With so many hopes for even greater innovations, better ways to measure impact and effectiveness, stronger partnerships, etc. I think we can start with something simple. And it’s right in front of our eyes. It won’t require sophisticated and costly new systems, or hiring people with a different skill set or increasing marketing budgets. It’s about understanding the role of content and how we need to evolve our thinking. It’s time we embrace the fact that the content we handle, curate, share and produce has become the center point of our communications. Content should no longer be the black sheep of the family that Marketeers go off and create on their own because no one is paying attention to them and they get to be creative.
Too often, I hear polarizing views on traditional media and earned media. The same is true for content. TV commercials, print ads, white papers and more are all a waste of time. Now people want to create their own content, or it needs to be something quick (and usually inexpensive). Some people focus so much on the entertainment value that they lose the reason for producing material in the first place. The fact is, we need to do both well. We need to inform, to entertain, to interest, to engage. We also need to create opportunities for others to do the same and provide a platform to manage all this activity. The challenge is not just in the execution but really in the program management and moderation of this content. And it begins with a content strategy that pays off what we hope to achieve in the first place.
With this in mind, at Intel, we are doing two new things this year that should be notable and help us make real progress towards treating Content Marketing as an area of expertise.
First, we are creating a platform that will enable Intel to become a digital publisher. Content is currency on the social web; it is what we react to as participants and share as consumers. Because Intel touches so many aspects of our modern lives, we are in a unique position to tell the bigger story on technology and how It’s moving our planet forward.
Our new publishing approach curates content through a lens focused on today’s digital culture and tomorrow’s potential. It leverages and mines the social web for relevant content, enlists our employees, enables our audience to keep abreast of trends and offers Intel’s perspective on how technology is enabling a better future. This new publishing platform is designed for the next generation of devices; optimized for touch interfaces, mobile consumption and social participation.
Stay tuned for this new offering in early Q1 2012 as we’re working hard to formally launch it soon.
Second, we’re creating a formal Content Program Office at Intel. Content Marketing must be a focus across all marketing specialities and we need an integrated approach to align our efforts against our strategies, to highlight areas of duplication to drive efficiencies, and to identify gaps where we sorely need the right content to fulfill our communication objectives. This will require even more collaboration across teams to ensure that content marketers are working towards building great brand experiences, in multiple venues, with a common brand voice and purpose. This additional focus on content marketing and content creation will require Marketeers to raise the bar in order to differentiate and rise above the noise and short attention spans of consumers. Part of the focus of the Content Program Office is to help us manage through these transitions across the many teams that develop content so we can leverage efforts, align strategies and engage our customers with a great brand experience.
It’s only the third week of the year so stay tuned. My hope is to share our efforts and progress. No matter how big or small your company is, or the size of your marketing investment, focus on content will become an increasingly critical point for all of us in the year ahead.