Trying to explain the benefits of content marketing to a sales-driven organisation is like selling renewable energy to a coal stoker.
It keeps suprising me how little content preachers seem to understand about product delivery and/or monitization strategies and how content marketing could or could not benefit the execution of a particular strategy.
Because, content marketing probably isn’t suitable for at least 50% of the companies:
A study conducted several years ago by querying top marketing executives working at one-hundred leading U.S. technology companies, showed that despite all the talk about being market-driven and customer-focused, 54% of respondents viewed their company as actually being technology-driven.
Content marketing should be part of a market-driven organization, not of a sales-driven organization. Content marketing is intended for building a trusted brand; by telling stories about customer experiences; to facilitate dialogue between all stakeholders; to make better products and to evolve as a company; and to build long lasting relationships. Profit is not a goal by itself, but a means by which it can achieve the goals.
The sales-driven organization does not care about most of these things. The organization is often lead by former sales and marketing executives. Not by product developers. The goal is to achieve as much marketshare as possible and/or to improve profitability – as soon as possible. Content is limited to brochures, advertising and promotions. Data is intended to achieve the goals faster, not to please the customer.
And while we are at it: the technology-driven organization is even worse. They don’t care about the customer. They act on intuition for most if not all product decisions; the used technology to build a product they believed in; and simply jumped in. Awaiting a triggering event that could cause a dramatic surge in demand. Investors love these kind of companies, even though the risk of failing is enormous: the gains can be enormous too.
It is therefore pointless to suggest that content marketing is beneficial to all organizations, regardless of its strategies and goals.
Before selecting a specific marketing approach, ask yourself this question: Can we afford and/or do we want to invest in the long term? If not, forget about content marketing.