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Speaker Spotlight: Jeff Cutler – Don’t try content marketing without content strategy

As we did last year we’ve posed some of our attendees’ most frequently asked questions to speakers who will be at this year’s Gilbane Conference and will be sharing their complete answers with you here. This week we’re spotlighting Jeff Cutler, Content Specialist, JeffCutler.com. You can see all Speaker Spotlights from our upcoming conference as well as last year’s event.

Jeff Cutler - Gilbane ConferenceSpeaker Spotlight: Jeff Cutler

Content Specialist

JeffCutler.com

Follow Jeff: @jeffcutler

 

 

Although sometimes used interchangeably ‘content strategy’ and ‘content marketing’ refer to very different though often connected disciplines. How and where should these activities be organized?

Simply put, if you don’t have a content strategy you should not undertake any content marketing. It’s the strategy component that directs smart decisions about to whom; where; and via what technologies your messaging and content will be shared. If you’re trying to connect with people and don’t have a strategy, it’s like trying to sell your services to an empty room. Figure out your audience. Figure out what tools they use to research the products/services they purchase. Determine if you have the capability and capacity to use these tools effectively. If everything clicks, move forward and start having a conversation and sharing content. Content strategy should be organized in brand and mission meetings – or at least discussed. From there it can be fine-tuned and then revisited before embarking on the content marketing campaign. Once approved, use the content strategy to develop a plan – including content calendar, resources, communication vehicles, sites, technology and more – that will help achieve the goals of that strategy.

Catch up with Jeff at the Gilbane Conference:

Track C: Content, Marketing, and the Customer Experience

C12: Content Marketing Panel
Wednesday, December 3: 2:00 p.m. – 3:20 p.m.

Register now to hear more from Jeff and all of our speakers.

See our complete conference program for more details.

Speaker Spotlight: Rahel Anne Bailie – Content marketing and content strategy not the same

As we did last year we’ve posed some of our attendees’ most frequently asked questions to speakers who will be at this year’s Gilbane Conference and will be sharing their complete answers with you here. This week we’re spotlighting Rahel Anne Bailie, Founder and Senior Content Strategy Consultant of Intentional Design Inc. You can see all Speaker Spotlights from our upcoming conference as well as last year’s event.

Rahel Bailie image - Gilbane 2014Speaker Spotlight: Rahel Anne Bailie

Founder and Senior Content Strategy Consultant

Intentional Design Inc.

Follow Rahel: @rahelab

 

Given that there are more smartphones than PCs on the planet and both will be important for the foreseeable future, how should organization’s content delivery priorities and technologies change? How is yours changing?

The emphasis on having a proper strategy for content delivery is going to increase as we have more complex delivery needs – and I believe that smartphones are just the tip of the iceberg. Wearables will be the next challenge, and who knows what will come after that. So some of what we need to do is think “content first” and combine that with responsive design and adaptive content. That means changes to technology and infrastructure, changes to processes, and improvements to skill sets of both technologists and writers.

Does the ‘internet of things’ have an immediate or near-term impact on your organization’s information or collaboration infrastructure? How so?

The idea that the internet of things is going to be a walk-in-the-park is a little optimistic. There are lots of business drivers and user behaviors that need to be figured out before there will be adoption at any scale. If any information or collaboration infrastructure is affected, it needs to be between market analysts and technologists, who are usually at opposite ends of a project.

Marketing is the most talked about discipline that needs to take on more responsibility for technology to be effective. What can other departments learn from the discussion around marketing technology and marketing technologists?

Any department along the content delivery supply chain needs to develop basic literacy when it comes to marketing technologies. Each organization has its idiosyncrasies, but that doesn’t mean a particular department gets to take a pass. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and we’ve seen time and time again how weak links can sink an entire initiative, by being blockers.

Although sometimes used interchangeably ‘content strategy’ and ‘content marketing’ refer to very different though often connected disciplines. How and where should these activities be organized?

This is a particular irritation of mine. Content marketing and content strategy are two distinct disciplines. There are overlaps, sure, but the very names indicate the distinction. Content marketing is about just that, marketing, with a focus on acquiring and engaging target audiences, which in turns drives an increase in the bottom line. Content strategy keeps marketing in mind – after all, you don’t want to do anything to harm profitability – but the focus is on planning for the management of content throughout the entire content lifecycle, no matter what the input or output. Content strategy is the umbrella to any content marketing strategy because it does not confine itself to a single content silo or type; content strategy instead provides the glue that connects all sub-strategies together, including content marketing.

Catch up with Rahel at the Gilbane Conference:

Track T: Re-imagining the Future: Technology and the Postdigital Experience

T5: Multichannel Content Management – How do you do it?
Wednesday, December 3: 9:40 a.m. – 10:40 p.m.

Register now to hear more from Rahel and all of our speakers.

See our complete conference program for more details.

Speaker Spotlight: Karl Wirth – Real time and relevant content

In another installment of Speaker Spotlight, we posed a couple of our frequently asked questions to speaker Karl Wirth, CEO and Co-Founder of Evergage. We’ve included his answers here. Be sure to see additional Speaker Spotlights from our upcoming conference.

