Category Archives: Content

The Missing Piece in Content Marketing

Lisa Dennis Content Marketing“While content marketing is one of the most effective and interesting marketing tactics to come down the pike, I have to confess that I have a bone to pick with it.  Content marketing isn’t only about marketing.  While marketers have all the responsibility for strategy, creation and execution, which is no small thing, there is another very important aspect that’s missing…”

I recently wrote this while pondering the strengths and weaknesses of content marketing, and why it has not been fully embraced by sales people.  I came up with a few ideas on the matter that I’d like to share with you.

Click here to read my entire article on TechTarget’s Mktr2Mktr site.  Thanks!

Resistance: Let Me Count the Ways

At this moment, where ever you are, you are resisting doing something.  It may be something you “should” do, or “want” to do, or “need” to do.  Whether you are actively resisting and digging in your heels, or just nursing a vague push-back that keeps you from doing it, it’s there. 

This morning, I’m resisting writing a blog post – know I should do it, want to do it, need to do it.  But there you have it – RESISTANCE.    What to write?  I always have ideas when I’m not sitting down to do this.  But they evaporate when I sit down to do it.  So I started googling “ideas for blog posts” and came up with all sorts of things that ultimately will be helpful.
Help

 

This morning, it’s the resistance that I am most thinking about.
I love to write.  I have been writing all my life – and it’s often a large part of what I do in my business practice.  But the resistance is there nonetheless.  I saw an interview about a month ago with Steven Pressfield, the author of The War of Art.  The premise here is resistance is the block to creating things, or outcomes – and it really resonated for me.  Here’s a partial list from the book that sets the stage:

RESISTANCE’S GREATEST HITS

The following is a list, in no particular order, of those activities, which most commonly elicit Resistance:

1) The pursuit of any calling in writing, painting, music, film, dance, or any creative art, however marginal or unconventional.woman on ball

2) The launching of any entrepreneurial venture or enterprise, for profit or otherwise.

3) Any diet or health regimen.

4) Any program of spiritual advancement.

5) Any activity whose aim is tighter abdominals.

 

Number 5 made me laugh, but I found that all of the first 5 were pretty spot-on for me.  There are 5 characteristics of Resistance that outline what we’re up against.   Resistance is:  invisible, internal, insidious, implacable, and impersonal.  Oh, and it’s a major pain in the butt (that one is from me).   I’ll just share Pressfield’s comments on the first characteristic because it is the part that always gets me.

RESISTANCE IS INVISIBLE

Resistance cannot be seen, touched, heard or smelled. But it can be felt. It is experienced as a force field emanating from a work-in-potential. It’s a repelling force. It’s negative. Its intention is to shove the creator away, distract him, sap his energy, and incapacitate him.

If Resistance wins, the work doesn’t get written. 

That is the bottom line for sure.  Whether you are creating something, marketing something, selling something, the barriers are the same.  What are you resisting doing that will create opportunity for you personally, professionally, and organizationally?   I am focusing on mine – and now my blog post got written.  What are you resisting and how will you overcome it?

Enabling Selling with Thought Leadership

I attended the ITSMA annual conference last week in Cambridge, MA.  One of the major themes across the event was sales enablement, and how Marketing can play an important role there.   As a senior associate with ITSMA, I had the privilege of participating in a series of 1-on-1 meetings with various ITSMA members.  I was able to participate in some great conversations about challenges and opportunities across a broad range of technology companies!

One of the recurring challenges I heard was about the use of thought leadership content by sales teams.  The key question that came up multiple times was “How do I get the sales team to engage and use the thought leadership content that we create?”

Using thought leadership as a tool for sales is a multi-pronged effort.  Just creating the content and sending it over to them is largely ineffective – as many of these folks shared with me.  There is too much content already out there, and the most limited resource that a sales person has is time.  So, if you think they are going to read it, and figure it out on their own how and when to use it, you’ll be very disappointed.

Here is a great graphic done by Profitable Channels about “How Content Supports a Modern Selling System.”  (click on link for larger view)

http://www.thoughtleadershipselling.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/MSS.jpg

Where I think this question gets answered is on the top half of the diagram.  What we ended up talking about in each of the conversations I had was the topic of Delivery.  My question back to them was: how are you delivering this content to the sales force?  Are you giving them what they need to actually engage and use the content?

Some of the key questions that need to be addressed are as follows:

  1. Can they find the content asset quickly and easily, or is it buried in a network portal somewhere?
  2. Is the content asset enabled across multiple devices (projector, flat screen, tables, smart phones, laptops)? One size fits no one!
  3. Have you provided an ABSTRACT of the content that gives them the following:
    • Short summary of the top 3 major points in the piece
    • 2 – 3 good discussion questions that a rep can use to engage the prospect or customer about the piece
    • Links to a follow-up content asset so a sales rep can serve up what comes next (i.e. webinar, invite to an event, additional piece of content, podcast, video, etc.), and continue to provide value and drive further conversation.

For every piece of piece of thought leadership content you create, I bet you have a program or campaign planned to get it in the hands of your prospects and customers.  Marketers should also include creating a quick and easy campaign aimed directly at Sales to arm them with the three enablers listed above. Make selling with thought leadership easy.  Remember, they are not the consumers of your thought leadership content – but they can deliver it directly to a customer if you make it easy for them to use it.

— Lisa Dennis

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