As the economic gloom deepens, many marketers are touting “content marketing.” This means (near as I can tell) using high-value, properly-timed marketing and sales collateral to educate prospects and keep them engaged until they’re ready to buy.

 

So how’s this different from good ol’ marketing brochures, white papers and case studies? That the content is tailored to where the customer is in the sales cycle, what job they hold or even what industry they’re in.

 

Stefan Tornquist, research director of research firm MarketingSherpa said in a recent Webcast that many marketers fall short in content marketing because “they don’t take the time to split out the content and really map it to the sales funnel.” His co-presenter, Lauren Goldstein of social marketing agency Babcock & Jenkins says she encourages clients to do a full content audit to ensure every prospect will get content geared to the job they hold, where they are in the sales cycle and their specific pain points – and then planning what content they will be offered for weeks and months to come.

 

It definitely makes sense to, for example, offer a different white paper or podcast to a prospect who might use and recommend your product than to the CIO who has to make the return on investment case for it. But, as someone who himself touts the value of custom content, I wonder at what point all the mapping and fine-tuning costs more than it produces in extra sales — and how you tell when you’ve reached that point?

Author: Bob Scheier
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I'm a veteran IT trade press reporter and editor with a passion for clear writing that explains how technology can help businesses. To learn more about my content marketing services, email bob@scheierassociates.com or call me at 508 725-7258.

Filed under: Content Marketing

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