Push or Pull? Create personalized content at its inception to pull in potential customers

As content marketing evolves and develops its own unique appeal, researchers see a distinct difference emerging between brand awareness advertising and content marketing.

While content marketing can offer a more personalized strategy from the outset, a recent report by Rapt Media reveals that 83 per cent of B2B marketers find that personalization of content remains their biggest challenge. Additionally, although 94 per cent of those 500 marketing creatives surveyed said that better content technology is increasingly essential to driving deeper engagement, most agreed that investing in technology solutions that could deliver better content is not a top priority company-wide.

The study found that 86 per cent of B2B creative marketers are not even held accountable for business metrics with the content they are producing and 77 per cent say that linking performance data with content was not considered important by their company. The key findings indicate a communication gap between the demand for quality and personalized content and the struggle on the creative/marketing side to invest in the technologies that support content personalization linked to performance data and interactions. The bottom line is that many companies must invest in content distribution and management tech to meet the growing demand.

The study revealed that 94 per cent of those surveyed agree that better technology is the key to creating more beneficial content with 76 per cent saying that it needs to be more engaging, while 55 per cent say it should be personalized to suit different audiences. The additional 30 per cent stress that the distribution to multiple channels is important, while 41 per cent say distributing it to the right channels is good and 26 per cent say making it measurable beyond clicks and views is key.

Given the disconnect between creative marketers and generating good content, 86 per cent of those surveyed say they are not held accountable for business metrics from content they produce. Yet, finding a better understanding of what makes effective content is becoming more of a priority for content creatives. In fact, 65 per cent of those surveyed said that understanding what makes effective content will be a priority this year, with an emphasis on deeper, more precise measurements and analytics, in an effort to produce better, more personalized content for their target audiences.

The report stresses that although marketers rely on ad tech and marketing automation technologies to drive personalization for "push" marketing, perhaps the emphasis should instead be on "pull" marketing that enable the creation of compelling, valuable and customized content from the outset. Automation leads to efficiencies in distribution, but instead of relying on distribution to do the heavy lifting of personalization, the report notes that B2B marketers should leverage emerging tech to customize content at the point of creation.

The report revealed that currently 69 per cent of content investment is going into marketing automation systems, with 36 per cent investing in content distribution platforms, and 17 per cent investing in content creation platforms. Ultimately, the key to content creation technology investments indicates that 81 per cent need to demonstrate better engagement and personalization to business leaders, while seeing better investment in content technology. While the key to demonstrating deeper analytics to business leaders and decision makers is important, the report indicates that creative marketers understand that personalization means better technology at the point of content creation that that can provide choice, increased engagement and data. Getting approval to invest in that technology requires demonstrating it will yield meaningful audience data that can be optimized to drive increased ROI.

As content marketing reaches a turning point where the need for better more personalized content that can be measured and optimized at its inception is increasingly more important. Linking performance data with content also creates a win for both the customer and the creative. With better, more meaningful content for the customer, and the business case to continue to invest in content for the creative - personalized content reaching the right audiences will ultimately be the best return on investment.


Laurie Fullerton

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