Content Is Your Brand’s Most Essential Resource

Every February, Accenture Interactive launches their annual “state of content survey” to examine the emerging trends, greatest challenges, and key learnings from around the digital content world.

Their latest report aims to solve the latest marketing hurdle, and why the operational side of content management is eating up a big chunk of marketing professionals’ time, despite heavy investments in managing the surge of digital content.

Today, the modern digital marketing landscape has made content the primary differentiator among brands. The importance of creating engaging and appealing content has become a priority for brands that want to connect to their consumers.

Pat Connolly, Vice President of Marketing Solutions at Condé Nast clearly defines the difference between content and advertising. “Advertising is built for a brand and content is built for the audience.”

Connolly claims that the abundance of content in the digital ecosystem has caused a shift in the advertising world. “The world that we live in is a world of choice. It’s a consumer driven culture where they can go anywhere they want and decide they want to block an advertisement or not block an advertisement.”

As a result of that, Connolly says, “the notion of very traditional disruptive marketing has shifted towards more of a permission based market placed. For you to communicate with the audience that you’re trying to reach and convey a specific brand message, you have be as interesting or as engaging as every other piece of content that exists out there. You’re competing for a consumer’s attention.”

Brian Becker, Executive Director and Head of NewsRoom of JP Morgan Chase, adds “it’s much more challenging for an advertiser now. People are definitely tuning out. The game has changed. The places that you communicate to consumers has evolved a lot.”

That creates “a necessity for brands to change the way they communicate. I think the real challenge of content is prioritizing where to focus and being able to communicate your brand and messaging in a way that actually connects on a human level to consumers.”

Connolly added on to the importance of humanizing brands through content. “If you’re a brand like Disney, it’s not particularly difficult because your brand is based on characters. If you’re a bank or an oil company, that idea of trying to personify your brand can be quite challenging.”

With companies like JP Morgan Chase, however, the idea of humanizing a brand can seem challenging. “Finances, loans, mortgages are exactly not the first thing that people want to think about when they wake up,” Becker explains. “But those are providing people some sort of value which is a much better discussion. A mortgage can buy someone a house.”

On the same subject, Brian said “Their finances keep them in check and allow them to life a better lifestyle. Every brand, us included, has to figure out the right lanes to create content within. For us, financial fitness, small business content— those are areas where we can really play and provide a unique voice.”

The pressure is on for brands to create captivating and meaningful content for consumers. Companies must be willing to go the extra mile in order to keep up with the content-crazed digital marketplace. As Lindsay Nelson, Global Head of Brand Strategy at Vox Media puts it, “To tell amazing stories, you have to step back a little bit and be a little vulnerable because that’s when you get to something interesting.”

Article Written By: Mahin Rahaman