.jpgCompanies that are serious about the user experience on their website should already be thinking about buyer personas and the buyer’s journey, two of the most important components of website strategy.

Customer Journeys Trump the Traditional Sales Cycle

2014-15-September-Rock-Paper-Scissors.jpgWhile pointless debate continues in organizations as to who “owns” the customer experience (the customer, of course!), the responsibility for nurturing and shepherding the continuous customer experience belongs to all teams that impact customers. At the core, much of the work should be accomplished by strong, continuously evolving collaborations between marketing and sales. Unfortunately in many companies there are still ridiculous and harmful walls between sales and marketing -- and a lot of political nonsense, mainly tied to the "blame game" when forecasts aren’t met and deals aren’t closed.

In reality marketing and sales have intertwined roles for engendering positive outcomes from customer journeys, whether they realize it or not.

The Consumer Journey: Content as Compass

2014-12-September-Blindfold.jpgContent marketing, when done right, should guide consumers based on their specific needs, buying preferences and online behavior. Much has been said about the quality of today’s content, but not enough has been said about how well you understand the consumer compass -- a specific interest combined with level of intent. Only then can you determine what content to serve, how to serve it and when.

Customer-Centric Content Journeys: Your Duct Tape Is Showing

2014-10-September-Quick-Fix.jpgGetting the right content to the right person at the right time was first evangelized by the programmatic ad buying platforms. It was a vision that stemmed directly from a doe-eyed interpretation of their capabilities.

Now content marketers have latched on to the same philosophy, without fully appreciating an important distinction: Content marketing, unlike ad buying, generally assumes an active and intelligent customer who wants to educate him or herself (not simply a target for the right sales reminder at the right time).

Use Purpose-Driven Content to Create Buyer Experiences

2014-09-September-Buy-Now.jpgIt’s no secret that the information pools that buyers can tap are overflowing. It’s time, however, that we start looking at the customer buying process with a different perspective and begin focusing on purpose-driven content that creates distinguishing experiences for audiences.

Deliver Your Brand's Promise with Content Marketing

2014-05-September-Delivery.jpgWhat do your customers think about your brand? How is your brand different to them than your competitors? What is the first thing they think of when they hear your brand's name? Or do they not even recognize it?

It's Time to Adopt Customer Journey Thinking

2014-04-September-Gas-Station-At-Night.jpgMost companies don’t really understand their customers. “Big data” is not the answer. Even if organizations collect piles of data from every customer interaction, they still aren’t getting a full picture of what’s going on. 

What’s the path to deep customer insight? Customer Journey Thinking. Organizations must stop looking at customers through their internal lens of interactions and focus their attention on customers’ overall journey.

If You Build It, Will They Convert? 3 Content Marketing Steps

2014-03-September-Drinking-Tea-Wonka.jpgMarketers spend a lot of time and energy on content marketing initiatives -- understanding our customers, developing content that speaks to their needs, establishes our credibility, and distributing it through multiple channels. Our goals in doing all of this are to drive demand for our products, traffic to our site and leads into our funnel. Pretty straightforward, right? Well, success (or failure) to engage and convert web visitors with content all comes down to relevance and timeliness.

See the Whole Customer to Guide the Decision Journey

2014-02-September-Watermelons.jpgThe basis of the customer decision journey is that the customer follows a decision path that leads to a purchase. Vendors provide small pokes, prods and nudges along the way, often in the form of engaging content that keeps the customer moving toward buying something. The content needs to be highly personalized and based on demographics, individual buying patterns and other aspects of the buying experience.

While “the journey” is a better metaphor than many previous ones used by marketers, especially the militaristic “campaign” or industrial “funnel,” it tends to belie the complexity of the process of turning interest into purchase.

Digital Marketing's Easy, Until You Try It

2014-28-August-Rubiks-Cube.jpgDoes this sound familiar?

"Marketing is no longer an art; it has become a big data analytics engineering discipline where every marketing dollar can be optimized for maximum impact. All you need to do is give away a free version of your product and crank up the ______ <select one: ‘digital,’ ‘content,’ ‘social,’ or ‘automated’> marketing engine and you are good to go. Display ads to free users or offer a premium paid version of your product and you too will soon be able to sell your company to ______ <select one: ‘Google,’ ‘IBM,’ ‘Microsoft,’ or other company> and retire. Hire Millenials to feed this amazing new automated marketing. These folks totally ‘get’ the social stuff because they already spend all their waking moments on _______ <select one: ‘Facebook,’ ‘WhatsApp,’ ‘Instagram,’ ‘SnapChat’>.”

Unless you're completely off the grid you have surely seen some variation of this theme. Sounds great … if only it were this easy.

Is It the Right Time for HubSpot's $100M IPO?

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Digital marketing technology is all the rage in the CRM space and HubSpot co-founders Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah must believe Wall St. knows that.

The Cambridge, Mass.-based marketing automation provider filed for an IPO late today hoping to raise as much as $100 million. It will trade as HUBS on the New York Stock Exchange.

The IPO market for Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) vendors is lukewarm at the moment. But investors like General Catalyst, which owns 27.1 percent of the company, and Matrix Partners, which owns 17.1 percent, must think that now is the time.

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