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The Data Deluge: Blessing or Curse for Content Marketers?

Written on
Mar 24, 2014 
Author
Lars Christensen  |

ADOTAS — Now more than ever, it is essential that content marketers be precise and targeted with the content they develop in order for it to hit the mark and achieve the desired effect. With the growth of precise tracking analytics that empower marketers to create specific target personas, there is no longer any excuse for not sending out content that takes into account who the person is, past interactions they have had with your brand, and where they are along the buyer’s journey.

Now CMOs are also expected to measure and validate leads across a widening range of channels, taking medium, context and audience into account as they qualify leads for their sales teams. This places a lot of pressure on marketers to act with precision on an ever-increasing pool of data. How are some marketers not only surviving in this environment, with its overwhelming amount of data, but also thriving in it?

At ON24, we work with some of the world’s largest brands, including Marriott, IBM and PwC, and they are all finding innovative ways to effectively employ content marketing strategies:

It’s all about context: Developing “custom” content based on factors such as engagement length, desired outcome and call-to-action is highly effective. This makes sense, as you have to place yourself in the position of your target audience’s shoes. How does the marketer effectively take prospects to the next step? Are they educating themselves?  Are they ready to select a vendor? Our customers are finding that if they provide the right content at the right time, they achieve higher levels of engagement.

Deriving meaning from numbers: Integrated automation and benchmarking tools are extremely useful, but the data they present shouldn’t be taken at just face value. Most marketing automation and tracking tools do a great job of benchmarking interest levels and timing when leads are ready to be handed off to sales teams. But many of the tools don’t inherently show WHY the leads are interested. Marketers are often sitting on valuable information they get via the multiple content marketing campaigns they conduct and need to be sure they are giving their sales teams background intelligence on the campaigns and leads’ engagement levels. Don’t let that data go to waste!

Dividing & conquering: Many marketers are either overwhelmed or frustrated when they try to adapt content to the sheer size of their target audience(s). Many of our customers are finding that when they divide their audiences into very specific segments, it becomes incredibly easier to tweak, adjust and adapt content based on the various audiences. Additionally, with more specific audience targeting, marketers are able to set up more precise benchmarks, allowing them to activate content when most appropriate to a specific audience rather than creating broad-sweeping content campaigns that may miss the desired outcome for the majority of their audience.

Marketers are starting to crack the code of content marketing, but they face a “puzzle” with pieces ranging from creating content and measuring results to tracking success. It’s a lot to manage, but there are ways to find efficiencies and reap the rewards without burying yourself in data and content. Have you learned any gems from your content marketing practices? We’d love to read about them in the Comments section below.





With more than 15 years of B2B marketing experience, Lars Christensen, ON24 Vice President of Marketing, is responsible for delivering 50% of ON24’s new business sales pipeline through a broad suite of online and off-line marketing programs.

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