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Where There’s a Goal, There’s a Way: 4 Strategy-Led Content Programs

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Where There’s a Goal, There’s a Way: 4 Strategy-Led Content Programs

This much-repeated mantra bears repeating: You can’t succeed at content marketing unless you know what goals you’re trying to achieve.

It’s not easy to distill the potential benefits of content marketing into one laser-focused goal. Yet, nailing down your driving purpose makes it easier to explore new possibilities to achieve it.

Nailing down your #content’s purpose makes it easier to explore the possibilities to achieve it, says @joderama via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Want proof? Look no further than the accomplishments of the 2022 Content Marketing Awards strategy category winners and finalists.

These examples illustrate how strategy-led campaigns can amplify a brand’s persuasive power, excite its audience, and achieve goals at every stage of the buyer’s journey. Though their industries, audiences, investment levels, and creative approaches differ, each offers a lesson to guide your content marketing efforts.

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Goal: Brand awareness

Brand: Glenfiddich

Media partner: Forbes

Approach: Distill data, storytelling, and multiplatform distribution into a content cocktail that shifts audience perceptions.

Single-malt Scotch whisky is a strong drink strongly associated with powerful pop culture characters like Mad Men’s Don Draper, Anchorman’s Ron Burgundy, and Parks and Recreation’s Ron Swanson.

But does the liquor’s strength give it the power to win the preferential attention of high-net-worth individuals and discerning spirit connoisseurs? That was the goal Glenfiddich, a luxury whisky distiller, aimed to achieve with an integrated multimedia campaign built around the 40th anniversary of the Forbes 400 list.

The compelling pitch for their novel premise? It’s time to redefine what it means to be wealthy and successful.

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Glenfiddich kicked off the campaign with an original research study, Professional Success in America: Personal Priorities and Social Misunderstanding. It probed U.S. attitudes on the characteristics that define success. The brand created its inaugural #Richest25 List, profiling influential achievers who embody those characteristics.

@GlenfiddichSMW conducted an original research study as part of its #ContentMarketing plan to capture a wealthy and successful audience, says @joderama via @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

The resulting stories were published and promoted across media partner Forbes’ ecosystem. Assets ranged from premium branded content and editorial stories on the Forbes website to social media ads and a print sponsorship of the Forbes 400 issue. That included ads that raised thought-provoking questions, with an overlay of Glenfiddich’s stag logo as illustrated in the image below with the phrase, “Title or respect? Ask yourself, what’s next?”

1663719603 23 Where Theres a Goal Theres a Way 4 Strategy Led Content

The key concepts and related imagery were incorporated into Glenfiddich’s website content and product pages to tie everything back to the brand’s Scotch whisky.

Results: According to Forbes, the integrated program garnered over 20 million cross-platform impressions. It also changed perceptions: Glenfiddich saw a lift in brand awareness (18%), identification as a luxury brand (60%), and association with the stag logo (25%).

The content features received nearly 300,000 views – over 2,700 came through organic search. Further, the magazine Fortune 400 issue reached over 3.8 million readers, with 77% taking action after seeing the ad creative.

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This project won the Most Innovative Content Distribution Strategy category.

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Goal: Increase reach

Brand: McCain Foods

Media/agency partners: Food24, New Media

Approach: Combine print and digital technology to forge a personal, long-lasting connection with consumers.

While brands commonly scale their reach and engage new audiences in the digital space, don’t overlook the power and appeal of old-school techniques like print. They can help you forge a more personal and tangible connection with consumers.

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Then again, why not blend the storytelling advantages of both mediums? That’s the idea behind the creation of McCain Family Cookbook Brought to You by Food24 – a first-of-its-kind direct-to-consumer cookbook delivered through a print-on-demand platform.

Frozen foods brand McCain approached South African foodie site Food24 to drive reach among family meal decision-makers. Food24 (with help from its content marketing agency, New Media) answered the call by developing a personalized cookbook creation tool. Shared with the Food24 audience on its website, the tool was promoted through social media, newsletters, and additional articles and video content.

As explained in the campaign video above, the Cookbook Creator tool lets users upload six favorite family recipes, along with notes and photos. Then, they chose a recipe category and named their book. Top recipes from Food24 and McCain were added to round out each collection. Each book was printed and delivered to the consumer who created it.
Food brand @mccainfoods let consumers create personalized cookbooks, uploading six of their family recipes and adding ones from the brand and @food24, says @joderama via @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

The effort helped position McCain as a mealtime thought leader while providing Food24’s audience with an innovative and exciting interactive feature. Further, the printed cookbooks brought the McCain brand into people’s homes, creating a lasting physical touchpoint.

