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How to make your marketing material (and all your other content) end up on your customer’s office walls

Monday June 6, 2011

Various Groups Of Collaboration

The most powerful marketing content today, the content you should be striving to create, is the stuff that creates the right discussions in the right context among the right people.

If your content is all about your company, your brand and your products, you’re missing the point of what makes today’s marketing content more effective and memorable.  In other words, you’re not getting what you’re paying for.  If your outreach is basically driven by cultivating a few opinion leaders and staying in control of your message, you’re not making the most of the new landscape and the new tools available to you.  Worse, you’re likely losing ground to competitors who are.

To Bob Duffy, senior social-media strategist at Intel, it’s not about controlling the message so much as providing the context in which information is exchanged and interpreted.

Duffy told Social Media Explorer that brands, not unlike Intel, are doing a lot of what the traditional media (and industry analysts) have always done: publishing what they learn from developers, for example, revealing best practices and creating connections between different tech players. Like his counterparts at other technology brands today, Duffy is creating the context for important discussions in the industry that will ultimately pay off down the road for his employer.

The takeaway for today’s marketing pros? Reach out to anyone who could be part of your community and jump-start the discussions you want to be part of.  Discussions to which you can add value and build your reputation as somebody who’s worth engaging on a long-term basis.  Just keep in mind that you have to stick to the subject matter of the discussion and not be a shill for your brand.  Your community is street-wise.  It is more than capable of connecting the dots. Do as Duffy does: “We don’t try to control the conversation or message, we just want to provide the context.”

What are you doing as a marketer to instigate industry discussions and engage your communities?  What are you learning from, and sharing with, the people who matter to your brand?  What kinds of connections are you creating among them?  How are you measuring it?