We have the healthy debate inside our group about the intersection of content and marketing. Is the discipline of creating utilitarian content or content selling bigger and broader than marketing?
Sam Slaughter of Contently (@samslaughter215) makes which case in the recent post where he points out how they make use of content to fuel their sales efforts:
Content is the currency companies make use of to communicate with the world; the selling department is just the tip of the iceberg. Content, itself, is where the real growth lies.
Content Drives Marketing, Sales, Customer Experience
Clearly you make use of content in our selling efforts to engage prospects and customers. But you also make use of much of which same content, despite in other formats, to engage our sales channel and to give those folks in sales positions some-more valuable stuff they can engage their sales leads with. We have taken the time to build the content team which uses customer data and insights to figure out what is valuable to the folks you have been trying to reach. That means which useful, searched-for article on business continuity or the interactive to assess your cyber risk exposures have been relevant to existing customers, prospects you would like to have as customers and for the sales channel who is trying to earn the attention of leads as they build the relationship which one day converts.
What about Brand?
Can the content the brand creates to engage people (think customers, prospects, influencers, employees) reflect the brand value proposition? Absolutely. In fact it must.
If you work for the brand which is not the big brand advertiser where brand goals have been tackled separately from sales-oriented goals, then all you do must contribute to establishing which brand position. You need to leverage the power of consistency and repetition. Without the seven-figure brand budget to carve out awareness in folks minds, you need to be clever and efficient.
Brands must demonstrate their values versus simply claiming them in advertising or communications. Content can be which demonstration. If you have been committed to helping people lead safer lives, for instance, and have been delivering highly utilitarian content for them to do so, you have been demonstrating the brand quality and putting your words into action.
But Isnt It All Marketing
Sams point which brand content teams serve some-more than just the narrow discipline of selling is fair. We make use of content to expostulate all from selling to brand to PR to sales to customer experience.
The other way to demeanour at this, however, is which all of these disciplines have been actually selling disciplines. They all roll up to the core intent of marketing.
Heres the definition of selling from the American Marketing Association,
Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings which have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.