Yesterday I shared how much I learned about building ABM strategies at CONEX, a conference in Toronto with Uberflip. Today, they pulled out all of the stops by bringing in every marketing superstar the industry had to offer – Jay Baer, Ann Handley, Marcus Sheridan, Tamsen Webster, and Scott Stratten to name a few. However, the vibe wasn't your typical content how-tos and tips.
It's just my opinion, but the discussion today was much more about being honest with how you're developing your content – from the process, to how transparent you are, how you're analyzing your audience, down to the ethics of your business.
The discussion started with Uberflip co-founder Randy Frisch sharing both alarming and optimistic statistics about content. He utilized a beautiful analogy (complete with video) of his son trying to play a Justin Bieber song via mobile phone, Sonos, and Google Home. Only one provided the immediate fulfillment – Google Home. The analogy: Randy's son was seeking content available on all systems, but only one made it simple to find and listen to.
This is the world we live in and the point was driven home all day long.
- Tamsen – went into great detail on developing a Content Remix Matrix that provides the information that builds the bridge between your prospect and you. It detailed goals, problems, truths, changes, and actions necessary to reach that audience.
- Scott – put on an entertaining and hilarious show that pointed out how terrible ethics is in marketing, where companies deployed shoddy strategies (like newsjacking gone awry) to attain short-term gains while destroying their reputation. As Scott put it:
Ethics and integrity are not renewable resources.
- Marcus – put in a flawless, rapid-fire presentation that reminded us that truth and honesty are what every customer wants when they seek information on your website, but they rarely find critical information (like pricing). He described how you can answer a question honestly, and in-depth, while not putting your company at risk. Quite the opposite, he showed how you can stand atop your industry simply by answering the questions your prospects are seeking online.
The passion displayed by every speaker today told the same story… content marketers are killing their business with poor, weak content experiences that simply don't move the needle. All while consumers and businesses are researching and driving their own customer journeys every day. When companies do it right, they empower their customers to qualify themselves and close the sale without virtually any interaction. But when companies do it wrong, most of the incredible resources they invest in content is lost.
When we're developing content for our clients, I make it clear that the actual deliverable is only one-tenth of the work. We utilize researchers, storytellers, designers, videographers, animators, and any other resource necessary to produce the content. We research mediums and audiences on where to place and promote it. We analyze the competition, the business, the actual decision-makers, and every aspect of what the journey looks like before every opening that first sentence.
It's the long game. We're not playing for hits, we're playing for runs… to win. And to win, marketers must ensure that their companies are deemed honest, trustworthy, authoritive, and ready to serve. And when we do it right, we win every time.
The Content Feud
There's no way I can end this post on the day at CONEX without a mention of The Content Feud. With incredible host Jay Baer, this session was one of the funniest, most creative activities I've ever witnessed at a conference. Bravo for CONEX for producing this incredible experience.