So here’s a familiar dilemma. You’ve developed this awesome blog or Facebook page for your client, but success is predicated on constantly coming up with new and interesting stuff to say. Your creative team is ready to filet you and your clients are shrugging their shoulders saying, “Hey, we’re a technology company but we don’t actually write white papers that CTOs want to read. That’s not our thing.”
That’s where Dan comes in.
Dan Rubin is the director of digital strategy for Meredith Xcelerated Marketing (MXM), Meredith Corporation’s global customer engagement agency, which boasts over 700 employees. Dan’s job is to help marketers deploy successful content-based acquisition and retention programs for use across digital, mobile and social properties.
Having come to content marketing from the advertising world, Dan is uniquely qualified to meet both content and marketing goals.
Here’s what we talked about when we recently got together at MXM’s midtown offices.
JS: You’ve sat on both the advertising and publishing side. Why are publishers getting into the ad business and what services can they offer clients?
DR: Marketers need to have conversations to be relevant, especially in interactive channels like the web, social and mobile. They need content to fuel those conversations. Publishers make content. That’s our business.
Customers expect high-quality, relevant content from a trusted source in real time. Think about it: When something happens, you can read about it online as the event is unfolding. A decade ago, if you searched for “World Trade Center” during the terrorist attacks, you probably would’ve gotten history or architectural notes. Marketing organizations and ad agencies aren’t set up to keep pace with current content demands, but publishers are.
We have writers that are subject matter experts. We know how to manage content and make it findable. We can leverage what we already have as publishers to scale and produce custom content cost-efficiently.
JS: In recent years, we’ve seen Meredith invest in or acquire several interactive agencies, including The Hyperfactory and iris Worldwide. Why are these investments important to your business?
DR: We need to be able to translate content across all digital channels. The presentation of content and the way you interact with it varies greatly across site, mobile, social and tablet platforms in addition to various offline channels. Our growth strategy includes both building those capabilities in-house, as well as acquiring companies that extend our expertise in search, mobile and social, among other areas.
JS: Give me an example of how one of your clients is using content in their digital advertising plans.
DR: Many of our clients are using custom content in their CRM programs: To maintain and engage existing customers.
For Lowe’s, we do a tablet publication called Lowe’s Creative Ideas to inspire DIY projects. We can demonstrate a lift in store visits and purchases compared to past behavior [without the magazine].
JS: What services are most in-demand today?
DR: Clients are asking for 3 things:
- Data, analytics & performance reporting, e.g. How often content is read and shared; customer demographics and behavior, etc.
- Mobile – Not just as a channel, but as a gateway to real time online or in-store retail experiences. Reaching the customer on their mobile device with content they can use while they are at the store is redefining point of purchase marketing.
- Social – How often content is shared is becoming increasingly important for search. In the food category for example, kitchen to kitchen sharing of recipes is a powerful driver of product usage.
Dan is a regular speaker at industry conferences. You can catch him next at the DMA in Las Vegas this October 15th, leading a forum on How to Use Digital Content to Power Your CRM Program.