Marketing Best Practices

What We Learned About Convergence at #ThinkContent 2016

By Ashley Taylor Anderson June 27, 2016

It’s one of the most exciting periods in history to be a marketer—but also one of the most stressful. Innovators are disrupting well-established industries, consumers are demanding more from brands than ever before, and teams are becoming increasingly dispersed across time zones and borders.

Modern marketers are no longer judged solely on their ability to drive leads and sales. Instead, we’re being tasked with driving convergence, both within our organizations and with our audiences. And content is the vehicle through which convergence is being achieved.

NewsCred’s #ThinkContent 2016 Summit brought together some of the leaders in convergence across industries and organization types. We built a pretty awesome interactive recap of the event, which you can view here:

NewsCred Convergence Marketing Infographic

Here are a few of the high-level takeaways we learned from the sessions.

Lesson 1: Innovation Can Come from Anywhere

The term “innovative” gets thrown around a lot these days. For those of us at more seasoned companies, pursuing innovation can seem like a lost cause. But the truth is, innovation can come from anywhere—not just from your company’s employees or even your industry. It’s important to seek out new and interesting ideas from all corners of the universe—one of them may just inspire a lightbulb moment that transforms your marketing program.

Lesson 2: Disrupting the Status Quo Requires Agility

Being a disruptor requires the ability to be, well, disruptive. Shaking things up within an industry means you have to be nimble, and you have to respond to real-time information and trends. The first half of disruption requires solid data around your market and performance; the second half requires a creative and interesting response to what you’re seeing in the numbers.

Lesson 3: Data-Driven Content Is Compelling

Data scientists have always known that statistics and factual information are fodder for highly compelling stories. Content marketers are starting to learn the same lesson. Whether it’s fielding unique research, finding a unique slant on industry stats, or leveraging internal product or platform data, we’re learning how to turn numbers into interesting pieces of brand storytelling than equally inform and entertain our audiences.

Lesson 4: How We Communicate Matters

If you’re a content marketer, I’m 99% certain you’ve sat in meetings about brand messaging. But have you also sat in meetings that focus on how  you’re going to deliver messages to your audience? B2C brands have invested a lot in the how of their brand communications; now it’s time for B2B companies to follow suit.

Lesson 5: You Can Retain Continuity While Trying New Things

How do brands with long histories in their industry embraced new technologies while still retaining continuity? It’s all about delivering a cohesive experience across channels from print to virtual reality and everything in between.

Lesson 6: Captivating Your Audience Requires Real Connection

Marketers have been freaking out about how to connect with their audiences, especially when it comes to millennials and younger consumers. But millennials and Gen Zers aren’t mythical creatures with mysterious rules of engagement. They want what any consumer wants: to make real connections with real people. Brand marketers who find ways to establish meaningful connections, regardless of their target demographic, are the ones who win.

Lesson 7: Emotional Impact Fosters Brand Loyalty

Some of the most successful marketing campaigns in recent years, such as Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches” and Always’ “Like a Girl,” went viral because of the significant emotional impact they made on consumers. In order to grow brand loyalty, your content has to be real, and it has to be meaningful. Using emotion in a respectful and genuine way can have increase the effectiveness of your marketing communications.

View the full interactive infographic here.

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