We can all agree that there is more bad advertising and marketing than good out in our society.
Bad marketing is cheap. Bad marketing is easy. It is much easier to create an untested, unreliable ad, or create an insert for 40,000 households for less than a cent per copy, than to spend money beforehand to test and target.
When brands want quick turnarounds and no questions asked, the result one sees reflects the diligence. And it is continuously saddening to be forced to defend the industry because of the plurality of lazy (not necessarily bad) apples.
Which now brings us to those groups of professionals who choose to create new labels for stuff the industry should be doing anyway.
The premise behind content marketing is creating materials owned by the brand and are available for the consumer to, well — consume. It could be videos, articles about how the consumer can better use the product, shows centered around the product the brand offers, and so on. The key points are that the information is branded, the brand retains nearly total control over the information and how it is presented, and that the consumer is free to use it and share it with others.
Sounds a lot like marketing to us.
Our goal is to ultimately connect with the consumer in a way that they agree to buy one of our products. That's it. If a relationship develops, that's great, but if the marketing or content we are building doesn't make them want to open their wallet, we are wasting time.
Content marketing is exactly what the entire industry should be doing. We should be showcasing ways the product we offer benefits the consumer. We should be in total control of our content, because though the consumer has friends and has an opinion, that opinion isn't necessarily informed. Asking high-schoolers why they bought certain things made that painstakingly clear to us.
We know that we're going to hear from content marketing "purists" saying that we got the idea all wrong. Feel free to re-teach us.
But content marketing is just marketing. And yes, you're doing it right. But it is nothing new.
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.