Enter To Sex

There is no app for that.


Got to hand it to Mitch Joel, the noted author and exponent of all things marketing in the digital culture.  Dude was the keynoter at last week’s Content Marketing World*, the conference and expo put on by the aptly named Content Marketing Institute.  There he reportedly declared that marketers should “have sex with the data”, at least according to Jason Miller, in a summary of the proceedings.  Translation: “Move beyond customer intimacy and get right to the good stuff. Customers are not looking for advertising, what they want is a personal experience that is highly targeted and relevant.”   Joel was speaking in the context of technology’s impact on the way things are bought and sold today in the digital world.  And he knows how to market his content. His point was that fundamental shifts in technology and customer behaviors influence the ways businesses market their wares and, while these put the crunch on marketing in general, content marketers are “particularly primed” to take advantage of those shifts.

OK, but it still feels to us like there’s a lot of smoke and mirrors in connection with marketing in the digital culture.  Yes, the technology utilized by buyers and sellers alike today enables speed and nimbleness like no other time: buyers can know things faster when it comes to products and what other people like themselves think about them, while sellers can know more about their buyers and how those products are being used.  “Marketers have to figure out how to create relevant marketing in a world where you’re in direct competition with so many others,” said Joel who asked his audience: “What are you doing to tell a better brand narrative?

In our view, the biggest challenge in marketing, aside from introducing the Next Big Thing, has always been about fostering a better brand.  One that’s different because your product is better, not better because it’s merely different.  “You have to give people a reason to connect with you,” Joel said. “It’s not about just recreating a press release for a blog post.”  No argument here.  But hasn’t this been the eternal mission of marketing?

Which takes us back to the smoke-and-mirrors thing. The fact that marketers now can deliver messages across multiple screens is another in a long series of technology advancements since television gave rise to the 30-second commercial and radio spawned the soap opera (that marketed soap for Procter & Gamble).  Weren’t these simply earlier forms of “content marketing” that gave rise to a closer relationship with customers?  Le plus ca change…

[Wikipedia defines content marketing as “an umbrella term encompassing all marketing formats that involve the creation and sharing of content in order to attract, acquire and engage clearly defined and understood current and potential consumer bases with the objective of driving profitable customer action. Content marketing subscribes to the notion that delivering information to prospects and customers drives profitable consumer action. Content marketing has benefits in terms of retaining reader attention and improving brand loyalty.”]

* Content Marketing World 2012 reportedly attracted 1,005 attendees, up from 631 last year.

  1. Hi Stan,

    Thanks for the shout out. Mitch’s keynote was the perfect kick-off for CMW last week. I think the main takeaway for me was getting into the mindset of making your marketing message as personalized as possible for a better overall experience with your prospects and customers. Interesting breakdown of the idea though in your post.

    Thanks again,

    Jason Miller – Marketo

    • Stan DeVaughn says:

      Thanks, Jason. Guess I’ve been around long enough to realize that everything “new” is actually pretty old. Or something to that effect. 🙂

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