Results: According to the agency New Media, the effort received 1.4 million banner impressions (far exceeding its target KPI of 400,000), reached 4.3 million consumers on social media, and achieved a 13% conversion rate.

This project won the Best Use of Technology as Part of a Content Marketing Program category.

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Goal: Lead nurturing

Brand: Epcon Communities Franchising

Approach: Deliver a targeted, print-based pitch – with a customized digital twist.

B2B brand Epcon Communities Franchising provides designs, expertise, and sales support. It enables real estate developers to capitalize on an underserved demographic – buyers 55 and older looking to downsize their homes and enjoy life among a community of their peers.

Franchised adult communities are a fast-growing industry sector, but they are a relatively new business model for builders and construction companies. Many of Epcon’s prospects may have little experience with these projects. That challenge, when combined with the development time and financial investment involved, makes overcoming customer reluctance difficult.

To establish credibility among this B2B target, deliver helpful education, and accelerate its path from qualified lead to converted customer, Epcon launched a unique video mailer campaign.

Knowing consumers often throw away traditional print mailers without reading them, Epcon gave the mailing an eye-catching digital upgrade. A 5-inch video screen turned the average brochure into a deeply immersive storytelling vehicle, as shown in this image:

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Where Theres a Goal Theres a Way 4 Strategy Led Content

Using an account-based marketing strategy, Epcon sent the mailers to select high-value prospects. It also customized the audio and visual content for each recipient.

Upon opening the brochure, prospects could click play on the screen to view four installed videos. They included critical company information, testimonials from franchise builders and home buyers, and interviews with company leadership.

Results: Through this persuasive, immersive, and educational campaign, Epcon put the right content in front of the right prospects at the right time. After its launch, the company achieved an 84% follow-up contact rate with prospects and exceeded its franchise builder sales projections by more than double.

This project was a top finalist in the Most Innovative Content Distribution Strategy and Best Use of Technology as Part of a Content Marketing Program categories.

Goal: Customer satisfaction and loyalty

Brand: ServiceNow

Approach: Combine email automation with behavioral modeling to deliver the best post-purchase guidance.

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Good content marketers address consumers’ informational needs at each step of their buyer’s journey – from initial awareness through final purchase. But great marketers reinforce their brand’s value by delivering relevant, helpful guidance long after the purchasing checks have cleared.

Enterprise software provider ServiceNow efficiently fulfills that promise through its telemetry data-driven digital customer journey (DCJ) program. The platform delivers the precise information and assistance each customer account needs to implement their purchases more quickly, optimize their usage, and maximize their brand satisfaction.

ServiceNow uses automated behavioral marketing to deliver personalized email content across a broad range of finely targeted audiences. Those segments span the three stages of Service Now’s post-purchase lifecycle – initial onboarding, activation and deployment, and renewal and expansion.

For example, ServiceNow analyzes product usage and applies telemetry data and modeling to categorize mid-cycle customer accounts into groups defined by usage level: no use, low use, medium use, or high use. ServiceNow uses its marketing automation system to identify and deploy the appropriate email content for that account. It also automatically pauses email delivery until the customer completes the call to action from the previous campaign.

Results: ServiceNow reports excellent email performance metrics, with global open rates of 53% to 61% and click-through rates of 10%-16% across all digital customer journey campaigns in 2021. More importantly, these targeted accounts use their products 70% more than ServiceNow’s baseline (non-targeted) accounts.

This project was a top finalist in the Strategy – Best Content Marketing Program, Best Content Marketing Program in Technology, and Content Marketing ROI/Measurement Program categories.

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A clear strategy opens up endless possibilities

These four brands achieved remarkable outcomes by remaining focused on a goal and using a combination of creativity and tech ingenuity to fulfill it. Don’t have a documented content marketing strategy on hand to guide your brand’s efforts? Check out our strategy hub for all the insights, tips, and tools you need to create one.

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute



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The Role of Enterprise Mobility Management in Modern Businesses

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The Role of Enterprise Mobility Management in Modern Businesses

In today’s fast-paced business environment, Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) has emerged as a critical facilitator for enhancing operational efficiency and competitiveness. EMM solutions streamline workflows, ensuring that enterprises can adapt to the rapidly changing digital landscape. This blog discusses the indispensable role of EMM in modern businesses, focusing on how it revolutionizes workflows and positions businesses for success.

