Is content marketing the only marketing left?

Seth Godin, David Meerman Scott and many other 21st century marketing experts believe that content marketing has taken supremacy over all other forms of marketing today. They urge businesses to stop interrupting people with irrelevant messages and start providing them with information that is genuinely useful to them – either professionally or personally. Successful marketing has become all about sharing valuable information or ‘content’ with your buyers. It’s the approach we love and recommend.

But what you might be asking is why? What makes new style content marketing so powerful today? And importantly, what does this all mean for more traditional marketing techniques?

Sharon has written an excellent article on the reasons why new style marketing with content at its heart is so popular. See her latest post: Why your clients prefer new marketing. As she explain, buyer behaviour and attitude has changed radically. We’re in a new world with new rules of engagement and content marketing is the perfect fit.

But does this mean the death of traditional marketing? Personally, I’m not convinced it does. It just means approaching ‘old’ methods in a different way.

21st century business development expert David Tovey, author of Principled Selling talks about building the motivation to buy, leading with the valuable stuff and only selling when the time is right.

“Well researched and valuable content demonstrates better than anything else that you understand your buyer’s world – better than any brochure, e-shot or clever marketing device. If you can show you understand my world, my critical success factors BEFORE you try to ‘sell’ to me I might just find you more interesting and am more likely to be interested in meeting you.” David Tovey

I think that traditional marketing techniques will always have a place. The best way to employ them is as support to your content efforts as David says, spreading the word about the valuable stuff to help get your message across.

  • Send your clients a business book or article that gives them a new perspective on an issue they are tackling, then follow up with a phone call.
  • Email something useful or entertaining: ‘saw this and thought of you’.
  • Advertise an educational event in just the right place.

Whatever you do you need to approach your marketing with the right mindset: never shouting, pressurising or trying to manipulate but understanding, respecting, helping, educating or entertaining your buyers – making it personal.

“All great marketing is about understanding the people you want to reach and creating something valuable, interesting or entertaining just for them.” David Meerman Scott

Content marketing is not the only form of marketing available to you, but in this world it certainly takes the crown.

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  1. Richard Tubb

    Great article, and I couldn’t agree more. Different people consume information in different fashions, so whilst Social Media is very important for putting your message out there – for those who still prefer e-mail, a telephone call or even a hand-written note – these are great methods to draw attention to content supporting your viewpoint.

  2. Sonja Jefferson

    Thanks for the comment Richard (and love your avatar). It’s an interesting debate. Is there still room for ‘outbound’ techniques today? I’m still thinking this through and testing it out. For my business the content seems enough to draw fantastic leads in – we don’t need to go out and search any more (which is great!).

    But should companies just be patient, invest in compelling and valuable content, spread this in all the right places and wait for the leads to come in, or go out there and try and draw people’s attention to content through more traditional techniques?


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