How marketing managers knock content strategies off course
One of the big challenges with content marketing campaigns is to successfully identify the topics and content types that will get results for your business.
An easy trap to fall into is to build a content strategy around your own personal preferences, rather than those of your target market.
Business owners and marketing managers can both be guilty of taking this approach, allowing their blog, website and social media content to be defined by what they themselves want to read, watch, download and share.
What they want may be quite different to what their potential customers want, which means they could be pushing their content strategy in the wrong direction.
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They might also be creating unnecessary delays in getting new pieces of content published. That makes creating timely content that taps into an emerging search trend very difficult and means it will take longer to see a measurable return.
Saving clients from themselves
As any marketing agency will know, helping the client resist these very natural urges is a delicate balance. The client pays the bill so should get the campaign they want, but sometimes they need to be saved from themselves. As we explored in a recent post, common assumptions about what drives purchasing habits can often be incorrect.
With content marketing, the client’s excitement at getting their blog or social strategy up and running with content they love will eventually wear off. To keep their content strategy going they need to see evidence that they’re getting a return on their investment.
While exactly what constitutes ROI will vary from client to client, content that hits the mark with their target audience will always be a much safer long-term bet than content they personally enjoy.
Walking a mile in their shoes
[pullQuote position=”right”]Marketing managers actively trying to think like customers are still ruled by their personal preferences[/pullQuote]The risk that the well-intentioned influence of people inside a business will undermine marketing efforts was well illustrated by recent research involving marketing managers at a car company.
Featured in the Journal of Marketing Research, the study revealed that personal preferences muddied the waters even when marketing managers actively tried to walk a mile in their customers’ shoes.
“Every day, marketers try to predict consumer preferences in order to develop new products, design advertisements, and make pricing decisions,” the research team said in a statement. “Surprisingly, the long-established habit of putting themselves in the customer’s place seems to make marketers even more vulnerable to letting their personal preferences interfere.”
Content that gets results
Undoubtedly some marketers and business owners will have a better feel than others for what their customers want. But it should serve as a useful warning that while people with deep company knowledge and years of experience can add massive value to a marketing campaign, they can also inadvertently knock it off course.
An important part of our job when we take on a new client is to help them get the balance right. A good content strategy will make use of the great stories and specialist knowledge that every business has, but it will also leverage our ability to create content that gets results.