We’ve been thinking a lot about this question: “What is GOOD marketing?”
“Good” as in “the right thing to do”, not just appealing/exciting/fun/effective marketing.
In one of Jonathan’s latest posts, Content Marketing: A Noble Pursuit, he discussed one of our core beliefs: Content marketing is the noblest pursuit within the marketing hierarchy.
“But, we believe content marketing is the noblest pursuit within the marketing hierarchy. When done right, it’s powerful storytelling for the sake of education, professional development, and improved decision making. It’s helpful. It’s moving.”
Step back and think about the impact content marketers have had on all of us in Marketing.
In the digital age, you can’t go get a traditional Bachelor’s or MBA in digital marketing and expect the tactics and strategies to be cutting-edge. The industry moves too quickly.
Instead, we turn to free content on the internet. We read guides. We listen to podcasts. We attend webinars.
All so that we can stay in-the-know, hit our work goals, and ultimately grow our skillset.
Content creators and content marketers have been the educators of today’s greatest marketing and sales professionals.
But somewhere along the way, the good intent behind all of that content creation became tainted.
My working theory, based on numerous anecdotes from friends, is that Marketing departments worldwide had to report up on EVERY DANG METRIC in their purview which spiraled into the intense lead reporting many of us are shackled to today.
I’m not saying Marketing departments shouldn’t be measured.
But I am saying that too much measurement or focus on the wrong metrics leads to brands treating the humans in their audience like objects.
So the content still gets created with the end consumer in mind, but to distribute it and measure its “success”, we inevitably need to optimize for machines and/or our bosses meaning:
- To get our blogs to rank on Google, we add a bunch of keywords, making it sound less like the human who wrote it
- To collect data on our potential customers for the sake of MQL’s, we put gates aka forms up in front of our best content, like high-value reports
- We focus our content strategy on volume, not the content consumer, so that we can roughly calculate how many leads we expect to get per month i.e “we have to do 6 webinars per quarter get 50 MQL’s per month” (Shouldn’t “educating the consumer” or “content quality” be the strategy?)
So our content is “good” in that it still has good intent and it’s created with the end consumer in mind.
But that doesn’t matter to the end consumer when we make the content distribution tactics painful/annoying/all-around-bad for them.
In short, B2B Marketing is broken because the distribution part of the cycle is not consumer-centered.
And our metrics tell us that, but for some reason, we’ve done our best to avoid that truth.
Think about gated content landing pages.
Why is it that we ask ourselves, “How can we get the conversion rate up from 5% to 10%?”
Shouldn’t we be asking, “Why are 95% of people LEAVING this page?”
Or maybe we know they’re leaving because of the form. We’ve admitted that much to ourselves.
But shouldn’t we take it one step further and ask, “what does that BAD experience do for our customer opportunities, long-term? How does it impact our brand loyalty?”
As content consumers, I think we’ve all landed on gated content and immediately left and found a competitor with similar content that was ungated.
Is that what we want to do to OUR audience?
No, of course not. But we have to capture those MQL’s.
We are going to help fix this conundrum.
We want to empower content creators to distribute their content in a GOOD way.