Skip to content

Should Data Really Be in the Content Driver’s Seat? [The Weekly Wrap]

Listen to the Weekly Wrap here or subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher. If you enjoy the show, please take a moment to rate it or post a review.

And that’s a wrap of the week ending Dec. 6, 2019

This week I’m thinking about whether a Moneyball approach to content can predict the stories we should tell. I offer my take on a news story that suggests the age of customer experience is over. I talk with Cathy McKnight about the difficulty of (fairly) measuring content’s impact. And I share an article that will lead you to a shiny new metadata strategy.

Listen to the Weekly Wrap

Our theme this week is information (that goopy sauce that hides the real taste of everything). Let’s wrap it up.

One deep thought: Moneyball for content? (2:48)

When deciding what stories to tell, it’s tempting to assume the answers lie in optimizing for one (or a few) statistical factors that matter most to success (think: SEO keywords). This kind of approach was popularized in the book (and later film) Moneyball, which told the story of Billy Beane using data to make decisions that landed the Oakland Athletics in the Major League Baseball playoffs several times in the early 2000s. So, can we Moneyball our content? A Hollywood studio tried, with mixed success. And the Moneyball approach never brought Beane’s A’s the ultimate success – a place in the World Series. What does this mean for deciding what stories we tell based on data? It’s complicated. I break it down in this segment.

Can we Moneyball our #content? Should we? asks @Robert_Rose via @cmicontent. #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet

A fresh take: The future of customer experience (9:53)

A colleague pointed me to a MarketingWeek article highlighting a survey that shows CMOs moving customer experience down their priority list.

The survey, conducted by ad agency Dentsu Aegis, finds that more than half (53%) of CMOs list customer experience as a top three priority this year. But only 47% expect it to be a top-three priority by 2022.

53% of CMOs list customer experience as a top priority this year; only 47% expect it to be top-three in 2022. @dentsuaegis #CMOSurvey2019 Click To Tweet

Business growth remains the top priority for marketing leaders and business transformation is rising in priority. Does that shift in numbers mean marketing priorities are shifting, as the article concludes, or does it maybe mean marketers simply have more priorities to juggle? I see another possible answer – marketers believe they will have fixed their customer experience in the next few years. Listen to my take on what all these possibilities mean for marketing, content, and communications – and the big gap the article overlooks.

This week’s person making a difference in content: Cathy McKnight  (15:44)

This week I talk with my friend Cathy McKnight, who’s been making a difference in content for almost 20 years. For many of those recent years, Cathy’s been my colleague at The Content Advisory, CMI’s consulting arm. She’s also served as the innovation lead and a senior associate for the communications consulting team at Aon Hewitt, building an innovative web solutions practice. As director of client services at Prescient Digital Media, Cathy led a team of consultants delivering enterprise intranet strategies and technology selection projects for an array of global clients. And, as senior communications advisor for IBM’s Global Services division, Cathy led budget planning, intranet management, and overall strategy and messaging of IBM’s values and mission to internal enterprise audiences.

Cathy and I talked about her adventures in exploring how technology, data, and content mix in business today. And, if you’ve ever suspected that the way the impact of content is measured is unfair to content teams … you’re going to like what she has to say. Here’s a sneak peek:

“No matter how creative or memorable or popular their content is or becomes, ultimately, they’re being judged on how it impacts the business bottom line, which can be an unfair measurement because it can be a cumulative thing.

#Content is being judged by its impact on the bottom line, which can be an unfair measurement, says @CathyMcKnight via @cmicontent. #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet

“It may not show impact at the very instant it’s used but over time it does.”

Listen to the rest of our conversation, then get to know Cathy:

One content marketing idea you can use (32:20)

The one CMI post I’d love for you to take another look at is: Get More Content Noticed, Stop the Bad Metadata.

Metadata may not be the sexiest topic. but it’s one of those things that can help you make your content more effective. Frequent CMI contributor Dennis Shiao offers some practical takeaways using RedHat Software’s content strategy (presented by Anna McHugh at ContentTECH Summit last year) as a working case study.

Love for this week’s sponsor: ContentTECH Summit

Join me this summer at ContentTECH Summit 2020, where we’re lining up in-depth workshops, keynote talks, and practical presentations to help you become a more effective, more strategic content marketer. You’ll get insights to help you provide a richer experience for your customers and build a more profitable, stronger business.

I hope to see you and your team August 10-12 in San Diego.

Check out the agenda today.

The wrap-up

Join me next week when we’ve got a lot in store. I’m going to sell out of one thought I hope you won’t discount. I’ll “retail” a news item – and once you’ve seen that, you’ll have seen “a mall.”  Finally, I’ll offer one content marketing post that’ll earn you credit. It’s a good bargain. And it’s all delivered in a little less time than it takes for another 10-year photo challenge to hit Facebook.

If you like this weekly play on words, we’d sure love for you to review it and share it. Hashtag us up on Twitter: #WeeklyWrap.

It’s your story. Tell it well.

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

How to subscribe

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute