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Tuesday 2¢: Content Marketing: Divide and Cock Up

Tuesday 2¢: Content Marketing: Divide and Cock Up

Welcome to the Tuesday 2¢ . It’s Tuesday, the weekend is a distant memory and it’s time to let off some steam and give our 2 cents on a hot industry topic. This week Ian Truscott returns to give us a view of the challenge of content marketing in a silo’d business.

A while ago, in a previous life, I was invited to present a content marketing workshop to a marketing team from a car manufacturer.

The workshop went well, the concepts were well understood and there was a groundswell for change. Yes, content marketing is the way forward.

We need to tell a brand story, we need to understand our audience, we need content that is relevant to our target personas, we need to be useful, yes, yes, yes.

They had lots of content touch points; the website, digital campaigns, showrooms and even a lifestyle magazine that real people really subscribed to and had delivered to their homes, a host of opportunities to bring their brand story to life.

Lots of yes!!

Until we got into the next steps.

Oh.

I won't go into detail, but this merry band were silo'd into niches of marketing functions; areas of execution, business unit, car models and sadly that magazine was a niche all its own. Overseen by an overseas parent HQ that liked it that way.

There was no opportunity for this brand to speak with one voice, like their competitors, to express their common story whatever their “Ultimate Driving Machine” or their “Vorsprung durch Technik” was, whatever they wanted to say.

Marketers on individual hamster wheels whirring away toward a disconnected goal, dictated by the product part of the business, tossing in demands for PDF's on engine specs, roof rails or that the revised model had LED lights.

It became apparent that unpicking this was a Herculean task; a series of process, people and organizational challenges on a whiteboard that an afternoon was not going to solve.

They couldn't jump off the hamster wheel and think about how they could appeal to one of their key target personas (female executive buyers) by showcasing the stories of their female executives. Oh no, let's show that the car is available in pink and the trunk is easy to open. That'll do it.

They were divided, they were silo'd; their working practices, teams, goals, metrics, tools, people, everything.

It doesn't have to be doom and gloom, I don't share this story to embarrass anyone, it was a fun workshop that hopefully sowed the seeds for change in individual marketers or the organization.

As a contemporary marketer, you understand the value of a brand story, the tribe you build around your brand with that story, the influence this has on a buyer, especially with a considered purchase (and one that is so public that can be a statement of you).

To execute on this, you need to have everyone singing from that same hymn sheet to reinforce it and to act it. Our tools can help, but it's the organization that can hurt it most.

In the execution of content marketing you won't divide and conquer, you will divide and cock up.

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Ian Truscott Ian Truscott

Ian Truscott has the unofficial and honory title of the “Träger des Firmen-Megaphons” for censhare, bringing 20 years of B2B software experience to our company (surely starting as a child) to lead marketing here. Luckily for us in the Munich office, he’s found the kettle and some tea bags – look at him, he’s happy.

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