Connect With Customers: Enhance Your Content Marketing


Robert Rose
Business technology is ever-changing. Almost as soon as a new technology hits the market, a newer and more improved one is there to take its place. To help guide members through this constantly evolving technology, SEMA will conduct several educational sessions at the 2011 Business Technology Symposium (BTS), powered by the SEMA Street Performance Council (SPC) during SEMA's Leadership Days on Wednesday, July 27, from 10:00 a.m.–4:00 pm. at the Renaissance Hotel in Long Beach, California.

The following article was written by Robert Rose, Big Blue Moose, who will present the session entitled, “Connecting With Customers: Effective Content Marketing.”

How Can Content Help My Marketing?

In the book Data Smog: Surviving the Information Glut, author David Shenk says that in 1971, the average American was exposed to 560 advertising messages per day. By 1997, that number had increased to more than 3,000 per day. In 2009, it was more than 13,000 per day. And, in 2012, you can bet it will be many more than that.

Just think about the number of messages that pour over you in the course of just going to work. After you get in your car, how many of the neighboring cars or trucks have vinyl ads affixed to the side of their car? How many billboards do you pass? How many stores with special signs do you pass? How many commercial messages pour out of the radio you're listening to? How many ads in the browser blink at you as you sit down to work? And, the question becomes, how do you make your brand—your message—stand out?

Marketing is changing

As growth of the social and mobile web changes the methods of communication, the old relationships between business and consumer blur substantially. Our consumers are publishing and sharing their opinions (both good and bad) with increasing ease. This online content can become more persuasive (and certainly louder) than even the company's voice itself.

As Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff said in the book, Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies, "People on the Internet showed they were in charge. Any individual can be stopped, co-opted, bought off or sued. But the Internet allows people to draw strength from each other."

Traditional advertising is becoming a blur to most consumers. They skip through television using their DVR. They ignore magazine advertising. They use "ad blockers" to block Internet display ads. To reach consumers, it's about engaging and creating a permission-based relationship with them to engage on the topic of your business. It's your valuable, informative, engaging and (ultimately) sharable content that is driving marketing value these days.

Enter Content Marketing

Content marketing is learning how to communicate with your customers without "selling" to them. It's not about "interruption-based marketing." Instead, it's about using content to position your brand as a resource, a thought leader, an expert and a helpful "service" to the product or service you are selling. You are developing a relationship with consumers now—and this goes well beyond the "purchase" state—and into an ongoing engagement to drive loyalty.

According to a Roper Public Affairs study, 80% of business decision makers prefer to get company information through articles rather than advertising. Sixty percent of buyers say that content helps them make better product decisions. And, when you couple that with another study that found that 90% of all consumer purchase decisions today start with a "search," the case for producing content becomes clear.

Dive deeper into this subject and meet the author, Robert Rose, at the upcoming 2011 SEMA Business Technology Symposium (BTS), powered by the SEMA Street Performance Council (SPC), Wednesday, July 27, at the Renaissance Hotel in Long Beach, California. The BTS will feature five supersessions covering everything from mobile marketing, online marketing essentials, emerging R&D technology and more. Register by July 23 and save $50.