Marketers recognize the great challenge of their time is to deliver the right content to the right customer at the right time. So…how do marketers actually accomplish the hard work, and be rewarded not only for our efforts—but our outcomes?
Below is an excerpt from our latest and greatest white paper by Kapost’s CEO, Toby Murdock: The Derivative Content Model: How to Produce the Right Content for the Right Context at Scale. Inside, he unleashes secrets on how marketing can finally win, and see how all our efforts and smart work turns into executive buy-in, content ROI, and exponential scale.
What are you waiting for? Dive in below!
Making the Right Content for the Right Customer at the Right Time a Reality
Marketers recognize the great challenge of their time is to deliver the right content to the right customer at the right time. The digital era has empowered buyers, and vendors must respond with a customer experience that is always delivering an optimally tailored message. Marketers look to create messages across multiple dimensions depicting who the customer is and where they are on their journey. This includes:
→ Channel: The channel with which they are interacting with the vendor (e.g. sales, blog)
→ Persona: The personal profile of the customer contact (e.g. CIO, VP of sales)
→ Segment: The profile of the customer company (e.g. manufacturing, SMB)
→ Buying Stage: Where the customer is on their journey (e.g. awareness, decision)
→ Geography: Where the customer is physically located (e.g. N. Amer., APAC)
→ Product: What product is the best offer for a customer (e.g. decision analytics, big data)
Delivering the right content to the right customer at the right time requires planning and producing content for all combinations of these various dimensions. A combination of two dimensions is commonly visualized in a persona and buying stage matrix:
The intersection of two dimensions is called a context. Two dimensions (personas and buying stages) with three items each means 3 x 3 = 9 content contexts.
Now, let’s consider all six dimensions—the bulleted list above. Imagine each dimension averages four items (e.g. four products or four buying stages), which is still a conservative number. To provide the right content for the right customer at the right time, that would be 46 combinations—or 4,096 contexts that need to be satisfied!
For every marketing campaign, marketing must produce content with more than 4,000 contexts to reach the right content, right customer, right time goal. How can marketing ever meet this content challenge in the digital era?
Marketing is going content crazy. SiriusDecisions’ “Calculating the True Cost of Content” explains how the average B2B marketer is spending about half of their time creating content. Accenture’s Content: The H20 of Marketing notes how 81% of marketing leaders feel they are producing moderate-to-enormous amounts of content. 92% of those leaders say they are producing more content now than they did two years ago, and 90% feel they will create more content two years from now.
Despite their efforts, marketing still perceives failure. Only one in five marketers believe they’re managing content well according to the same Accenture study. SiriusDecisions points out that two-thirds of content produced is useless.
What should we do? Try harder? That’s the path most marketers are going down as they increase their investment in content and use project management techniques borrowed from IT to optimize output from their content resources.
Instead of trying harder to win a losing game, marketers need to change the rules. Right now, marketers are continual to produce content. Not only are they failing to produce enough of the right content, but the chaos of their efforts is resulting in an incoherent customer experience that damages conversion rates. The Salesforce report, “The 2015 State of B2B Marketing,” explains how “digital channels and data points have been accumulating at breakneck speed … Marketers have scarcely had a moment to make sense of it all with a single big idea that ties everything together.” The Derivative Content Model: How to Produce the Right Content for the Right Context at Scale 5 The challenge is to define that single big idea and deliver a consistent and effective customer experience—through content. But how?
What’s the new rule so marketing can win? Produce less content. That’s right: less content, particularly less original content. Specifically, this approach, which we like to call the Derivative Content Model, focuses on a small number of campaigns or initiatives that center around a core content asset or pillar. The asset is then reused and repurposed to satisfy all of the necessary contexts defined by market dimensions—persona, channel, geography, etc—to achieve the right content for the right context at scale. Not only is this process massively more efficient (because marketing teams are repurposing content instead of creating it from scratch in their silo), but it’s also incredibly effective. Instead of a customer experience composed of inconsistent messaging, the customer encounters a coherent set of messages across touch points— boosting conversion at scale.
The New Way: The Content Derivative Model
Kapost has been advocating for the derivative content, or “pillar” approach for many years. So have marketing leaders like Jason Miller and Rebecca Lieb. SiriusDecisions has also made this approach the heart of its content and campaign best practices. It states that its “SiriusDecisions Content Model encourages organizations to increase content quality while potentially decreasing quantity,” and affirms that at the campaign level, marketing should “consolidate its marketing efforts into a smaller number of integrated campaigns.” SiriusDecisions describes this transition as going from the “Activity Approach: Execute as many marketing tactics as possible with available resources,” to the “Campaign Approach: Integrate marketing activities into a balanced cadence of programs.” At the heart of this strategy is repurposing core material to cover all of marketing’s target dimensions: “The high-level campaign theme is then adapted downward in a cascading manner into campaign subsets.” SiriusDecisions research has found organizations who take this approach produce a more effective customer experience that boosts performance.
More specifically, customers who have implemented integrated campaigns have seen performance improvements in a number of areas. Here’s one real-life example of these performance improvements:
→ 20% lift in Marketing Inquiries (i.e. leads)
→ 250% lift in Conversion Rates (Inquiry to TQL)
→ 22% lift in Marketing-sourced pipeline
There have been many advocates for this derivative content or repurposing strategy, and Kapost has been prescriptive in explaining how to implement it. Having worked on this for years, leading hundreds of the world’s leading B2B marketers through this transformation, Kapost is now providing this updated guide, which offers in-depth detail on how to put repurposing into practice.