Content Plays Various Roles in Brands’ Customer Engagement Strategies

April 13, 2020

CMOCouncil Content Role Customer Engagement Apr2020A recent report [download page] from the CMO Council and Rock Content reveals that marketing leaders believe interactive brand content is helping to communicate brand promise and value, deliver thought-leadership, and differentiate products and services as well as enable demand generation strategies.

Of the almost 200 marketing leaders from B2B, B2C and hybrid organizations surveyed, 61% named the communication of brand promise and value as one of the top 5 roles that content plays in their customer engagement strategy. Other top roles (respondents were asked to select their top 5) for interactive brand content are to deliver thought-leadership (51%) and to communicate with customers, prospects and partners (45%), power demand generation or lead acquisition strategies (42%) and differentiate products or services (40%).

In the B2B arena, prior research shows that not only have marketers seen content help in these areas but that more are reporting reaping the benefits of successful content. Indeed, half of B2B buyers say they are more likely to purchase from a vendor after reading its content.

Strategies That Rely on Strong Interactive Content

Results from the study indicate that content is critical in demand generation strategies. In fact, a healthy majority (77%) of marketing leaders surveyed said that they believe demand generation strategies rely on the successful development of robust interactive brand content. Another 53% said the same about sales and sales enablement strategies. As most respondents were from either B2B (52%) or hybrid B2B and B2C (28%) companies, strong content is particularly important as the B2B buying cycle is often a long one and B2B buyers not only expect to be presented with high-quality and relevant content but also expect salespeople to personalize their sales materials and documents.

Marketers also believe that customer loyalty programs (45%) and customer service and support (45%) rely on strong content. Not only that, but a similar proportion (43%) also think that strong content is important when it comes to retention and account reactivation programs, with customer retention being an area where many CMOs expect to see an improvement this year.

Other strategies that rely on strong interactive content, though perhaps to a lesser extent, include ABM initiatives (42%), trade shows and industry gatherings (41%), employee engagement (37%), talent recruitment (32%), live events (31%), and employee training (26%).

Content Strategies Impacted by Budget and Time

Only about one-third (34%) of respondents felt their organization’s content quality and the impact was “good and on the path to great”, with a low 7% rating it as exceptional. Most (43%), instead, rated their content as “somewhere in the middle,” as some of the content used was good, resonating with customers and driving value and some being a waste of their budget.

As it happens, budget is the factor that the largest proportion of marketing leaders believe to be what most impacts, directs and shapes the content that is developed and produced. Time comes in a close second, followed by executive/leadership direction or requests, product rollouts or updates, and customer demands or requests.

The full report can be downloaded here.

About the Data: Results are based on a survey of 195 marketing professionals from B2B (56%), B2C (16%) and hybrid (28%) organizations.

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