Move Over Big Data, Here Comes Big Content

Combining the precision of big data with relevant content will generate disruptive opportunities for forward looking marketers.

While many brands are still figuring out the basics of content marketing — the daily rhythm, and creation and curation techniques — there’s a larger, more disruptive opportunity on the horizon: big content. Big content gives content marketing the power of big data to create precision targeting of rich content assets.  The intersection of big data’s science, and content marketing’s art is a new opportunity for digital marketers to reach and engage audiences like never before, according to Jake Sorofman, research vice president for Gartner for Marketing Leaders.

Precision Targeting

Orchestrating multichannel marketing programs involves more than pumping out targeted offers via email, SMS or other channels. Marketers, in their roles as storytellers, are increasingly expected to produce multimedia, multichannel content experiences that encourage engagement over time. The emergence of digital marketing hubs enables targeting of this content with precision.

Today, however, you can’t explore the disciplines of search, social or multichannel marketing without discussing the content supply chain. Content is foundational to each of these practices, and serves as the basis for continuous storytelling and continuous engagement, two of the guiding principles of a modern marketing strategy. We call this mutually reinforcing dynamic, content marketing’s iron triangle, in which content underpins search, social and multichannel strategies.

Content Marketing's Iron Triangle

Relevance Still Matters

Many options exist for digital marketers to create and curate content to fill the triange, but, above all, big content depends on content assets that are relevant and resonate with target audiences. Regardless of how they feed the content supply chain, the organizations with the most noteworthy content marketing strategies align their content efforts to their target audiences’ interests, and they speak authentically, not commercially.

For example. Subway sponsors original Web programming: “The 4 to 9ers,” an 11-episode series of 10- to 15-minute original videos, centered on a Subway store, and available on YouTube and Hulu. Or consider how General Electric’s Tumblr and Instagram accounts explore science, technology and innovation — both current and historical developments. Users can easily share and reblog the images found on these sites.

To build out your content supply chain, assess your capacity to tell relevant and resonant stories, and partner for expertise, where necessary. Prioritize your investments based on a validated understanding of your audiences’ connected habits and behaviors. Remember that it’s necessary to balance curation techniques with the need to add your unique point of view.  When done well, the multichannel experience gives the right audiences rich content assets at the right time.

Gartner for Marketing Leaders clients can read more in Move Over Big Data, Here Comes Big Content by Jake Sorofman.