EMM solutions act as the backbone for securely managing mobile devices, applications, and content that facilitate remote work and on-the-go access to company resources. With a robust EMM platform, businesses can ensure data protection and compliance with regulatory requirements, even in highly dynamic environments. This not only minimizes the risk of data breaches but also reinforces the company’s reputation for reliability and security.

Seamless Integration Across Devices

In today’s digital era, seamless integration across devices is not just a luxury; it’s a necessity for maintaining operational fluency within any organization. Our EMM solutions are designed to ensure that employees have secure and efficient access to the necessary resources, irrespective of the device being used. This cross-platform compatibility significantly enhances productivity by allowing for a unified user experience that supports both the agility and dynamism required in modern business operations. Leveraging cutting-edge technology, our solutions provide a cohesive ecosystem where data flows securely and effortlessly across mobile phones, tablets, and laptops, ensuring that your workforce remains connected and productive, regardless of their physical location. The adoption of our EMM solutions speaks volumes about an organization’s commitment to fostering a technologically forward and secure working environment, echoing its dedication to innovation and excellence.

Enhanced Productivity

EMM facilitates the seamless integration of mobile devices into the corporate environment, enabling employees to access corporate resources from anywhere. This flexibility significantly enhances productivity by allowing tasks to be completed outside of traditional office settings.

Unified Endpoint Management

The incorporation of Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) within EMM solutions ensures that both mobile and fixed devices can be managed from a single console, simplifying IT operations and enhancing security.

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Advanced Security Protocols

Where cyber threats loom larger than ever, our EMM solutions incorporate cutting-edge security protocols designed to shield your organization’s data from unauthorized access and breaches. By consistently updating and refining our security measures, we ensure your assets are protected by the most advanced defenses available. This commitment to security not only safeguards your information but also reinforces your company’s reputation as a secure and trustworthy enterprise.

Data Protection

EMM solutions implement robust security measures to protect sensitive corporate data across all mobile devices. This includes encryption, secure VPN connections, and the ability to remotely wipe data from lost or stolen devices, thereby mitigating potential data breaches.

Compliance Management

By enforcing security policies and ensuring compliance with regulatory standards, EMM helps businesses avoid costly fines and reputational damage associated with data breaches.

Driving Operational Efficiency

In the quest to drive operational efficiency, our solutions streamline processes, reduce redundancies, and automate routine tasks. By leveraging cutting-edge technologies, we empower businesses to optimize their workflows, resulting in significant time and cost savings. Our approach not only enhances operational agility but also positions your organization at the forefront of innovation, setting a new standard in your industry.

Automated Workflows

By automating repetitive tasks, EMM reduces manual efforts, increases accuracy, and speeds up business processes. This automation supports operational efficiency and allows employees to focus on more strategic tasks.

Real-time Communication and Collaboration

EMM enhances communication and collaboration among team members by providing tools that facilitate real-time interactions. This immediate exchange of information accelerates decision-making processes and improves project outcomes.

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Testimonials from Industry Leaders

Leaders in various industries have witnessed tangible benefits from implementing EMM solutions, including increased productivity, improved security, and enhanced operational efficiency. Testimonials from these leaders underscore the transformative impact of EMM on their businesses, solidifying its vital role in modern operational strategies.

Our commitment to innovation and excellence propels us to continually refine our EMM solutions, ensuring they remain at the cutting edge of technology. This dedication not only solidifies our standing as industry leaders but also guarantees that our clients receive the most advanced and effective operational tools available, tailored specifically to meet their unique business challenges.

Looking Ahead

The evolution of EMM solutions continues at a rapid pace, with advancements in technology such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and the Internet of Things (IoT) further enhancing their capabilities. These developments promise even greater efficiencies, security measures, and competitive advantages for businesses willing to invest in the future of mobility management.

Our proactive approach to integrating emerging technologies with EMM solutions positions our clients at the forefront of their industries. By leveraging our deep technical expertise and industry insights, we empower businesses to not only adapt to but also lead in an increasingly digital world, ensuring they remain competitive and resilient amidst rapid technological shifts.

In conclusion, the role of Enterprise Mobility Management in modern businesses cannot be overstated. Its ability to revolutionize workflows, enhance security, and drive operational efficiency positions it as a foundational element of digital transformation strategies. We invite businesses to explore the potential of EMM solutions and partner with us to achieve unprecedented levels of success and innovation in the digital era. Together, we can redefine the boundaries of what is possible in business operations and set new benchmarks for excellence in the industry.

