I am VERY excited to announce that Altimeter Group‘s newest report, Content: The New Marketing Equation, has been released to the public. It’s Rebecca Lieb’s first report with Altimeter Group and the first report that Jaimy Syzmanski and I supported as researchers. We conducted 56 interviews with content marketing professionals and used those insights to develop a maturity model and audit for organizations to benchmark their performance.
Five stages of content marketing maturity:
- Stand – Curiosity and consideration – Not yet practicing content marketing
- Stretch – Advocacy & experimentation – Begin to build strategy and support to publish content
- Walk – Strategy & Processes – Solid organizational and strategic foundation, teams formed, metrics introduced
- Jog – “Culture of content” – Sustainable, meaningful, scalable content initiatives, broad training organizationally, top-down and bottom-up
- Run – Inspired and inspirational (and largely aspirational) – The company actually monetizes its content, which has a separate P&L
If you’re curious where your organization falls in this maturity model, read the report embedded below and answer the maturity model audit on page 13. All of Altimeter’s research is released under our Open Research policy, so feel free to download the report and share it however you see fit.
What I Personally Learned From This Research Process:
- Content breaks through the noise. Marketers face a huge problem right now because consumers have access to more information online than they’ve ever had before. Breaking through the noise online is incredibly difficult, but I think content marketers are on the right path. I’ve never heard marketers focus so much on solving problems for their audience, which was a breath of fresh air. The content produced for a brand shouldn’t promote a product, which is counterintuitive for marketers. Instead, it should focus on solving customer pain-points and telling the story around the product, not about it.
- Story-tellers are a hot commodity. Nearly everyone we interviewed emphasized how important it was to tell their brand’s story. Every brand, product and employee has a story to tell, but not every organization has hired people with the skill set to actually tell those stories. Brands are looking to hire journalists because their skill set aligns very strongly with the talents they need to produce a high volume of quality content.
- That film degree might come in handy. As brands move to more visual content, artists and filmmakers will see their demand increase as well. Journalists and editors are the primary hiring target for organizations right now because they need people to produce a steady stream of blog posts, but online video is a high priority for content producers and they’re just starting to figure out how to do it quickly and professionally.
- You get what you pay for. Like social media (and social media is often a large chunk of content marketing), people still think about content marketing as being free. They don’t see the costs associated with writing blog posts, managing twitter conversations, replying to Facebook comments. The channels might be free, but managing and producing content for them is not. You can tell a lot about an organization’s priorities by looking at their budget. We’re seeing more budget dedicated to content marketing, but it’s still too small a slice for the value it produces compared to traditional media spending.
Read and download the full report here:
I am very excited to announce that I’ve joined the Altimeter Group! I’ve posted it already on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, but I wanted to announce it here because I’m expecting to devote more time here as a result of this career move. I’m taking on the role of a researcher in support of the incredible analysts at Altimeter and will be spending most of my time working closely with Charlene Li (twitter, blog), Alan Webber (twitter, blog), and Jeremiah Owyang (twitter, blog).
Much of my research at Interpret LLC focused on the new technology disrupting the entertainment industry, but I’m eager to expand that into studying how disruptive technology (and especially social media) are affecting the best business practices in other industries. The level of research into this area at Altimeter Group is unparalleled so I’m both excited and humbled to join their excellent team at this time.
Of course this means a big move for me personally as I just relocated from LA to San Francisco, so keep an eye out for a post on all the websites and digital tools I used to aid my relocation.