winter / 2017

The magazine of branded content
for 2018
Juliet Stott
Top tips from 17 leading influencers in our latest ebook
Juliet Stott
Dec 13, 2017

New technology, the smartphone-fueled evolution in consumer behavior, along with marketing’s inability to disrupt itself from its ‘business-as-usual-cycle,’ are some of the biggest risks to content marketers, says Altimeter’s futurist and principal analyst Brian Solis in an interview he gave Content Magazine earlier this year.

Detailed in our latest free ebook, he said that the biggest threat to marketing is marketers themselves. “Marketers tend to get stuck in the rut—using the same metrics, the same campaign mindset, and the same budget to fund programs, and they put people in front of strategies that they aren’t the most qualified to manage,” said Solis.

Yet, these are not the only problems facing the industry. All too often marketers are blind-sided by the latest shiny new technology, and treat it as a bolt-on or something to just plug into whatever they are already doing. This is a misnomer says The Marketoonist, Tom Fishburne, who believes that any marketer who thinks they need a ‘Snapchat strategy,’ is missing the point. These are the people who have to re-evaluate how to market effectively in a digital world.

Our Chair Jacqueline Loch agrees. The Vice President & Group Publisher, St. Joseph Media from Canada says marketers need to be mindful of the ‘real world’ around them when creating new campaigns and content, and not get caught up in a ‘marketing bubble.’ Loch said: “Too often marketers think that it’s all about their brand, or that a consumer is loyal to them, or that their audience is not distracted or working on multiple platforms, and they are wrong.”

Technology is evolving at such a pace that its changing the way consumers interact with the content that brands and media companies are producing. Thanks to the smartphone, consumers no longer want to watch/read/listen to what we think of as ‘real content’ anymore says Gary Johnson, president of MSP-C, instead they’re attracted to games, search, and destination-style, utility content. And this behavior, he says, will have a profound impact on the type of content brands produce.

Solis backs Johnson’s sentiment with findings from research he conducted with Google into how people make decisions. He said that consumers are now looking for quick answers in ‘micro moments’, on the go. “People just want to get to the next step, in the minutes they have available, while they are looking at their smartphones,” he said. This means brands need to use technology to deliver content that has the right message, in the right context, at the right time, in the right place.

Although our latest ebook hasn’t provided a secret formula for how to be the perfect content marketer, it does tap into the expertise of 17 of the world’s leading practitioners, who have shared their views on the challenges the industry is facing right now, and the risks to the practice of content marketing. Six brave influencers have shared their stories of personal failures in this discipline, and the lessons they learnt from their mistakes. And in part four, we’ve concluded with seven remarkable case studies of marketers who risked everything to go all-in with content, and succeeded.

We would like to thank everyone who has shared their insights, imparted their wisdom and made this ebook possible.

Best wishes for the holiday season, and wishing you a great start to 2018.

We’d love to hear from you if you are willing to share your stories about the risks that you’ve taken in this industry, which may or may not have paid off, and any lessons you’ve learnt.

Email our editor Juliet Stott