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Lessons From Air Canada’s Chatbot Fail

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Lessons From Air Canada’s Chatbot Fail

Air Canada tried to throw its chatbot under the AI bus.

It didn’t work.

A Canadian court recently ruled Air Canada must compensate a customer who bought a full-price ticket after receiving inaccurate information from the airline’s chatbot.

Air Canada had argued its chatbot made up the answer, so it shouldn’t be liable. As Pepper Brooks from the movie Dodgeball might say, “That’s a bold strategy, Cotton. Let’s see if it pays off for ’em.” 

But what does that chatbot mistake mean for you as your brands add these conversational tools to their websites? What does it mean for the future of search and the impact on you when consumers use tools like Google’s Gemini and OpenAI’s ChatGPT to research your brand?

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AI disrupts Air Canada

AI seems like the only topic of conversation these days. Clients expect their agencies to use it as long as they accompany that use with a big discount on their services. “It’s so easy,” they say. “You must be so happy.”

Boards at startup companies pressure their management teams about it. “Where are we on an AI strategy,” they ask. “It’s so easy. Everybody is doing it.” Even Hollywood artists are hedging their bets by looking at the newest generative AI developments and saying, “Hmmm … Do we really want to invest more in humans?  

Let’s all take a breath. Humans are not going anywhere. Let me be super clear, “AI is NOT a strategy. It’s an innovation looking for a strategy.” Last week’s Air Canada decision may be the first real-world distinction of that.

The story starts with a man asking Air Canada’s chatbot if he could get a retroactive refund for a bereavement fare as long as he provided the proper paperwork. The chatbot encouraged him to book his flight to his grandmother’s funeral and then request a refund for the difference between the full-price and bereavement fair within 90 days. The passenger did what the chatbot suggested.

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Air Canada refused to give a refund, citing its policy that explicitly states it will not provide refunds for travel after the flight is booked.

When the passenger sued, Air Canada’s refusal to pay got more interesting. It argued it should not be responsible because the chatbot was a “separate legal entity” and, therefore, Air Canada shouldn’t be responsible for its actions.

I remember a similar defense in childhood: “I’m not responsible. My friends made me do it.” To which my mom would respond, “Well, if they told you to jump off a bridge, would you?”

My favorite part of the case was when a member of the tribunal said what my mom would have said, “Air Canada does not explain why it believes …. why its webpage titled ‘bereavement travel’ was inherently more trustworthy than its chatbot.”

The BIG mistake in human thinking about AI

That is the interesting thing as you deal with this AI challenge of the moment. Companies mistake AI as a strategy to deploy rather than an innovation to a strategy that should be deployed. AI is not the answer for your content strategy. AI is simply a way to help an existing strategy be better.

Generative AI is only as good as the content — the data and the training — fed to it.  Generative AI is a fantastic recognizer of patterns and understanding of the probable next word choice. But it’s not doing any critical thinking. It cannot discern what is real and what is fiction.

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Think for a moment about your website as a learning model, a brain of sorts. How well could it accurately answer questions about the current state of your company? Think about all the help documents, manuals, and educational and training content. If you put all of that — and only that — into an artificial brain, only then could you trust the answers.

Your chatbot likely would deliver some great results and some bad answers. Air Canada’s case involved a minuscule challenge. But imagine when it’s not a small mistake. And what about the impact of unintended content? Imagine if the AI tool picked up that stray folder in your customer help repository — the one with all the snarky answers and idiotic responses? Or what if it finds the archive that details everything wrong with your product or safety? AI might not know you don’t want it to use that content.

ChatGPT, Gemini, and others present brand challenges, too

Publicly available generative AI solutions may create the biggest challenges.

I tested the problematic potential. I asked ChatGPT to give me the pricing for two of the best-known CRM systems. (I’ll let you guess which two.) I asked it to compare the pricing and features of the two similar packages and tell me which one might be more appropriate.

First, it told me it couldn’t provide pricing for either of them but included the pricing page for each in a footnote. I pressed the citation and asked it to compare the two named packages. For one of them, it proceeded to give me a price 30% too high, failing to note it was now discounted. And it still couldn’t provide the price for the other, saying the company did not disclose pricing but again footnoted the pricing page where the cost is clearly shown.

In another test, I asked ChatGPT, “What’s so great about the digital asset management (DAM) solution from [name of tech company]?” I know this company doesn’t offer a DAM system, but ChatGPT didn’t.

