The Talking Content Marketing train continues with an interview with David Meerman Scott.
David is a world renowned marketing strategist, speaker and author. In his words “Our always-on, web-driven world has new rules for competing and growing business. Advance planning is out – agile is IN! Those who embrace new ways will be far more successful than those who stay who stay stuck and afraid to change.”
“Applying agile thinking to marketing and sales is my specialty. I deliver these ideas in my ten books (three are international bestsellers), my talks (so far in 40 countries and all seven continents), and my free content such as my blog and social feeds.”
Our conversation looks at how David perceives the world of content and those who are looking to embrace content marketing as an ongoing commitment, what they need to consider.
How has the world changed from the first to the fourth edition of ‘The New Rules Of Marketing & PR’?
I’m amazed that social networking and content creation has become mainstream! When I was writing the first edition of The New Rules of Marketing and PR way back in 2006, this stuff was out there and very few people agreed that social networking and content creation was the future. Now the book is an international bestseller in its 4th edition with more than 350,000 copies sold in English and available in over 25 languages from Bulgarian to Vietnamese.
The tools of marketing and public relations are constantly evolving. Consider this: When I wrote the first edition of the book, Twitter didn’t even exist and Facebook was only available to students. Now Twitter is an essential tool of marketing and Facebook is used by a remarkable 1 billion people worldwide. And those are just two examples.
While the tools change, the strategies I outline have remained consistent.
You highlight in your recent post that ‘successful salespeople educate and inform‘ is ego and self promotion the biggest obstacle to overcome?
Many marketers and salespeople steeped in the tradition of product advertising naturally feel drawn to prattle on and on about their products and services. But I have news for you. Nobody cares about your products and services (except you). Yes, you read that right.
What people do care about are themselves and how you can solve their problems. People also like to be entertained and to share in something remarkable. In order to have people talk about you and your ideas, you must resist the urge to hype your products and services. Instead, create something interesting that will be talked about online. When you get people talking on the Web, people will line up to learn more and to buy what you have to offer.
How valuable is a blog as a platform to have complete control and build an audience?
I think a blog is the most important tool because it is on YOUR real estate. Other social networks – YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc are great but the content sits on those companies real estate.
What sources do you rely on to keep you up to speed with marketing and best practice?
My number one source is Google News which I browse several times a day. The key here is browse. I turn off all the personalization because I want serendipity. I want to know what I don’t know yet. It is important for me to understand big picture, global news so I can be on top of the latest trends.
Chris Brogan‘s ‘The Freaks Shall Inherit The Earth’ arrived in today’s post. As a self confessed ‘freak’ how has this shaped your approach to your work and the content you produce?
I’m a freak because I am willing to take risks. I’m they guy who became known for doing books and speeches about social networking and online content yet two of my books don’t do that at all. Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead (which I wrote with HubSpot CEO Brian Halligan) and Marketing the Moon (written with Rich Jurek and with a forward from Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon) were both risks. Yet these books have taken me in amazing directions and provided fantastic experiences I wouldn’t have achieved otherwise. For example, I have met most of the Grateful Dead band members. And Marketing the Moon is being made into a movie.
What advice would you give to those looking to build a content strategy to their business?
I think the two most important trends for marketers to understand today are:
- the idea of real-time
- the rise of mobile
Real-time means news breaks over minutes, not days. It means ideas percolate, then suddenly and unpredictably go viral to a global audience. It’s when companies develop (or refine) products or services instantly, based on feedback from customers or events in the marketplace. And it’s when businesses see an opportunity and are the first to act on it. However, too many companies leave themselves fatally exposed by flying blind through this new media environment.
Executives like the idea of real-time engagement, reacting instantly to what’s happening in the market, following up on opportunities in seconds, and inserting their company into stories being reported by mainstream media but they are confused about what to do because they recognize that the people who work for them are skilled at long-term campaign creation but lack skills of instant engagement. So an understanding is essential.
You can engage desktop-computer users when they’re at their desks. Sometimes you can engage notebook users at Starbucks. But only when users go mobile can you engage all of the people in real time all of the time. That’s why mobile devices are the fastest-growing and most fascinating field in real-time market engagement. Marketers need to understand the ramifications of people being constantly plugged in and looking for information on the go.
Oh, and one more thing. Creating content is fun! It sure beats other techniques like cold calling sales prospects and making brochures.
Thanks to David for contributing to the Talking Content programme. To find out more from his side of tracks:
David on Twitter: click here
David’s site: click here
Buy the ‘New Rules of Marketing & PR’ book: click here