The next viewpoint in the Talking Content Marketing series welcomes Kyle Lacy, Head of Marketing Strategy for OpenView Venture Partners, a venture capital firm based in Boston.
Kyle and his team are responsible for building content and marketing strategies around all things OpenView. Prior to joining OpenView, Kyle led the global content marketing team for ExactTarget (acq Salesforce $2.7B). His team managed content in six countries and over $15M in sales pipelines per quarter.
He is also the author of three books, Twitter Marketing for Dummies, Social CRM for Dummies and Branding Yourself. Before joining Salesforce, Kyle co-founded a technology consulting firm that built digital experiences.
Our interview looks at sources of content, content measurement and creating a relevant customer experience.
The OpenView content stream is plentiful (labs, venture blog) is this created from rigid editorial calendars or flexibility by having a team who can utilise information quickly?
We follow a fluid editorial calendar approach to planning our content for OpenView.
I’ve always believed that talented people will create content when it should be created not when we THINK it should be created. Great content is created on the fly and based on emotionally charged events. You can’t plan for that.
Do companies need to become better at understanding there is a host of rich content available within the companies they are part of (rather than keeping to tried and tested wholly product messages)?
I believe that the best content comes from two sources: employees and customers.
Product messaging is important but it should be based on what the end-user is saying not what we THINK they are saying (see a trend here?). The best stories come from experiences that are happening on a daily basis between the company and the customer.
How does a company know that the content route they are committing to is progressing well?
I use two types of measurement functions for our content: tangible and intangible. The intangible metrics are mostly engagement numbers like traffic, time on site, social reach etc. The tangible metrics include form completes and click-through-rates.
Metrics should differ based on the goals set for the month, quarter and year. The success metrics for my team at ExactTarget and Salesforce were very different from the success metrics at OpenView. Different offering = different numbers. However, there is one thing in common and it reminds me of one of my favourite quotes of all time from David Walmsley, “We must move from numbers keeping score to numbers that drive better actions.” Any success metric should be based on future action not benchmarks.
The ‘Rise Of The Data Driven Marketer’ (from your ‘2015 Marketing & Tech Trends To Watch‘) do marketers now need to become a hybrid of many functions that also includes search, social, content and measurement (but we haven’t yet got to the extent that we need to know).
This is a pretty simple answer but it works. The only thing that makes us relevant is the customer experience.
It doesn’t matter if you are a social media manager, email marketer, or UX designer, you are only as relevant as the positive experience you are building for the end user. All marketers should be data and experience driven because ultimately, it is the only thing that matters.
Joe Chernov said in another Talking Content interview that, ‘it is up to the influenced to decide if you are influential‘. How can someone make an impact?
It really depends on the definition of influence and what you sell.
Influence should be based on your ability to get a group of people to move, to do something. It is all relative. The only thing that matters is the experience and the data to support what you are doing on a daily basis.
How do you learn?
I can really break it down into three forms – Failure, mentorship and third-party content.
I try to read as much as possible in my free time this includes books but also blogs like content from Jay Baer for marketing and Brad Feld for VC. Real learning definitely is the results of failures both personal and professional. I’m a firm believe that true change only happens when you fail and then pivot 360 degrees.
Having a mentor over the years has really helped me grow and learn throughout my 10 years in the digital marketing space.
Many thanks for Kyle sharing his insights and being part of the Talking Content Marketing journey.
For more from Kyle:
Kyle on Twitter: click here
The OpenView Partners blog: click here