Karl Wirth | Gilbane Conference
Speaker Spotlight: Karl Wirth

Co-Founder and CEO

Evergage

What is the best overall strategy for delivering content to web, multiple mobile, and upcoming digital channels? What is the biggest challenge? Development and maintenance cost? Content control? Brand management? Technology expertise?

I believe the best overall strategy is delivering relevant content to audiences. Thanks to Big Data and technology, organizations now have the ability to serve their users and visitors dynamic, personalized content, based off of their behaviors and actions. Increasing relevancy and interacting with people in real time will capture attention, drive engagement, and ultimately increase conversions.

Real-time behavior-based personalization:

  • Is always relevant
  • Drives customer engagement
  • Compels action
  • Increases conversion rates

The biggest challenges that we have observed are:

  • Lack of resources – a customer success manager or marketer may not have the time to utilize a new technology
  • Budget constraints – organizations may not have budgeted for a new marketing tool
  • Content control – content may be managed by different departments creating inconsistencies and ownership confusion

The truth is that the days of static and irrelevant content are over. In our customer-driven world, organizations should invest to get to know their customers and tailor content to their actions.

Catch Up with Karl at Gilbane

Product Labs


Wednesday, December 4:  3:30 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.

Find out more about this session and our other conference sessions here.

Be sure to follow Karl @Evergage

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Speaker Spotlight: Frank Schneider – Multi-modal interface essential to mobile customer engagement

In another installment of Speaker Spotlight, we posed a couple of our frequently asked questions to speaker Frank Schneider, VP of Customer Experience Solutions at Creative Virtual USA. We’ve included his answers here. Be sure to see additional Speaker Spotlights from our upcoming conference.

Frank Schneider | Gilbane Conference

Speaker Spotlight: Frank Schneider

VP Customer Experience Solutions

Creative Virtual USA

 

Is there a “Marketing Technologist” role in your organization or in organizations you know of? Should there be? What should their responsibilities be?

As technology becomes the backbone of every organization, it forces the cross pollination of roles, especially now between marketing and IT. With a shift towards data-based marketing and new relationships forming between marketing, sales and customer service, the advent of the “Marketing Technologist” is real. This shift is fueling the need for marketing automation, sales enablement, content management, knowledge management and even translation. Marketing Technologists have emerged as the perfect conduit between platform adoption and management, and the traditionally non-technical roles of sales, marketing and customer service.

With customer service becoming the new marketing and marketing’s ability to directly influence the sales pipeline, Chief Marketing Technologists are sprouting up as the perfect solution to balance a variety of needs including marketing and CRM software, content marketing, social and mobile, data and analytics, web and app development, ad networks and customer engagement programs. From social media monitoring to SEO analysis to translation management and ecommerce, Marketing Technologists are fast becoming the “must have” in every organization that is competing in a global economy.

Do you think “web content management” should be the hub of digital experience management implementations? If so, should it have a new name to match an expanded role? If not, what should be at the center?

Content marketing is evolving to become the center of digital strategy. Consequently, every organization should endeavor to employ the new role of Chief Content Officer or some derivative thereof. Managing the ebb and flow of content and messaging via multiple channels has created the need for a more comprehensive content strategy across departments and media. Channel management between web, social, and mobile have not only created opportunities to deliver messaging, but an urgent need to provide fresh material for public consumption.

Organizations must take cues from traditional publications hiring copy editors, writers and reviews to constantly curate fresh content that furthers the company’s mission, corresponds to the marketing goals and satisfies the needs of their audience. However, you do need someone leading the charge – a person that understands the mission of the content team, rallies the resources and takes ownership of getting it done. Furthermore, they need the tools to get it done. Now more than ever, technology will play an ever increasing role in how content is aggregated, curated, manage and delivered.

What is the best overall strategy for delivering content to web, multiple mobile, and upcoming digital channels? What is the biggest challenge? Development and maintenance cost? Content control? Brand management? Technology expertise?

A proper macro level strategy for content delivery across multiple channels should be comprised of several key elements.

  1. Consistency. Whether it be call center agents looking for an answer or policy or a customer checking a web page, the right answer, right messaging, and proper branding should be pervasive and consistent, no matter the medium or device. Nuanced variable can be in play in regards to format, UI, and design, but at the end of the journey, customers need to feel that your content delivery allowed for a seamless experience.
  2.  Correct and Compliant. Along the lines of the first element, “correct” can mean many things. First, the item must incorporate content that is not just correct in regards to the answer from a company perspective, but answer precisely the question the customer has (in regards to what began the content search or inquiry). Furthermore, this correct answer must incorporate personalization factors; in other words, the answer must be particularly right for that customer or that profile of customer. Lastly, content must be compliant… from HIPPA, to SEC guidelines, to CPNI… content delivery must adhere to compliance guidelines will protecting the interests of both consumer and business.
  3. Automated and seamless. Content delivery across all channels must be deployed with a strategy towards, and enabled by technology and tools for, automated cross pollination and management of content. The idea of multi-channel strategy, that is, the ability to deliver in multiple channels (web, mobile/tablet, call center, IVR, social/community, branch), must mature from brainstorming strategy to refined omnichannel capability. An ominichannel content delivery system allows for authentic smart delivery of content, no matter the channel or modality.

