There’s a saying, usually attributed to Hewlett Packard co-founder David Packard, that marketing is too important to leave to the marketing department. This sentiment has caused many marketing practitioners to lament that people throughout the business now have two jobs – their own and marketing. Sometimes it seems that everyone in the company has an opinion on where the marketing strategy is going astray. Still, there’s value in seeing every employee as a contributor to this business-critical function.
Today, something similar is happening with content. As the creation of content becomes an increasingly important aspect of overall business strategy, the distinction between product and content is blurring. You’ve probably heard people refer to “product as content” and “content as product.” Like marketing, content has become everyone’s job.
On the product-as-content side, products of all kinds are being enhanced with content-driven experiences. For example, hotel brands are using apps and wearables to integrate content experiences into people’s hotel stays. Even a product line as traditional as heavy farming equipment now comes complete with apps that monitor performance and provide insight into usage.
On the content-as-product side, as Carla Johnson and I discuss in our book, the process of creating content for marketing purposes is viewed more as a product-development methodology than a traditional campaign-focused approach. Here, we see examples like Kraft’s Food and Family magazine, the ubiquitous Red Bull media house, and Indium’s simple but powerful From One Engineer to Anotherblog network.
Either way, whether your content spills over into the product or becomes the product, the goal is the same: to create customer experiences that differentiate your brand.
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