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Not All Audiences Are Good Audiences [The Weekly Wrap]

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And that’s a wrap of the week ending July 24, 2020

This week I’m thinking about creating real (and good) audiences. I talk with digital marketing consultant Ian Truscott about content strategy – and why search “sucks” so much now. And I point you to an article that explains how to bring audiences together – even in the social-distancing era.

Listen to (or watch) the Weekly Wrap

Our theme this week is the customer as king. You know the quote: “The customer is always right.” But do you know the full quote often attributed to retailer Marshall Field? “Assume the customer is right until it is plain beyond all question that [they are] not.”

Let’s wrap it up.

Listen to the episode (time stamps apply to the audio version):

Watch it, too:

One deep thought: Are you creating real audiences? (3:59)

Another quote thrown around by marketers is this one from business guru Peter Drucker: “The business enterprise has two – and only two – basic functions: marketing and innovation.”

But the first part of that quote is missing, which explains why Drucker believed marketing and innovation were so important. He said, “Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two – and only these two – basic functions: marketing and innovation.”

But at what point do marketers create the customer?

I recently worked with a vice president of marketing at a B2B software company. One of its larger customers was threatening to leave just six months into its contract. The solution wasn’t working because no one at the customer’s company had bothered to take the how-to training and onboarding classes created by the software company. The customer expected the software to be intuitive enough to use without training.

The brand had created good content for the how-to university, and most customers got more value from the software after completing the coursework. But this newer customer said its people didn’t have time to take the courses.

The marketing leader offered a significant discount on a multi-year contract if the customer would guarantee a certain number of its employees would go through the content and take the training.

The customer refused. It wanted the discount without a commitment to completing training.

This was the answer the marketing exec had been waiting for. She knew even though the company had paid and was willing to commit to a multi-year contract, it didn’t count as a customer yet. She knew this company would eventually be bad for the business. And she let it go on its way.

In this segment, I talk about how content marketers are viewing audiences as having the same kind of value as customers. But many may be creating bad audiences just as some marketers create bad customers. I explain why the trope of “the customer is always right” is wrong. And so is the corollary for content practitioners.

The audience is not always right either.

The audience isn’t always right, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet

This week’s person making a difference in content: (9:05)

My guest this week is the brilliant Ian Truscott, editor-in-chief of Rockstar CMO, a podcast and blog covering all things marketing leadership. He’s also the executive strategy director at appropingo, a consultancy focused on B2B marketing. A writer, speaker, industry expert, B2B marketing influencer, and thought leader, Ian says ­– most of all – he’s a content guy.

Ian and I talked all things content – and about a new article that asks, Why Does Search Suck?

Here’s a peek at one of Ian’s insights:

We as content marketers have two jobs. One is to create the usefulness – to create the great content that’s useful to the audience, which is where a lot of content marketing focus is. But sometimes we forget about content strategy, content operations, and all the horrible, hard, boring things we need to do to get the content spread throughout the organization.

Content marketers can forget to do the hard, boring things to spread content through the org, says @IanTruscott via @CMIContent. #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet

Listen in, then learn more about Ian:

One content marketing idea you can use (30:59)

The one article I’d love for you to take another look at this week is from CMI’s Jodi Harris: How to Bring Audiences Together in the Social Distancing Era

As she recently wrote in CCO magazine, “COVID-19 turned handshakes into health hazards. But that doesn’t mean you need to keep your audience relationships at a distance. Take a look at how businesses are using webinars, virtual conferences, and other digital experiences to foster community in a touch-free world.”

Even in a #COVID world, you don’t need to keep your audience at a distance, says @joderama via @CMIContent. #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet

She offers examples of companies that are coming up with new ways to connect with audiences now that in-person experiences aren’t available. I hope you’ll check out the article.

Love for our sponsor: Sitecore

As the well-known marketing saying goes, “Content is king.” And with organizations having to rely on their digital channels more than ever these days to reach customers, creating and publishing effective and engaging content has taken on a whole new level of importance.

Sitecore recently held its inaugural Virtual Marketer Day, and one of the tracks was dedicated to helping organizations better manage their content – from beginning to end.

There is a new post-event guide titled “Understanding the end-to-end content lifecycle,” with practical steps you can take to optimize your content engine and personalize digital experiences for your customers.

Download the guide today.

The wrap-up

I hope you’re enjoying the purpose behind this show. I’m always striving to improve it. If you have thoughts about what you’d like to hear about or guests you’d like to hear from, let me know in the comments. And if you love the show, I’d sure love for you to review it or share it. Hashtag us up on Twitter: #WeeklyWrap.

To listen to past shows, go to the main Weekly Wrap page.

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute.