by Michael Foster
One of the biggest debates in marketing these days pits content against data. Do campaigns succeed because they’re placed alongside engaging content that gets consumers’ attention, or do they succeed if data-driven placement puts them in the exact right place at the exact right time?
For many marketers, the answer is both. And that answer is becoming more popular within the industry—especially for those interested in generating high-quality leads.
Let me explain why. For a long time, content has been perceived as a marketing priority—in fact, 70 percent of marketing executives have cited content as a primary focus in their campaign efforts. This intuitively makes sense. If you’re IBM, for instance, you’re probably not going to get many consultancy business leads by marketing on MTV.
That’s common sense, but our increasingly fragmented and overlapping media landscape has made things fuzzy. Maybe MTV isn’t the right venue, but could Buzzfeed work? How about Snapchat? Many marketers are surprised to discover that their target audience can be found in pockets of the media landscape that stereotypes would have us believe aren’t the right fit. But a more data-driven approach, using factual statistics based on actual information from and about users, uncovers a much more complex landscape.
And in such a complex landscape, targeting becomes infinitely harder. You can’t just throw a TV ad on the one program that fits your brand—you now need to customize a dozen or more messages to a lot of different platforms. On top of that, you need to ensure that those messages are appealing and noticeable. That’s no easy task.
This is why lead generation marketing has gotten a lot harder over the past few decades. But at the same time, a new crop of marketers has had tremendous success with extremely unconventional approaches to identifying target groups and sending messages their way.
How do they do it? With data. But it has to be the right data used in the right way. That’s why big data is something of a misnomer; you don’t just want to collect a ton of data and expect it to find your customers for you. You need to discover what data is right and what is wrong. Then you can selectively apply it to your campaigns to make them really work.
Increasingly, marketers are realizing they can use a data overlay on top of campaigns with content in mind to make campaigns really effective. And several best-practices approaches have been developed in recent years to make those efforts work consistently for different types of marketers and campaign goals.
At LeadsCon’s Connect to Convert, we will be taking a look at how using data with content can help marketers generate high-quality leads that convert to drive sales. For instance, on Wednesday morning eMarketing Strategy president Ruth Stevens will be joined by Aberdeen CEO Gary Skidmore, GE Capital’s Steve Kozek and Stirista CEO Ajay Gupta for a discussion of how content and data can be priority focuses for marketers and salespeople in 2017.
To learn more on what’s driving today’s customer acquisition, performance marketing and sales, join us at LeadsCon’s Connect to Convert this August in New York. Register today!