B2B Best Practices: Content marketing with James Mathewson & Mike Moran

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‘Inside-out’ is how marketing has been practiced since marketing was invented.

With inside-out marketing, a company develops clever brand names and iconic imagery to differentiate their products from the marketplace, and then create ads that push that branding on prospective customers.

They’re casting a wide net, so these marketers are content to get a minuscule percentage of those prospects to actually do business with them.

That method no longer works, according to world-renowned digital marketing thought leaders James Mathewson and Mike Moran.

Mathewson and Moran, who co-wrote Outside-In Marketing: Using Big Data to Guide Your Content Marketing, say that customers dislike inside-out marketing. They want marketing that respects their time and gives them immediate value in exchange for their attention.

Enter outside-in marketing.

“You listen for the needs of your clients and you build messages that serve those needs, on and in their terms,” said Mathewson, a distinguished technical marketer for search at IBM. “Then you place these messages in convenient places in their buyer journeys – typically search and social media settings. The messages attract them to your owned content marketing properties, where you can more deeply engage them, and ultimately convert them into loyal clients. This engagement initially takes the form of conditioning the conversation towards your brands and differentiating propositions, but ends in a strong relationship built on trust.”

Every message delivered must engage, fascinate, and motivate the right audiences, added Mathewson. “Your marketing itself must provide value to customers — whether they buy today, next month, or far into the future.”

Although Mathewson said the book is primarily geared towards executives and managers, practitioners will find it useful as well. Most of the examples in the book – which show how to integrate content marketing with Big Data to deliver exactly the right messages to exactly the right customers and influencers – are from B2B companies, said Mathewson. “My whole frame of reference is about helping a large B2B enterprise transform towards effective data-driven marketing at scale.”

Industry changes have made it essential that companies transform their content enterprises to naturally attract and engage with audiences using search and social media, said Mathewson.

Over the last few years, “marketing has changed from a plodding, planned activity that has a new campaign each year to one where marketers are expected to constantly optimize their results based on data feedback loops that require real time response,” said Moran, a senior strategist for several leading digital marketing companies including Converseon.

The good news for marketers is that these changes will be easier for them to handle if they become data-driven, Moran said.

“If they use the data to decide what to do next, they will be more successful. So even though we are just at the beginning of the era of big data, we can use outside-in marketing techniques to start working with the small data we have now so we are ready for the really big data to come.”

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Tracey Tong

Tracey Tong

Tracey Tong is an award-winning journalist with over 15 years in newspapers and communications. She is a former managing editor at Metro News and has contributed stories on business, politics, technology, science, healthcare and the arts to dozens of publications all over North America. The Burlington native currently makes her home in Ottawa. Find her on Twitter @TraceyTong
Tracey Tong

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