It’s always a strangely climactic and at the same time anticlimactic moment when a book you write finally publishes. After months of writing, editing and corrections, you wait. And wait. One night, you return home to find a box on the doorstep. Suddenly, you’re savoring that long-anticipated moment of holding the book in your hands.
That how it transpired with my first book, and the moment was repeated yesterday when Content Marketing appeared at the door. It felt a bit like an ending, but it also marks the beginning of a research report on the topic.
The book contains both strategic and tactical advice for marketers who realize that by creating (rather than buying) media, they’re publishers and editors, and must both think and act as such. This holds true for social media of course, both also more conventional channels: web sites, live events, and other types of earned and owned media.
Content marketing is disruptive. It compels organizations to develop new skill sets, to reorganize and reassess internal resources, and to reconsider vendor relationships. It also sets them at odds with “real” publishers. When it comes to media companies, many brands are now both advertisers…and competitors.
Yet as we discussed at a recent Altimeter Pilot Event, content marketing will never entirely supplant advertising, traditional media or direct marketing – just as no form of media has ever eradicated what came before it. It does, however, necessitate change, deliberation, and realigned strategy.
Content Marketing the book is therefore a point of departure for an upcoming research project that will examine how the advertising/marketing/media ecosystem: brands, agencies, technology providers and media companies, are adapting and rebalancing structurally and in terms of resources to accommodate, incorporate and align content marketing into the overall marketing mix.
Questions the report will attempt to answer include who should “own” content? What internal and external organizational changes are required to meet the demand for continual production, distribution, and measurement? How are content initiatives being aligned with campaign-driven marketing? And what types of agencies and vendors are best equipped to help brands drive content marketing forward successfully?
Over the coming weeks we look forward to interview dozens of brands, agencies, and other organizations involved in, and challenged by, content marketing. In doing so we hope to develop frameworks to help companies both to assess their needs and maturity in dealing with the new challenges of developing publishing expertise in a myriad of digital channels.