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Besides my love of all things content, I am somewhat of a business/finance geek. I love perusing Bloomberg news every morning before I get started with my writing. While I was reading articles about the financial crisis in Europe, it struck me that content marketers can learn several lessons from the Euro debacle. Here are three that jumped out at me:

A Content Marketing Plan Needs Centralized Oversight To Carry It Out. One of the biggest problems in the Eurozone is a lack of centralized authority. Although all nations are using the same currency, and thus economically affecting the stability of the group, there is no central oversight to make sure nations make useful decisions. Each nation plays by its own rules, and the result is that the cautious nations have to bail out the reckless ones or risk the collapse of the union.

Similarly, content marketing plans cannot be left to hoped-for collaboration between business units. Departments with their own goals, leadership, and issues may not be able to easily work with each other. Some units may be left doing the bulk of the work while others don’t contribute at all. Businesses that are serious about content marketing need a separate department to coordinate the production and release of content for the company. This is the only way to make sure content has a consistent voice and is published on a regular schedule. Without a specific content marketing department, your content efforts will fall to the wayside as various departments’ other priorities take over.

Financial Reality Cannot Be Ignored. Countries in the Eurozone joined a common currency and then continued to run their economies in an unhealthy way. Overspending and debt continued to build despite the financial consequences of those decisions. Eventually the economies of the nations were not growing fast enough to support the debt, and financial reality reared its head.

In the same way, the reality of marketing cannot continue to be ignored by companies. Interruptive content no longer gains attention but simply wastes business capital. Content must be produced in the channels where your clients live, and it must be done in a cohesive, professional fashion. Companies who ignore this truth will face a financial reality of their own as the market moves on without them.

Content Marketing Needs To Be In the World, Not By The Book. One of the problems that is being faced around the world is that economies do not run according to the textbook theories. Financial decisions are made by humans, not computers, and thus they are not always rational. The world is discovering that markets are not, in fact, generally efficient. This discovery is turning economic strategies on their heads.

Content marketing also needs to be people-focused, rather than theory focused. Content should be customer-oriented, tell stories, and speak to emotions. Dry business-speak will not connect with the customer and sales will be lost. Self-focused content about how your company is the latest and greatest will not resonate with prospects who are looking to solve their own problems. Marketing strategies need to be revamped to focus on the customer rather than the company.

Europe’s problems are not isolated to only European nations. The issues being exposed in the Eurozone are changing the way leaders view economics. In the same way the new marketing realities and content channels are changing the way we understand selling, and those who don’t learn the lessons will be left behind.

 

What lessons have you learned about content marketing? Let me know in the comments!

Anna

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