Are technology marketers moving away from creating content for the buyer’s journey?
The CMI research team found ourselves asking this question as we analyzed the data from our eighth annual content marketing survey. Here’s the finding that got us talking:
Compared with the previous year, more technology marketers say they’re focused on creating the right content for the right person at the right time – but fewer report they’re crafting content for specific points on the buyer’s journey.
More on that in a moment, but first consider that technology marketers are achieving increased content marketing success. Thirty-one percent of technology marketers report that their organization’s overall content marketing approach is extremely or very successful – that’s up seven percentage points from the previous year, when 24% reported high success.
In addition, another 50% of technology marketers this year report “moderate” success.
And, like the previous year, nearly 70% say their organization’s overall approach to content marketing is “much/somewhat more successful” compared with one year ago.
As you can see in the report, Technology Content Marketing 2018: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America, sponsored by IDG Communications, Inc., most respondents attribute increased success to getting better with content creation and developing or adjusting strategy – the same top factors cited in the previous year.
Since CMI began conducting annual content marketing research in 2010, technology marketers have reported more use of content marketing as well as the highest levels of content marketing effectiveness or success. They’ve often “done more” of everything – experimented with more types of content marketing, become among the first to document their content marketing strategy and use social media platforms to distribute content, etc. – thus, we consider tech marketers “early adopters.”
Therefore, when we see notable shifts in their replies to our annual content marketing survey, we think carefully about what those responses might indicate. This time, three areas caught our attention.
More emphasis on targeted, relevant, well-timed content
Top performers among tech marketers held steady year-over-year, with 78% reporting they always or frequently prioritize providing the right content to the right person at the right time. However, the total group had a big jump, with 63% reporting they do this (vs. 49% the previous year).
Robert Rose, CMI’s chief strategy advisor and head of consulting engagements, said these findings “seem to reflect something I’m seeing among clients, which is a focus on ‘personalization’ and ‘targeting’ and ‘real-time’ usage of data to optimize experiences. And there is definitely a learning curve involved.”
What it means to you:
Getting the right content to the right person at the right time requires a deep understanding of your audience. Solid buyer personas certainly play a role. But personas, while a convenient shorthand, are neither a one-and-done proposition nor the final word on understanding audience needs.