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It returned with an answer explaining this company’s DAM solution was a wonderful, single source of truth for digital assets and a great system. It didn’t tell me it paraphrased the answer from content on the company’s webpage that highlighted its ability to integrate into a third-party provider’s DAM system.

Now, these differences are small. I get it. I also should be clear that I got good answers for some of my harder questions in my brief testing. But that’s what’s so insidious. If users expected answers that were always a little wrong, they would check their veracity. But when the answers seem right and impressive, even though they are completely wrong or unintentionally accurate, users trust the whole system.

That’s the lesson from Air Canada and the subsequent challenges coming down the road.

AI is a tool, not a strategy

Remember, AI is not your content strategy. You still need to audit it. Just as you’ve done for over 20 years, you must ensure the entirety of your digital properties reflect the current values, integrity, accuracy, and trust you want to instill.

AI will not do this for you. It cannot know the value of those things unless you give it the value of those things. Think of AI as a way to innovate your human-centered content strategy. It can express your human story in different and possibly faster ways to all your stakeholders.

But only you can know if it’s your story. You have to create it, value it, and manage it, and then perhaps AI can help you tell it well. 

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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Only 6% of global marketers apply customer insights to product and brand

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Only 6% of global marketers apply customer insights to product and brand

While many brands talk about focusing on the customer, few do it. Less than a quarter (24%) of global brands are mapping customer behavior and sentiment, according to Braze’s 2024 Customer Engagement Review. What’s worse, only 6% apply customer insights to their product and brand approach.

“At the end of the day, a lot of companies operate based on their structure and not how the consumer interacts with them,” Mariam Asmar, VP of strategic consulting, told MarTech. “And while some companies have done a great job of reorienting that, with roles like the chief customer officer, there are many more that still don’t. Cross-channel doesn’t exist because there are still all these silos. But the customer doesn’t care about your silos. The customer doesn’t see silos. They see a brand.”

Half of all marketers report either depending on multiple, siloed point solutions to cobble together a multi-channel experience manually (33%); or primarily relying on single-channel solutions (17%).  Only 30% have access to a single customer engagement platform capable of creating personalized, seamless experiences across channels. This is a huge problem when it comes to cross-channel, personalization.

The persistence of silos

The persistence of data silos despite decades of explanation about the problems they cause, surprised Asmar the most.

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Screenshot 2024 02 27 140015
Source: Braze 2024 Global Customer Engagement Review

“Why are we still talking about this?” she said to MarTech. “One of the themes I see in the report is we’re still getting caught up on some of the same stumbling blocks as before.”

She said silos are indicative of teams working on different goals and “the only way that gets unsolved is if a leader comes in and aligns people towards some of those goals.”

These silos also hinder the use of AI, something 99% of respondents said they were already doing. The top uses of AI by marketers are:

  • Generating creative ideas (48%).
  • Automating repetitive tasks (47%).
  • Optimizing strategies in real-time (47%).
  • Enhancing data analysis (47%).
  • Powering predictive analytics (45%).
  • Personalizing campaigns (44%). 

Despite the high usage numbers, less than half of marketers have any interest in exploring AI’s potential to enhance customer engagement. Asmar believes there are two main reasons for this. First is that many people like the systems they know and understand. The other reason is a lack of training on the part of companies.

Dig deeper: 5 ways CRMs are leveraging AI to automate marketing today

“I think about when I was in advertising and everybody switched to social media,” she told MarTech. “Companies acted like ‘Well, all the marketers will just figure out social media.’ You can’t do that because whenever you’re teaching somebody how to do something new there’s always a level of training them up, even though they’re apps that we use every day, as people using them as a business and how they apply, how we get impact from them.”

The good news is that brands are setting the stage for the data agility they need.

  • 50% export performance feedback to business intelligence platforms to generate advanced analytics.
  • 48% sync performance with insights generated by other platforms in the business.

Also worth noting: Marketers say these are the four main obstacles to creativity and strategy:  

  • Emphasis on KPIs inherently inhibits a focus on creativity (42%).
  • Too much time spent on business-as-usual execution and tasks (42%).
  • Lack of technology to execute creative ideas, (41%).
  • Hard to demonstrate ROI impact of creativity (40%).
Screenshot 2024 02 27 135952Screenshot 2024 02 27 135952

Methodology

The 2024 Global Customer Engagement Review (registration required) is based on insights from 1,900 VP+ marketing decision-makers across 14 countries in three global regions: The Americas (Brazil, Mexico, and the US), APAC (Australia, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Korea), and EMEA (France, Germany, Spain, the UAE, and the UK).

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