Big Data Is Driving Content Marketing Strategy

Big Data diagram with woman holding the clouds in the skyAccording to a new report by Gartner, one-third of companies will face an information crisis within the next 3 years.

Direct Marketer News reports that big data, social media and the proliferation across customer touch points due to the today’s social-mobile consumer is causing huge headaches for businesses across every industry

And because there is a massive amount of technologies in the marketplace and more coming online every day, there is a total “lack of maturity” within the enterprise on how to manage and govern all this information. They claim that more than 75% of information management projects within organizations are isolated from one another.

3 Steps To Avoid The Information Crisis

Gartner prescribes that in order to gain competitive advantage and turn information into actionable insights that companies need to follow 3 steps:

  1. Identify business outcomes that can be influenced by data
  2. Work with the leaders of the highest impact processes across the business
  3. Create a strategic EIM (Enterprise Information Management) program to achieve the business goals

According to Gartner Vice President, “In a digital economy, information is becoming the competitive asset to drive business advantage, and it’s the critical connection that links the value chain of organizations.”

This puts Marketing in the driver’s seat for helping the business get ahead with strategic customer insights.

CMOs Shift Budget To Content Marketing

My last article made a direct connection between Big Data and Content Marketing. And I’m not alone. Data is a core element to the success of any content marketing effort.

So in another report released last week, Mass relevance reports that Chief Marketing Officers are shifting their budgets to content marketing. Some of the key findings:

  • 95% of CMOs report that content marketing is important to their business
  • 87% say that social media is an effective medium for delivering real-time content
  • 66% of CMOs expect a positive ROI from their content marketing efforts

According to the report, CMOs “are committed to investing in and exploring content marketing this year, and measuring the impact from doing so.”

But I’m not so sure…

Most Marketers Aren’t Ready For Content Marketing

In a couple of posts from some of the top influencers in our industry, many CMOs just aren’t ready for content marketing.

Gilad De Vries, head of strategy at Outbrain talked about this last year. He cited the common practice from the big agency pitching the “big idea” and with the marketing “campaign brain.”

He also talks about the different and isolated objectives of the search, the display, and the social teams separately driving conversion, awareness and amplification.

He likens campaigns to sprints but content marketing is more like a marathon that requires new skills, continuous slow-and-steady performance and a long term approach.

Newscred released this article last week on Digiday titled “You’re Not Ready For Content Marketing.” I was honored to be quoted as encouraging brands to thing and act like publishers creating content that our customers actually want.

The best way to do that?

Aside from the publisher or customer-centric mindset, brands need data and insights to create effective content. This includes social listening, data integration and reporting that defines where customers are consuming content, which content works and what topics are interesting to your customers.

And this is how the looming information crisis leads us right back to content marketing!

Big Data drives both the need and the practice of content marketing.

Let me know what you think in the comments below. And please follow along on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook  and Google+ or  Subscribe to the B2B Marketing Insider Blog for regular updates.

Michael Brenner  is a Top CMO, Content Marketing and Digital Marketing Influencer, an international keynote speaker, author of "Mean People Suck" and "The Content Formula" and he is the CEO and Founder of Marketing Insider Group, a leading Content Marketing Agency . He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael helps build successful content marketing programs for leading brands and startups alike. Subscribe here for regular updates.

6 thoughts on “Big Data Is Driving Content Marketing Strategy

  1. I wanted to stand up and cheer when I read that your were encouraging brands to think and act like publishers creating content that our customers actually want. If we focus on the audience everyone wins, the audience and the companies sharing their knowledge.

    1. Thanks so much Melissa. It’s counter intuitive but so important to so many business leaders. Help your audience and you will gain more customers than if you try to sell stuff.

  2. Michael, thanks so much for your post. Thanks too for drawing attention to the intersection between data & content marketing and the growing emphasis being placed on content marketing. Of course, the TV & film business has been doing this for years to great effect.

    The funny thing that happens on the way to the content marketing Forum is that CMOs don’t snag true creators for their content marketing. Companies need staffers who’ve development media beyond commercials and even branded entertainment. Teach them/trust them to play nice with others as they’ve done in their productions and don’t let your HR people play it safe by bringing in another content marketer with “loads of agency experience, etc.”

  3. Michael, thanks for this post. I would like to zoom in on this statement in your post:
    “Aside from the publisher or customer-centric mindset, brands need data and insights to create effective content.”

    I could not agree more. So much of the focus on content marketing nowadays is on how you measure the effectiveness of your content once you have created it and published it. And that is indeed crucial for measuring the effectiveness. Using data to CREATE content is indeed the next step that we (all companies that create content) need to take. Personally, I think that this content creation based on data, could start with having a really close look at your buyer personas and what their pain points are. Then your content could (should) be created keeping in mind what your company brings to the table to solve those.

    I am interested in what your view is on that: what kind of data could drive the creation of content?

    1. Hi Jan,

      I think your correct that data and buyer personas can drive content. But to me that is only half the story. data can also define what topics are important. There is a concentric circle between the social graph (your audience and their connections) and the interest graphs (the topics that bind us all together). Data should drive insights into both.

      Then of course data can drive insights into formats, techniques, channels, share rates, influencer identification and all kinds of other things. But basically, my view is that every thing that you do in the content deevelopment and distribution process can be informed by data.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *