This paper presents reviews of three articles, “Disentangling the Web” written by David Dunne and “Storytelling to Sales” and “The Right Content at the Right Time” published by King Fish Media. The first review focused on the significance Web 2.0 as it embodies the very foundations of marketing namely understanding customers and developing long term relationship with them. The second article review talks about the need to consider where the customers are in the buying decision making process in establishing the right content to accomplish the marketing objectives of the company. And the third review deals with the important of storytelling in sales.
- What is the significance of multiplatform marketing and why do companies need to think in terms of integrated marketing?
Multiple platform marketing is understood as the complementary use of different media channels like the audio, internet and mobile devices in spreading marketing message to target audience. Multiplatform marketing therefore allows companies to communicate and generate impact to its customers and prospects in different but appealing ways.
Meanwhile, integrated marketing is understood as strategy that aims to unify different marketing methods. Almost all companies nowadays utilize integrated marketing because it is the most efficient way of generating the market data that are useful in the companies’ pricing, product development, customer service, etc.
- Why do companies need to think differently in a Web 2.0 world?
“Web 2.0 is defined by the two capabilities symbolized by Facebook and Youtube, easy creation and easy sharing” (Dunne, 2012). In Web 2.0, “consumers have become active content-creators and sharers” according to Dunne (2012). This implies that consumers have become powerful in either breaking or making a brand. This phenomenon entails that companies have to think of a totally different way of promoting their brands, that is, not just “on what the brand needed to communicate” but on “what the audience needed or wanted to hear”. This means that Web 2.0 requires a paradigm shift for companies to succeed.
Marketers have in fact recognized that Web 2.0 have set the limits for their actions in affecting consumers’ perceptions of brands.
- The article talks about losing the illusion of control, what does that mean for brands?
Losing the illusion of control connotes that advertisers can no longer control the consumers’ perception of a brand; that is, the messages created by advertisers can only influence but not control what people think, hear or see about the brand. To loss the illusion of control will, according to Dunne (2012), enable companies to maximize the benefits to the brands and at the same time minimizing the risk of damage. The idea is thats company have to be “acutely aware of its brand’s essence and understanding its touch points, but recognizing that the company can only exert influence, not control” (Dunne, 2012).
- What is the significance of engaging customers vs. selling them?
The importance of engaging customers is that it enables the company to build customer loyalty, deepen customer relationships, and have the access to useful insights about the company’s brand. Meanwhile, selling to customers may only involve a one-time buying transaction, which implies that the company may not have the opportunity to sustainably access useful information from the customers that might help in improving the company’s brand.
The Right Content at the Right Time and From Storytelling to Sales
- Why is it important to know where a buyer is in the decision making process when thinking about their content needs?
It is emphasized in the article The Right Content at the Right Time that “the content you create must align with where a customer is in the purchase cycle, as well as the state of their relationship with your company or brand. The interactions you have with an existing customer are markedly different than those you have with a prospect – which means that content must be different as well to be effective. A customer who just purchased from you requires different messaging than one who’s been dormant for six months” (King Fish Media, 2011). The above lines suggest decision-makers value different types of content at different stages of their buying process. In effect, marketers have to develop the right content for each of the buying decision making process. For instance, the right content if the decision makers (who belong in the education, research and business development sectors) are in the awareness phase involves online videos, blogs, social content, podcasts, ebooks/white papers, e-newsletters, data sheets and direct mail. Meanwhile, webcasts/demo videos, research reports, white paper/ebooks, interactive demo and tools, blogs, ROI calculators, testimonials, and live events are the right content for the consideration phase that will enable the decision makers to create short lists prior to their purchase decision. Likewise, contents like live events, research reports, pricing guides, white papers, demos, and testimonials and case studies are the right choice if the decision makers are in the purchase phase.
- Which content metrics do you think are most important? How do you decide?
The article presented different levels of content marketing measurement, namely consumption metrics, sharing metrics, lead generation, and sales metrics. These are success metrics that gauges the results of content marketing efforts, that is, how engaging the content is to the target audience. As to which metrics are most important, I think all of the metrics mentioned above have significance in measuring the impact of marketing initiatives. Nevertheless, the critical metric is the lead generation or conversion metric. This metric enables the marketer determine the right time “to shift resources to the content and platforms that drive conversions most effectively” (King Fish Media, 2011). Moreover, other metrics like sharing, consumption and sales metrics enable the marketer to measure the quality of content.
It was emphasized also in the article that “all content metrics should be considered within the context of broader marketing programs and objectives” (King Fish Media, 2011). This implies that the decision as to which metric to use depends on the marketing objective.
- In your words, why is Storytelling important to the sales and marketing process?
Storytelling is important to the sales and marketing process because it is the best way to solicit participation from the target audience. Also, it is the most appealing and engrossing way of getting the attention and connecting with the customers especially prospects.
What is with storytelling? As stated in the article “good storytelling isa critical piece of the content marketer’s toolkit” (King Fish Media, 2012). This suggests that a good storytelling is synonymous to a compelling content that can engage customers and prospects that can lead to the purchase decision. Moreover, storytelling connotes helping customers and prospects find the information that they need.
- Give two examples of companies that you think did a good job of storytelling in their online/digital marketing.
IBM and Zmags are examples of companies that did a good job of storytelling in their online/digital marketing.
IBM launched a blog “Eye on IBM” that provided independent news and analyses on topics like social business, virtualization, analytics, and mobile which are core to the company’s products and services. The blog is IBM’s way of establishing credibility on topics that are of significance to its business operation.
Meanwhile, Zmags created a campaign that involved a series of stories that “brought the digital shopper to life for catalog sellers and other online retailers” (King Fish Media, 2012). As a provider of digital publishing solutions, Zmags used the person-to-person approach through a multi-channel campaign in order to attract prospects.
Dunne, David (2012). Disentangling the web: Losing control and loving it. Rotman Magazine Winter, pp. 35-39.
King Fish Media (2011). The right content at the right time. King Fish Media, LLC.
_____________ (2012). From Storytelling to sales. King Fish Media, LLC