If All Your Friends Wrote About Jumping Off A Cliff Would You?; Content Marketing Peer Pressure

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Skylanders are a big thing in our house. I’m not really sure what they are. When my Daughter first spoke of them I thought they were action figures. When Santa delivered one to our house I thought they were little trinkets. I’ve come to discover they’re part of a video game. Go figure. All that matters is that they are enormously popular with kids, especially with the Kindergartners at my Daughter’s school. It doesn’t matter what they do, what’s important is that all her friends have them so she has to have them too. I realize this is a form of peer pressure, but it’s also unavoidable.

I understand. I lived through the Cabbage Patch Kid phase, that transitioned into slap bracelets, and eventually the leather pants fad. That’s the thing, the pressure to fit in never goes away. Granted, clothing and odd toys may fade with time, but the importance of staying relevant only increases with age. With the continued strength of social media, the opportunity to stay relevant has never been better.

But this also creates a problem. Everyone and their Mom has an opinion on what is relevant. Like WebMD, you can quickly Google your marketing symptoms or consult with a digital mentor and be inundated with a list of content remedies. How do you know who to listen to? How do you decide which feedback is accurate and which is marketing philosophy? How do you stay relevant without giving into the Content Marketing Peer Pressure?

I think the answer is quite simple. Your audience should determine relevancy. Your audience should dictate your content strategy. You audience should determine what is relevant, when it’s relevant, and why it’s relevant. Your audience should decide when they receive communication, and how they consume that material.

Granted this is no small feat. I rely heavily on analytics pulled from Eloqua, Microsoft CRM, and Google Analytics. These tools allow me to understand which segments of my audience are consuming which pieces of content. I can understand the path of discovery a prospect or customer may take. Solutions like Vidyard allow me to test video relevancy and effectiveness like never before. Through TRAACKR I can evaluate my influencers and which material they choose to share. The development of a subscription center has also allowed our audience to determine which materials they’re interested in and I can now collect information about how they prefer to consume that content.

By building our content strategy around the customer, I’ve begun to provide a sounding board for their wants. While I want to influence the customer, ultimately the customer should influence me. Customer influence is the best kind of peer pressure.

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Marilyn Cox

Marilyn Cox is the Director of Marketing for Second City Works - the B2B division of the famed Second City.

You know the buzzwords; inbound, outbound, content, demand gen, lead gen, martech, social media, account-based, advocacy, customer success, sales enablement, and analytics.She studies it, plans it, executes it, experiments with it, and loves it.

Through discovery, creation, and innovation she's learned to say "Yes, And".Like business, her career is one big improvisational act.

She leads all aspects of the brand and culture, developing and executing a clearly defined, integrated marketing communications strategy.Marilyn is responsible for planning, organizing, staffing, training, and managing all marketing functions to achieve objectives of growth, awareness, customer success and making work better.

Marilyn exists to empower sales and support the customer. When not geeking out over marketing analytics, she can be found daydreaming about her unrealized dream as a professional wrestler with the WWE.
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