I compared marketing to entrapment last week.
I don’t mean to offend. In fact, I felt comfortable saying it because I was talking about myself. Specifically, I was talking about gated content and the content consumer experiences that I’ve built in the past.
As the debate of gated content vs. ungated content rages on, one thing is clear -- there is no debate when it comes to the content consumption experience. It’s terrible.
No content consumer has ever (EVER!) landed on a form and thought, “Oh good, I can’t wait to fill this thing out. Phone number?! Sure! The number of employees where I work?! That definitely seems relevant. Amount of revenue?! I’m qualified to answer that. Would you like that in bookings or ARR?!”
This is where the “savvy” marketers will really get you. I used to consider myself one of them. We would tell ourselves, “if we make it nearly impossible to navigate away from this form, there’s no doubt a consumer will fill it out.”
We would strip out the navigation menu, the back button, the home button...your only option was to fill out the form or not.
“Gotcha!” we would mutter proudly to ourselves. “We are doing e̶n̶t̶r̶a̶p̶m̶e̶n̶t̶ marketing!”
“F*ck this.” our content consumers would mutter to themselves.
That content consumer will either fill out the form with real information (data says they do this less than 20% of the time), fill out the form with fake information (enjoy passing that to your sales team), or abandon your form entirely.
Like, really, really broken. There is no other consumer experience where this is the expectation. Why are we still doing this?!
Again, this is not me throwing a saddle on my high horse and trotting through the city square of B2B Marketingville. I am guilty of this.
But now, Fathom is trying to rethink that consumer experience. How can we make B2B Content consumption match the experience of music (Spotify), movies (Netflix), television (Hulu), online shopping, social media, news, and more?
(Note to self: Jonathan, you’ve spent the first half of this post bashing marketers, that seems like a bad idea. Maybe turn it around for the second half?)
See, we believe in marketers. Specifically, content marketers.
I’m not going to lie, there are times when marketing is a challenge that needs “hacked.” Advertising, SEO, and every other algorithm-driven machine require part creativity, part science, and part “transactional-know how.”
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.
When done poorly, it’s entrapment.
We, the Fathom team, want to help marketers with this noble pursuit. We want to help you move beyond the form. We want to make it easier for content consumers to find, engage with, and learn from content created for humans, not content generated for algorithms.
This will lead to better outcomes for the content creators of the world. More trust in the marketing world. It’s a virtuous cycle of creation. Not a vicious cycle of generation.
We feel so strongly about the difference between creation and generation, we recorded an entire podcast episode on the topic.
But we’re not stopping there. We’re building a business around it.
Whether you’re a content consumer or a content marketer, we want to help. There’s so much opportunity and nowhere to go but up. Join the waitlist and see what it’s all about.
And I promise we kept the navigation options this time. Enjoy! 💯