If you saw a lot of orange in
Cleveland last week, it was because Joe
Pulizzi brought his Content Marketing World conference back to . From the airport signs that noted Cleveland Cleveland as “The International Home of Content Marketing”
to the giant Content Marketing World logo at my hotel (the Hyatt in the old Arcade), it was hard to miss. What’s Content Marketing
World? Only the world’s largest and most anticipated content marketing conference.
Who’s Joe Pulizzi? Only the godfather of content marketing and all things
orange, the owner of Content Marketing Institute and a proud Clevelander! Cleveland should be proud of his love of Cleveland
and his ambition to hold his conference here (even though he had to hold it in last year as
there was no venue big enough to hold it here). You can read about the impact
(both financially and from an exposure standpoint) it had on Columbus at http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2013/09/joe_pulizzis_content_marketing.html. Cleveland
|Illustration of Jay Baer's Why Smart Marketing is About Help Not Hype|
Joe started off the first morning with a video that showed him running through downtown Cleveland to the Convention Center leading him to the stage (in his traditional orange suit...complete with orange shoes!) to welcome us and give us the state of content marketing today. He then welcomed Jay Baer to the stage. Jay’s presentation was based off of his current book, Youtility: Why Smart Marketing is About Help Not Hype. I won’t go into too much detail as I’ve written a review of the book (http://www.jeremybednarski.com/2013/08/book-review-youtility-by-jay-baer.html). Youtility is marketing that is so useful that customers would gladly pay for it. What he gave us were plenty of real company examples of companies using content marketing to be useful and helpful instead of using it to promote their products. What I love about the concept is that it makes so much sense. There are so many applications of this concept that can easily be implemented by companies of any size. It just requires a slight shift in strategic thinking. Instead of thinking me first, think about what your customer needs and how you can meet those needs.
Jonathan Mildenhall from Coca-Cola completely blew us away with his presentation of Coca-Cola’s transition and growth through liquid storytelling. In fact, I tweeted the following: “Not tweeting as much during the Coca-Cola .@mildenhall keynote because it's just fascinating!” Explaining that amazing things can happen when you listen to consumers, Coca-Cola made a case for change and grew from one way storytelling to dynamic storytelling, including building in social purpose. He showed examples of how they modernized the old “Share a Coke” song/commercial in Australia by allowing consumers to customize cans with recipients names...taking the sharing concept to a new level. He also worked on a campaign between Africa and
India with a Coke machine that had a camera so
consumers in Africa could see those in and vice versa. The machine
would tell them to do things like dance and even had a place where they could
simultaneously place their hands. India
|Illustration of Jonathan Mendenhalls' From Happiness Factory to Content Factory: How Coca-Cola is Growing Through Liquid Storytelling|
Wednesday’s keynotes began with Don E. Schultz from
. This may have
been the most thought provoking session of the conference. He showed evidence
that brand preference has been declining each year for the past decade.
Additionally, that decline is directly
correlated to the increased use of social media, coinciding with the
decreased use of traditional mass media. As Schultz put it, social media
creates communities, not markets. Social media and other digital marketing
tactics are great tools, but they have to be incorporated into the overall
marketing plan. In looking at what influences people’s buying, the top
influencer is word of mouth, followed by the traditional media: TV, radio, newspaper,
etc. Internet finally shows up a bit further down the list. Content marketing
will get us back on track as we go back to true storytelling and taking the
time to understand what solutions and information customers need. Northwestern
Finally, the closing keynote...none other than William Shatner! So what does he have to do with content marketing? Quite a lot actually. He talked about many of his current and soon-to-be released projects. He’s got an upcoming music CD, a new show about wine, a partnership with watchmakers, a new show about motorcycles...he’s a busy guy at age 82! But what ties all of these projects together are the stories about each of them told from his perspective. With each of them, you can see his genuine enthusiasm. When asked about self-promotion, he said he sees it as simply working on projects that he’s truly interested in. This to him wasn’t self promotion, but simply enjoyment. In a subsequent interview with WKYC, he said he understood a while ago the impact of marketing to people in ways where they don’t realize they’re being marketed to.
So, there you have it...two jam packed days in a nutshell. I’m sure everyone in attendance took away many of these messages, as well as many others. The inspiration that comes from being at a conference like this can’t be replicated in a blog, webinar, podcast or live stream.
should be very proud of Joe Pulizzi for making this happen in our city. For
those that haven’t attended yet, I can’t recommend it more. I can’t wait until
next year’s conference and I hope to see many more people – both local and new
to Cleveland ! Cleveland
For those of you that were there (or have attended in the past), I’d love to hear your thoughts and what you took away from the conference. Please share it below! As always, thanks for reading and please share with your friends if you like my blog and sign up for the emails!