Savvy marketers need to focus on the different formats in which their customers would like to consume marketing collateral. This is especially important in the digital age, as consumption of marketing collateral differs by the channel that you choose. Also the type of marketing collateral needed differs based on
- the stages in the sales lifecycle
- the purpose for which it is used (Campaigns, events, meetings etc.)
Marketers should be doing regular reviews of their marketing assets to determine what content they have and what new needs have emerged, said IDC analyst Michael Gerard. Such a “content audit” should have a clear focus on what’s needed at different stages of the buying cycle and by different customer types, Gerard said.
Next, marketers should focus their content development efforts on the gaps identified by this analysis, he said. “This is a significant departure from the historical view of “We need to produce five white papers this year’ without regard for the exact target and type of content of those white papers,” Gerard said.
The crux of this is that you have to select marketing collateral types depending on your target market reach out objectives. It is easy for a lot of companies to focus intensely on the website and neglect several other digital assets that will need to be maintained in order to maintain a consistent presence in front of the target audience. The other way to look at this is that marketing collateral is another form of content for your organization.
Digital Marketing Collateral increasing in importance
Another interesting part is that people are nowadays consuming more and more content digitally, which means that all the efforts spent to create digital collateral assets are a lot more meaningful.
Marketing teams need to translate sales goals into a definition for a dynamic marketing collateral mix. Certain elements of this mix will remain static for a period of 12-18 months, but several others will be far more dynamic in nature and will include content pieces like white papers, articles, webinars, blog posts, e-books etc.
Apart from creating the collateral itself, each independent piece of collateral (as long as it does not use heavy sales language) should be promoted well in communities and forums and in lead nurture programs.
Ultimately, it comes down to getting the right material to the right salesperson—and to the right customer—at the right time. While you develop your content plans, whether it be for your website, for Search Engine Optimization or for any other digital assets, make sure that you focus on your target customer
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