As a keen marketer, I go online and off-line to learn, create and develop. My ethos is:
As I was reading through some marketing literature not that long ago, I saw a statement that instantly caught my attention. The statement was by online marketing and sales strategist, keynote speaker and bestselling author David Meerman Scott. It was this:
The statement intrigued me so I thought to myself “Let me delve deeper into this and analyse it”. So that is what I am doing in this blog post.
First and foremost, a cross-functional team is a “Group of people with different functional specialties or multidisciplinary skills, responsible for carrying out all phases of a program or project from start to finish” (businessdictionary.com). When developing a product, there is a certain amount of cross-functional work involved in bringing a product to life for the consumer. The finance team finance the idea, the suppliers have the right ‘ingredients’ in putting the product together and the marketing team have to be creative in promoting the product to the consumer. Before all that happens of course, it all starts with an idea.
Whether you’re a big or small organization, there is an ideas/innovation team who come up with concepts for products that meet consumers needs. Usually this team works in close collaboration with the sales team to gather feedback from customers such as questionnaires , queries and concerns. Even if the organization is new, some form of market research has to done. All this invaluable data helps with modifying or creating a product for the consumer as the data is directly about them.
Great care is taken in product development and running a pilot usually happens before a product goes live. However, like I have mentioned in a previous blog post , the product of today is the story of tomorrow and the legacy of the future. You can have the greatest product in the world but if no one knows about it, it is pointless. This is where content marketing is paramount.
In today’s world, consumers are constantly bombarded with messages and adverts that at times can dilute traditional channels of marketing. Content marketing breaks through this as it is carefully tailored to consumers needs and interests. Content marketing is not just about words and images, it involves researching, gathering and analysing information about a consumer so they do not just buy the product but they buy into the organization’s brand. “You must understand what your target audience’s interests are, what questions they have, who influences them, and what types of content they respond best to. All of this information needs to be backed by research”- Liam Fisher, Senior Digital Producer at Builtvisible. With social media being such a phenomenon, there are many tools and methods that can be used to know more about consumers so a more robust content strategy can be created specifically for your target audience.
Content marketing is important because it also helps create brand loyalty. By providing consumers with free content online it not only creates loyalty but trust. Consumers tend to buy more into a product when they are given more information. You could argue that content marketing is a mutual benefit between consumers and organizations. When delivered through social media, content allows organizations to gauge their customers’ attitude and get to know their needs and demographic better. It allows organizations to converse with consumers and create more content that meets their needs.
The more quality content provided, the more it also helps with organic SEO enhancements and creating brand awareness. “Quality content delivered on a regular basis makes your brand an authority on your subject. Being an authority is important as it builds trust and trust is something that customers make purchasing decisions on” (varn.co.uk).
In response to David Meerman Scott’s statement, I believe products and content are as equally important as each other and consumers do care about both. Consumers do care about products because they want value for money. From the packaging on a product which could include ingredients, instructions, warning messages, age restrictions etc. that is also content and helps the consumer in making a purchasing decision.
Yes, I agree it is important to create interesting content. However, consumers want products to reflect its content and its content to reflect its products. Both help define one another. Just as a lot of care is taking in developing a product a lot of care as has to be taken in creating content that reflects its target audience and by the two being in sync, the ultimate payoff is brand awareness, customer satisfaction and a return of investment.