Catch Up with Frank at Gilbane

Track T: Re-imagining the Future: Technology and the Postdigital Experience

T1: Are You Leveraging All the Mobile Technologies Required for Competitive Mobile Engagement?
“Come As You Are: Multi-Modal Interface is Essential to Mobile Customer Engagement”
Tuesday, December, 3: 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

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Speaker Spotlight: Pamela Kostur – Do you have a content control problem?

In another installment of Speaker Spotlight, we posed a couple of our frequently asked questions to speaker Pamela Kostur, Partner at Parallax Communications. We’ve included her answers here. Be sure to see additional Speaker Spotlights from our upcoming conference.

Pamela Kostur | Gilbane conference | best strategy

Speaker Spotlight: Pamela Kostur

Partner

Parallax Communications

What is the best overall strategy for delivering content to web, multiple mobile, and upcoming digital channels? What is the biggest challenge? Development and maintenance cost? Content control? Brand management? Technology expertise?

For me, it’s always content first. Content should serve its audiences, yet too often, organizations put themselves first, basing their messaging on what they want to tell customers instead of on what customers want to know. So, regardless of the delivery mechanism—web, blog, video, webinar, tweet—I always start with the following questions:

  • What are you trying to say? To whom?
  • Why? What do you want them to know? What do you want them to do?
  • What content and delivery method will best serve audiences’ needs, based on your answers to these questions?

The biggest challenge I see in many of the organizations I work with is definitely content control. Many organizations don’t think beyond individual departments. So, Marketing may “own” one component of the content, but Customer Support owns another version that is different, and possibly inconsistent. I’ve even found inconsistent product descriptions throughout companies’ websites, saying different things about the same products, and providing inconsistent types of information about similar products.

Further adding to the content control problem is that many organizations don’t know what content they have, so instead of modifying/retiring existing content, they add new content to the mix, introducing more inconsistencies. A content strategy should consider all iterations of content, for all outputs, for all users, and bring them together into a unified message that serves the audience and promotes brand consistency.

Catch Up with Pamela at Gilbane

Track C: Content, Marketing, and the Customer Experience

C10. Content Strategies: Customer Experience, Competition, Content Marketing and Curation
Wednesday, December, 4: 2:00 p.m. – 3:20 p.m.

Follow Pamela on Twitter – @Pamela_Kostur.

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Gilbane Conference Speaker Acceptance Notices

We have just sent out a batch of acceptance notices to those who submitted a proposal to speak at our conference in Boston this year. As we mentioned in a recent post, we had a record number of proposals this year and are only going to be able to include about 20% of them.

It will be another week or two before all acceptance notices are sent.

We will be emailing everyone who wanted to speak whether we can fit you in or not, but will be holding off until we are pretty sure about everyone’s status.

Thanks for your patience!

Social Media: Creating a Voice and Personality for Your Brand

Gilbane Conference Workshop: Social Media: Creating a Voice and Personality for Your Brand

Instructor: AJ Gerritson, Founding Partner & Social Media Strategist, 451 Marketing
November 27th, 2012 at the InterContinental Boston Waterfront

For consumers, brand interaction on social media platforms is no longer the exception, it’s the expectation. In order to stay relevant, companies must develop digital tactics that boost the brand’s overall communications strategies and marketing campaigns. When utilized effectively, social media marketing enhances your brand’s voice and personality, making you more approachable and transparent to your target audience. But, how can your company devise a social media strategy that entices audiences and encourages interaction? Which platforms make sense for your brand? How can you monitor the effectiveness of a social media campaign?

In this interactive session, 451 Marketing founding Partner and Social Media Strategist, AJ Gerritson, will outline the major social media platforms, strategic approaches, best practices, time commitment, and measurement tools and techniques necessary as part of an effective social media strategy. Using industry statistics and case studies, AJ will teach attendees how to structure a successful social media strategy that can be easily integrated into your brand’s existing communications campaigns.

Just Published: Outsell Gilbane Study on Multilingual Marketing Content

Our 2011 report describing the current state of practice for globalizing multilingual marketing content is available now through March 31 exclusively through study sponsors  Across Systems, ADAM Software, Lionbridge, and SDL.

Multilingual Marketing Content: Growing International Business With Global Content Value Chains features a major update of the global content value chain, Gilbane’s framework for helping companies plan and manage their globalization practices. The new value chain adds core competencies to the existing functional view of multilingual content processes, and it clearly ties the value chain to business outcomes.

Study data includes top business goals and objectives and the investments that marketing and localization managers are making in programs and initiatives that support those goals. The analysis covers what marketing organizations can learn from product content groups, who are generally further along the content globalization maturity curve.

The report will be available directly from the Gilbane website starting April 1. In the meantime, please visit a sponsor site to access the study, and check this blog for research highlights and insights.

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