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Content Marketing Goes Mainstream, But Alignment with Sales is Another Matter
Christopher Hosford / B2Bonline.com / October 28, 2013
Content marketing has become a key element of b2b marketing today, according to a new study by BtoB, “2013 Content Marketing: Top Tools, Benchmarks and Metrics for Success.”
Based on an online survey of 197 b2b marketers conducted in August, the study found that 97% use some degree of content marketing. Further, 26% of respondents said their content marketing initiatives are “very” or “fully” integrated into their sales and marketing initiatives, compared with just 16% last year. Looking ahead to 2014, 57% of marketers will be “very” or “fully” engaged in content marketing, according to the study.
The reason: Good, relevant content can subtly influence marketing conversations, improving perceptions of companies, brands and products.
“Content has been particularly effective for us in our brand transformation,” said Barbara Basney, VP-global advertising at Xerox Corp. The company has diversified its offerings greatly since its introduction of xerography and the copier machine more than half a century ago. Basney and her team have used content marketing to help explain the company’s expansion into printers, scanners, work-flow software and consulting services.
“Putting meaning behind a brand and helping it grow is a big job by itself,” Basney said. “But trying to transform a brand that people already know, love and appreciate is a really hard job. This is where content is a great tool for us. It allows us to tell a deeper, richer story, to have a conversation in meaningful ways that people aren’t expecting.”