Is Your Marketing Content Worth Receiving?

The marketing content we used to create compared with what we are building now is vastly different.  Yesterday’s marketing content was about communicating, today it’s about building things that are useful.

The way it used to be

Early in my career as a product marketer, the keystone piece of content related to a product was the brochure. The purpose of the brochure was to communicate information about the product.  I remember brochures that listed technical specifications, key points of value, some description of the intended markets and quotes from some happy customers.  This brochure got used at events, trade shows, seminars, in sales meetings with customers and it lived in pdf format on our website.  It was general purpose, intended for any audience, anywhere, anytime.

Things are Different Now

The way marketers think about content is so different now.  Teaching prospects about our product has taken a backseat to creating content that useful to prospects.  When I say “useful” I mean it helps prospects in one of the following ways

  • It helps them understand different ways to solve a problem and which approach might be the right one for them
  • It teaches them how to be better at something and how experts might approach a particular task/problem
  • It shows them how other people or companies in similar situations have approached a problem and what the results were
  • It explains a new trend or technology that’s confusing
  • It helps them connect to other people who have similar problems

The content we are creating now is less and less about our products and services (at least not directly) and more and more about giving prospects something that is useful to them.  Valeria Maltoni at ConversationAgent calls this “making something worth recieving” which I think is a great way to think about it.

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42 thoughts on “Is Your Marketing Content Worth Receiving?”

  1. The “shows them how other people…” message seems like traditional marketing – helping (some) people overcome buying objections by providing anecdotal evidence that this is the right solution.

    Alternately, I could view it the way they describe in _Nudge_ – that “knowing” that other people use something makes you more likely to use it.

    I do like the others, though. Challenge is in providing value, for example, providing information about a solution (that is NOT your product) for people for whom there is a better solution.

    @sehlhorst

    1. Hi Scott – thanks for the comment.
      I was actually thinking more about case study type content where you are describing how a particular company or person approached a problem, what they did to get around it and what the specific results were. We’ve been doing case studies since the dawn of time of course, but it’s more about sharing the process that the company went through and showing the total ecosystem of the solution (not just – things were bad and then they used our stuff and now things are good!).
      April

      1. Cool – I guess it is an “eye of the beholder” thing. If you’re providing data that helps someone solve their problem – GOOD. If you’re providing “data” that helps people see how your product solves their problem – nothing new.

        Thanks for the clarification!

        @sehlhorst

        1. Exactly! That’s exactly it – the focus is not on teaching people things about your product, but rather on giving folks things that help them do what they need to do.
          Thanks!
          April

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