Watch an online ad, navigate around a brand’s website or consume some social content on the likes of Facebook or Linkedin and you will notice one similarity – none of the content is connected.
You read, watch or consume the content and then, if you’re lucky, it might link to a landing page. However, most of the time there’s no link at all and if you do get to a landing page or associated content on a hub or microsite, you’re left to your own devices, having to figure out what you may want to look at next.
What a wasted opportunity.
But why is this happening? Our analysis has pinpointed five reasons:
Marketing works in moments
Outbound marketing is typically about executing campaigns. Identify the target audience, create the content and then push it out through the appropriate channels. Success is defined within the remit of the campaign and the overarching engagement with the customer is not a consideration.
When it’s not a campaign, such as the delivery of a regular newsletter, then vanity metrics take over. The obsession is open rates, click throughs, dwell time and downloads. Despite the fact that it’s an activity that should generate sustained engagement, this is ignored because the results are not measured in this way and instead the focus is on the moment when the ‘send’ button is pressed. This also applies to social and PR campaigns which are all about sustained engagement but without any consideration of what is to be done with the ‘engaged audience’ – we call this the ‘spinning wheel of engagement’ because like the metaphoric hamster, the audience is running fast but going nowhere.
The other way of looking at the points raised above, is the obsession with creating content to feed channels. What are we posting on Facebook today? What products are we focussing on within our digital ads or eshots this month? If you’ve got a channel, it needs feeding with content.
Pity the poor audience at the end of these channels who are the carefully selected targets but whose needs are largely ignored.
Creating customer journeys is not a marketing or content focus
While the creation of customer journeys to fulfil specific processes is a major focus for businesses at the moment, it is largely absent from marketing and content planning.
Marketing is the start of the journey. Brilliant marketing engages an audience and speaks to their needs. What needs to happen then, but doesn’t, is for marketing to recognise the power of creating end-to-end content journeys that allow the audience to progress from that initial engagement to purchase and beyond.
Organisational content silos
One of the main reasons that end-to-end content journeys do not exist is because there are so many functions within the business responsible for creating content and no single plan that connects all that content together. For the poor customer, this creates a poor experience…although admittedly it’s something they are all used to.
It’s hard to achieve technically
To connect content together there are two technical considerations. Firstly, you need a single planning tool that can map all the content and secondly you need an AI that can serve the right content to the right audience at the right time across all the channels.