October 17, 2012

Advertising In Support Of Content

In a recent exciting episode of The Ad Contrarian called Web Litter: Now It's Content, we discussed how previously ineffectual online marketing activities have been resurrected as the latest web marketing miracle -- "content."

We said,
"Previously they were just litter blowing unnoticed through the dark, dusty corridors of the web. But now that they have been promoted to "content" they are once again awesome."
The theory behind the rebirth of "content" goes like this,
"Content...is a demonstration of your like-mindedness with your customer. It shows that you have a "shared-purpose" with her...and because your customer appreciates it so much she will engage with your brand and become a huge fan of your company."
Sadly we also did a little calculation,
"...there are over one trillion pages of "content" on the web...
If the average consumer devours one page of "content" every fifteen minutes, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, it will take her over 27 million years to get around to your content."
Since most CMOs these days don't last 27 minutes, 27 million years seems like an unrealistically long horizon. By that time, Microsoft may have figured out how to get line-spacing right in Powerpoint. Or Papa John may have learned how to act.

But I digress...

Fortunately, for today's savvy marketing virtuoso there’s a way to move your content right up to the front of the line and avoid the 27 million year wait. How? By promoting it with advertising.

It's simple. You buy advertising that lets your target audience know where your content is. Then they find your content, they experience it and, bingo, they fall in love.

So instead of using your advertising budget to promote your product, you can now join the forward thinking marketers who use it to promote their content.

(PAUSE...THINK...PAUSE...)

Wait a minute, you say. That’s f/ing crazy!

You're asking me to promote my content instead of my product? But I don't sell content, I sell products. Why should I spend money to promote my content, which is just an indirect way of promoting my products, when I can use the money to promote my products directly?...Even marketing people can't be that stupid, you say...

Oh, my friend, but that's where you're wrong.

And I can prove it in just two classical, wonderful, elegant, joyous words which have been sadly missing from this chronicle recently: Pepsi Refresh.

God I miss those people. 

Warning: Tomorrow's post is going to be devoted to hustling my books. Come armed.

10 comments:

Jim said...

It's as if there was reason why advertising was invented in the first place.

The retreat from reason continues.....

Paolo said...

He he he... I didn't see it coming... :-) I guess many CMOs find it more "elegant" to promote content than product...

disruptionblog said...

This is one of the consequences of the 'social mania' that is ongoing everywhere. One of the axioms of this mania is that you shouldn´t try to sell anything to anybody in there. Instead of it you should discuss and engage using contents. A lack of real and valuable online marketing innovation is behind all of this crap.

Harvey Briggs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Harvey Briggs said...

We think way too much alike. Budweiser is guilty of this inanity as well.

http://harveybriggs.blogspot.com/2011/08/content-is-king.html

terry gorry said...

Not only are your arguments contrarian, they are well argued and written.
Keep up the good work.

Chris Seiger said...

Content is now its own antonym.

Only in advertising.

Anonymous said...

Pepsi Refresh?
Cue the pundits...
http://adage.com/article/viewpoint/a-teaching-moment-professors-evaluate-pepsi-refresh-project/237629/

Kate Richardson said...

Just read that Ad Age piece on Pepsi Refresh. It would be funny if it wasn't downright disturbing.

The hugely successful Share a Coke campaign that ran in Australia in 2011 was a campaign that had a social element, as part of a much broader ad and communications campaign. Guess what they sold more stuff too.

Dan said...

To everyone and the Contrarian: we cannot say if content strategies are effective or not just because the Pepsi Project failed in sales. This is a very common psychology issue: if A is the result of B then suddenly people think this is true. In real life it's not - there is no theory about the content strategies yet and only the one who will customize and tailor it to his\hers company\product needs will win...