Our perspective: Jonathan Copulsky
I joined Deloitte 19 years ago as a consulting principal, focused on helping clients pursue profitable growth opportunities. I also serve as CMO for our consulting business. My work with clients, and as a CMO, centers on the intersection of branding, marketing strategy, content marketing, and marketing technology.
The Association of National Advertisers announced “content marketing” as the 2015 Marketing Word of the Year.1 The American Marketing Association cites “content marketing” as a key pain point for marketers in 2016.2 My mailbox overflows with offers from agencies offering me everything from a content marketing strategy to complete outsourcing of a content marketing program.
You might assume content marketing is a 21st-century concept. However, over one hundred years ago, John Deere launched The Furrow, a magazine focused on helping farmers become great business owners3 and Michelin introduced its now iconic guide for motorists.4 In both cases, the companies found compelling content creates customer engagement and loyalty.
If you’re new to content marketing you may view it as nothing more than filling the pipeline with promotional messages. Some brands have been extraordinarily successful in creating hilarious and effective content. However, for many of us, quirky is no more appropriate for our content marketing than it is for our other brand-building activities.
Today, anyone with a digital device can create and publish content. However, great content marketing requires more than just random acts of content generation. So…align content strategy to brand strategy; experiment endlessly, but measure and test rigorously; approach content marketing with a campaign mindset. Recognize the challenge of differentiation when outsourcing to the same providers your competitors use, and never compromise on content quality.
Finally, in an “always on” world, don’t add to the noise. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
1 John Wolfe, ‘“Content Marketing’ Voted ANA’s 2015 Marketing Word of the Year,” Association of National Advertisers, December 21, 2015, https://www.ana.net/content/show/id/38211, (accessed January 13, 2016).
2 Melody Udell, “Business Growth and Content Marketing Biggest ‘Pain Points’ in 2016, AMA Study Shows,” n.d., https://www.ama.org/publications/MarketingNews/Pages/what-lies-ahead.aspx, (accessed January 13, 2016).
3 John Deere, Furrow Magazine, “The Furrow Magazine Page,” https://www.deere.com/en_INT/industry/agriculture/our_offer/the_furrow/the_furrow_magazine.page, (accessed January 13, 2016).
4 Richard Feloni, “How The Michelin Guide Made A Tire Company The World’s Fine Dining Authority,” Business Insider Inc., October 20, 2014, http://www.businessinsider.com/history-of-the-michelin-guide-2014-10, (accessed January 13, 2016).