Sunday, August 14, 2016

Can't Help Myself

Yet another on-line debate with a “content marketing” guru. I know the futility of these arguments by now, but I’m like the firehouse dog responding to the bell.
What started this one was an article citing a study that found just 30% of business-to-business marketers who do "content marketing" define themselves as "effective," which translates to 70% ineffective. The study was by the Content Marketing Institute(!)

Of course I jumped on this as proof from the horse’s mouth that “content marketing” is a fraud perpetrated on the marketing world. I apparently struck a nerve, and the answer came back in a sarcastic tone, which I matched in my reply. 
The odd part, however, was that the answer cited another study showing that the technique had been "researched and proven to work." Another case of dueling surveys. However, since this one was in the Harvard Business Review, it was presented in the tone of revealed truth.
This put my adversary in the difficult position of showing his own study being contradicted by a more authoritative study.  I pointed this out in my reply, but haven’t heard anything back at this writing.  
Still, as I may have mentioned before, I am the King Canute of marketing, demonstrating that the tide of “content marketing” can not be held back for now.     I believe it will run its course, though, and will be replaced by something (probably with a catchy name) that will revert to a more direct effort at selling things.

“Engagement” will give way to “Attention” and “Interest,” the opening steps of the old AIDA formula; “storytelling” will go back to the demonstration of customer benefits; “friending,” “sharing,” “follows,” “pageviews,” “click-throughs,” and “likes” will be abandoned for  sales. If we really clean house “personas” will go back to being researched prospects, the “customer journey” will be the sale process, “pain points” will once again be customer needs, and “funnels” will be what you use to pour ketchup from the old bottle into the new one.
Or have I mentioned my opinion of “content marketing” already?