The first thing an established company learns when trying to revamp their marketing is, ‘content is king.’ Potential customers aren’t calling them up and asking for help anymore. Instead, they’re going to Google. To show up on Google, they need content. And they need even more content to capture and nurture leads once they get the traffic.
“Not a problem!” these established companies say. They’ve been in business for 10, 20, 30 years and have mountains of content for marketing to repurpose and leverage.
Why Doesn’t the Marketing Team Do This Already?
Why? Because good content targets a specific customer persona and stage in the buying journey. If you’re reusing content for a different persona or a different position in the journey, one of two things must be true: either a) it will not fit this new purposes, or b) it wasn’t targeted in the first place Either way, it’s bad content.
It’s the classic quality vs. quantity battle, quantity is easier to measure, so that’s where we’re going as a society.
I’ve worked with plenty of companies and seen this first hand. Most of the time, it’s driven by the young new digital marketing expert or the executive who’s relegated to marketing at the tech company.
See, neither the out of touch executive nor the digital marketing intern understand who their customer is. The executive still has his secretary go to the local strip mall to buy his airline tickets from the same travel agent he had since preparatory school. And the digital marketing intern is interested in numbers but not context. And at the end of the day, neither of them care to know. The executive is coasting to retirement–or worse, actively engaged and arrogant–and the intern’s methods are product and industry independent.
Neither can empathize with the customer’s needs or problems. But numbers don’t lie, and everyone can understand the concept of more. So instead of trying to understand the nuanced problems and solutions that their customers desire, they both latch on to the numbers, because it’s easy.
The Product Marketers Dilemma
So the product marketing team is faced with a lose-lose situation.
They could take the existing technical documentation and app notes and use them as source material to create new content without getting the credit for all their hard work. Since it’s working, their budget gets slashed to make room for more marketing technology and the content stops coming.
Or they could do what they’re told. Reuse the content, let the whole campaign fail, and enjoy the finger-pointing between digital marketing and product marketing for who’s to blame.
Either way, your business loses.
Content to feed the modern digital marketing and marketing automation machines is a legitimate topic. You need the content to get your marketing machine going, but you need results from the machine to show that the investment is worth it… Which you’ll never get without the right content in the first place.
So What Do You Do?
My advice: before you start doing digital marketing and marketing automation, make a commitment to everything that comes first. Connecting SalesForce to Marketo, getting your tracking codes setup in Google Analytics, and creating fancy dashboards is the easy part. But it will never work without the right high-quality content.
So start at the end.
What’s the last step of the customer journey? Start there creating the content. Once done, take one step back to what comes immediately before. Then turn on the digital marketing and marketing automation for just those two steps.
Repeat this process until you’ve got every step of the journey built, automated, and tracked. You’ll always have the next step of the customer journey ready, instead of getting a customer interested only to leave them hanging with nowhere to go. Then your intern can start to tweak button colors for that extra 0.1% conversion rate.