The Marriage of Content and Data

July 7, 2015

Key takeaways from the Digital Marketing Summit

By Ryan Dinger

At BMA-New Jersey's Digital Marketing Summit, held this past May at the Highlawn Pavilion in West Orange, N.J., attendees heard a familiar message from the four featured speakers: Content is king — as long as it's pertinent to the target audience. Each speaker also shared deeper points on the use of content and data. Here are a few key insights gleaned from the presentations:

Speaker: Dan Roche, vice president of marketing at TalkPoint
Presentation: Marketing Through the New Customer Life Cycle

  • The buying cycle is now more digitally driven. To navigate the modern customer life cycle, marketers must understand the sales process for their specific industry, recognize opportunities to reach customers across touchpoints, deliver content that creates an experience, and encourage customers to join the conversation.
  • In addition to building brand awareness, content should truly reflect a company's services, products, and capabilities.
  • Embrace the lack of control the modern era creates within the sales process by engaging on social media or launching a blog. Survey customers and proactively seek out informal contact with prospects. Remember, companies are no longer dependent on the sales team to close a deal; it takes the involvement of the entire team.

Speaker: Andrew Gaffney, president and founder of Demand Gen Report and Retail Touchpoints, both eMedia properties
Presentation: Insights and Trends for B-to-B Marketers

  • Foundationally and fundamentally, business marketers must have a content-driven messaging platform. Critical to this platform is clear, concise, and appropriate brand messaging for target audiences and a long-term strategy.
  • Use content to generate demand for a product or service. Once a customer is engaged, focus on retention marketing. Drive home the reasons why a customer regularly needs a brand's offerings.
  • Get maximum mileage from content by repurposing it in different media. White papers, infographics, blogs, e-books, etc., regularly give content a second life.

Speaker: Rich Campanaro, director of client marketing strategy at NJ Advance Media
Presentation: Data-Rich Targeting for Marketing Programs

  • A customer entering a store and interacting with a product or service is the first moment of truth in the traditional buying cycle. However, the digital age has facilitated a "zero moment of truth" when customers, nudged by stimuli like a TV ad, perform research on a product or service independently, often without knowledge of the parent company.
  • A multichannel marketing strategy is imperative to any campaign, as customers interact with content on their mobile devices, on their desktops, and everywhere in between. Brand messaging must be consistent and digestible on any platform.
  • Improve the value of content by investing in customer data. Understanding the demographics and general interests of customers allows a brand to send more targeted content. Third-party vendors can help marketers mine data and put it to use.

Speaker: Ellie Ahmadi, senior manager of global digital marketing at Accenture 
Presentation: Navigating Through Digital Data

  • Hire a data scientist. This person won't necessarily make final decisions, but can process data and draw conclusions. Having accurate data to paint a picture of the company's ideal customer base makes it easier for marketers to craft a story.
  • Data should guide, not decide. Despite the wealth of customer information now available, marketers should still trust their instincts. For example, actively participating in a social channel can tell a brand more about an audience than numbers on a spreadsheet.
  • The market for predictive data is established and growing. Marketers would be well served to begin collecting this data to more accurately predict customer behavior.

"The Marriage of Content and Data." Ryan Dinger. BMA Buzz. 7/7/15.