Everybody’s talking about it, striving for it, creating it, pumping it out in every imaginable form- digital and otherwise. Content is what they’re talking about… and for good reason. But we need to be very careful in how we define good content if we are to maximize its impact.
Almost anything can qualify as content if it has very real applicability to its target audience. But for content to be truly effective, it has to succinctly convey useful information to its readers, without hype, without selling. It has to address the actual needs of the customers, prospects or whomever that content is targeting.
Content is traditionally thought of us information conveyed by the written (or, in some cases, spoken) word. But content needn’t stop there…in fact, it shouldn’t stop there. As a species that responds so strongly to visual stimuli, it’s essential that our content take every opportunity to use visuals as a means for helping to convey the message. This can take several approaches. The obvious tactic is to include compelling graphics – photos, diagrams, charts, tables, illustrations, etc. – along with the carefully chosen words. A more subtle approach is to take great care in the layout of the content itself. This includes attention to the details of typography, spacing and all the other design elements that make a reader want to dive into, rather than resist, the content.
Maya Angeliou, our great American author and poet, may have stated the case for quality visuals best: “Content is of great importance, but we must never underestimate the value of style.”
So, next time you’re putting together your new chunk of content, evaluate it in terms of what it says, how well it says it and how good it looks. Its visual appeal may be the difference between getting read, absorbed and acted on, or not getting read at all.
The role of the Chief Marketing Officer in the B2B world is increasing significantly in recent times. With that expanded role come new challenges and responsibilities for the CMO and those whom he or she directs. Much of the evolution that must take place is driven by the dizzying pace of technological development and the resulting digital world we all live in.
Today’s CMOs will have to accomplish more in less time and sometimes with less resources… either human or financial. A successful CMO will focus on his company’s critical business issues, place strategy development above tactical issues and effectively pursue collaborative opportunities wherever possible.
And because so much of what matters in today’s business environment is, in fact, a product of the digital world, the successful CMO will do well to build strong relationships with his or her CIO and other key IT personnel. After all, it is the IT function that can link a company’s marketing objectives to its customer base. According to a 2013 survey, the key collaboration of the marketing future, if not the present, just may be the relationship between marketing and IT.
For the actual results of that survey and more detailed insight into the evolving role of the CMO, you can download the report here (simple registration required).