Many years ago, David Ogilvy advised marketers to concentrate on the “content of your advertising, not its form.” Now we’re seeing marketing leaders support for the approach of publishing content instead of advertising.
Earlier this month, the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) held it’s annual “Masters of Marketing” conference in Phoenix. More than 2,200 people attended to listen to the advertising secrets and predictions from leading brands like Walmart, Chrysler and GE.
According to AdAge’s Antony Young, one of the main takeaways of the ANA event: “consider content over advertising.”
So now we have advertisers telling other advertisers to consider content instead of advertising?
Almost 2 years ago I wrote “the one chart everyone in marketing needs to understand” to suggest that content is the new advertising.
My Lessons for Marketers
- Customers continue to tune out promotional marketing in traditional channels.
- Marketers have been slow to respond, creating a gap between customer behaviors and the marketing mix.
- Content marketing and social media that seeks to meet customer needs is now more important than ever!
- Businesses need a sound content strategy that holistically considers audience content and channel needs.
GE’s CMO Beth Comstock was one of the speakers at the ANA event supporting this approach. She challenged the assumption that B2B Marketing is boring and advised the audience to take innovative approaches to storytelling. From using vampires to tell the story of the internet in “Datalandia” to their “falling for you” Vine spot. It’s great to see a B to B brand not taking itself too seriously and having a bit of fun.
According to Beth, these content efforts are all part of a grand scheme to “shout louder then we spend.” Regarding the native advertising debate, Beth responds: “It almost doesn’t matter who produces this content, as long as it’s good.”
Is this a positive sign of marketers reflecting the shifts in the market or a harbinger of more changes to come? Let me know what you think in the comments below. And please follow along on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and or Subscribe to the B2B Marketing Insider Blog for regular updates.