Focus On Your Customer’s Brand In The Future of Marketing

customer's brand

In our last  interview, Paula Cusati suggested that we will need the ability to adapt and be creative in the rapidly changing world of Future of Marketing.

Previous interviews covered Big Data Marketing and Big Testingcustomer experiencethought leadership, , creating a content culture, the roles of content and technologythe future of search, the science of marketing, the rise of Content Brands and we asked whether the customer or the content is king in the future of marketing.

Today’s interview is with Co-Founder Nick Kellet (@NickKellet).  For a great example of a list (that focuses on potential customer’s brand) check out this list on technology marketing. You can also follow Nick on Facebook and Google+.

Tell us about yourself?

Nick Kellet on customer's brandI love the challenge of a new market and decoding the value to the consumer.

Today I’m 100% focused on social content curation market as co-founder of startup, Listly.  I’m loving the experience of building a social brand.

I’ve jumped domains in my career from fashion (French Connection – FCUK), to CRM, to Business Intelligence (where I sold my startup to Business Objects now SAP) and on to self-publishing board games with GiftTRAP.

My game  won 20+ awards globally and has been translated into 12 languages, giving me awesome exposure to consumer marketing, crowdsourcing and social media.

Tell us about a tough or interesting challenge your team faces

Our challenge is one of alerting people to the possibility of lists.

We are educating content marketing folk to think a little differently about curation and embedding list content inside blogs.

Lists posts outperform just about all other forms of content (30% of posts are lists), yet we believe lists are lagging the social web.

Post with titles like “10 ways to …” are easy reads – info snacks. Lists hook people to skim for insights. We believe the modern reader wants more.

We’ve been busy building the Listly platform to scale to meet business expectations while also building our network and our community.

With thousands of bloggers on board, it’s getting quicker and easier to get new people to sign up. Many people have seen Listly in action. All the embeds are building strong brand awareness.

It all begins by people making and embedding their first list.

It’s a fun challenge and we keep listening and learning.

How are you approaching that challenge?

We have been tackling the problem from two angles.

  • Product
  • Community

At a product level we’ve been adding depth and scaling features to demonstrate that Listly is a highly performance publishing platform. A lot of this isn’t seen by anyone, but it improves the experience and ensures people come back for more.

We’ve been focusing on the core tasks and honing obvious workflows. We have a big new responsive/mobile re-styling due on the 18th of March 2013.

On a community level we’ve been:

  • Reaching out to bloggers in person, online and via events
  • Participating in multiple Twitter chat groups to raise visibility
  • Celebrating community successes
  • Guest blogging (inbound and outbound)
  • Monitoring usage and creativity and sharing tips and how to guides

We know all the hard work is paying off. We see people coming back more often. We see more people discovering listly via SEO.

More lists and more embeds lead to more of everything. The long term value of ever changing lists from an SEO perspective is pretty amazing. People often forget that shares  offer short term gains compared to embedded content, which keeps on delivering traffic over time.

Our most popular list just passed 300k views. That number is growing organically every day. Its current rate is about 50k hits per month. That’s pretty compelling. That earns people’s attention.

We’ve also released a premium product and that’s proving people want to pay for this kind of service. It’s the ultimate validation of all our hard work.

What is your prediction on the future of marketing?

1. Consumers Like Metrics More than Brands

I’ve overheard too many conversations lately that have stopped me in my tracks. People saying things like  “How many likes will I get for this vs. that?”. Marketing thinks the metrics are for them – wrong! Consumers have become hooked on feedback.

Consumers see social proof as their social power. While we may all be dumping on influence measurement, consumers are seeking influence.

So if you are thinking about your brand, you are busted. You need to be thinking much more about your customer’s brand.

Ask yourself how can your brand be involved in the social actions people take to build their own credibility.

2. Liquid Content

The silos of paid, earned, owned and shared media are merging and morphing.

Promoted content is rising too and could well backfire as consumers get smarter at discerning the origins of content.

Reuse and sharing is on the rise and there’s friction to be removed here. Information has a social life and that’s going to become more trackable and more fluid.

I sense Madison Avenue is playing catch-up relative to the evolution of technology and the mashing up of digital media.


Huge thanks to Nick for participating in our series and offering his view. Now it’s your turn: Let me know what you think in the comments below. And please follow along on TwitterLinkedInFacebook 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.

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