Content Maturity Model

Content Maturity Model

It is an established fact that the race of communication can only be won by mastering the art and science of content development and dissemination. The organizations across the globe are working hard to win the arts and science of content development and dissemination with very strong focus on digital communication.

Organization to win the digital communication war is amalgamating search, social and content into their digital marketing strategies. They are busy developing the content maturity model in order to streamline the communication plan and process for the organization. In my views, communication consultants, content experts, and digital marketing evangelists are trying to figure out how to make this transition as a stepwise journey across a series of maturity phases.

Organizations across the globe is trying their best to win the race. This race is not only about core issues viz., Revenue, Operations, Productivity, Innovation, Human Resources Index, but also about issues like marketing, communication, etc.

The content maturity model is not developed by accident. Content maturity model provides – insights on a company’s current content marketing plan, design the content road-map, optimization strategy for better content road-map, etc. In my views a well-defined content marketing maturity model helps businesses establish where they are and how can they reach the desired destination – where they need to go.

To capitalize on a content maturity model, communication experts must first identify at which stage of content maturity model they fall. Then, they can figure out what must be done to move up the value chain.

Soul Searching is the first step of content maturity model. In this step, organization or brand define their features, offerings, basic communication statement, etc. In this stage brand owners decide brand promise and start establishing relationship with audiences. Mostly in this stage the communication is more monologue than dialogue.

As this is the initial stage of content maturity model the focus is on status quo. Most often content is created because it is basic or necessary and not good to do things. The activities at this stage includes – website content, press releases, social media presence and content seeding, web site content update when products and services are launched and occasional blog post. In a few organizations, we can also witness that dedicated resources are allocated for the content marketing efforts.

At times, some experimentation with brand centric blogging, social networks engagement, and search engine optimization work focus on promotion, distribution of brand messaging are also done for visibility and engagement. At the stage of Soul Searching, marketers are not looking beyond the basics of content marketing. They are mostly satisfied with their efforts until they start to see competitors overcoming them on all media channels – earned, owned and shared media.

Once organization has clearly defined and documented their capabilities, they tend to move to next stage of maturity – storytelling. At this stage the Storytellers takes the simple architecture of literature to a meaningful and engaging story. They convert their product attributes, and value propositions into storylines for deeper brand engagement.

Marketers, with the help of storytellers focus on growing their footprint on the web, increase their engagement on social media with specific story line. The increase in engagement with brand however, do not always indicate an increase in leads and sales. At this stage content is developed according to defined customer segments and their information needs. 

Storytelling help marketers start the journey of investigation into more specific opportunities from the customer point of view and shows empathy to the buyer journey.

Organizations at this stage of content maturity journey, start focusing on dedicated and specialized team. They see the need of dedicated resources to produce content for search engine optimization and social media optimization. At this stage, processes and tools are used to make the content ideation, creation, management, optimization, distribution, and measurement efficient and effective.

In the next stage of content maturity, marketers work on differentiating the product with strong point of view that sets them apart from the competition. The best content marketers have brands that stand for a higher purpose.

Differentiation help marketer reveal a rich vein for storytelling.

The storytelling is taken to the next level of customization and sophistication at this level. Marketers develop distinct customer segments, and customize the communication for each customer segment. At the stage of Differentiation, content is mature and optimized as per characteristics and information needs. Marketers also focus on content planning and monitoring, and focus on answering specific customer queries as they move through the sales cycle.

 At this stage, we also witness that content is optimized for search and social media discovery and promoted through multiple channels. Moreover, building connections though social networks and use of influencers relationships is a key component for content promotion.

Now that content marketing process for the organization is maturing and communication team has started developing content with brand guidelines, customer segments, and the sales cycle. The content marketers are ready to take the content marketing journey to the next level of maturity. The next phase of content maturity reaches beyond the rhetoric and focuses on changing the prevalent buying criteria in respective market. The prime goal of marketing experts here is to get customers to think about a problem, and a solution – differently. This is the stage when marketers start working on category creation.

The best Category Creators combine product and service innovation with effective content marketing that helps bridge the consumers’ imagination gap.

At this stage of content maturity marketers start focusing on the creating category specific content, and growing social communities. In order to develop a meaningful connection with community, buyers and the brand, marketers start to tap into emotional appeals in their content. At this stage, storytelling once again help marketers in maturing content marketing beyond features and benefits and incredible usefulness means connecting with customers on an emotional level. The difference in storytelling at this stage is that the users at times, become part of the story telling in form of brand advocate, influencers, or a character who is role-playing.

This stage also witness customer’s growth as brand authority and subject matter experts from a brand advocate, or influencer. It is observed that most companies are satisfied with the growth rates in community, engagement, customer acquisition and revenue at this stage and they don’t want to graduate to the next level. But the growth hungry organization, who want to establish themselves as the authority in the industry work on the process to evolve their publishing capabilities and keep evolving the content marketing process. The ultimate phase of content maturity is Thought Leadership. Brands at this stage deliver more value, engage emotionally and demonstrably walk their talk. Thought leadership is attained by achieving excellence along the three dimensions: product, content and operations.

Achieving and mastering the content maturity model is not an easy task. In my views one must take the first step with all honesty and commitment and follow the basic steps of success: At first, it is important for the communication experts to identify organization’s current position on the maturity model. Once it is clear to the communication experts as to where the organization stands in the maturity curve, the next step is to determine the technology that will help bring organization at desired level and continue to form ideas for developing technology bundles. It is also important to break down the isolation, build relationships, and find opportunities of engagement so that all stake holders can work together as team. The communication head also needs to establish goals in order to reach successive levels.

Also Published at

Digital Marketing Strategy

Digital Marketing Strategy

As we know that importance of digital marketing is growing. This growth is a global phenomenon, not a local one. In fact, the geography which are still developing their local digital marketing expertise are witnessing huge opportunity in digital marketing and are aggressively working towards unlocking the potential. The ability to adopt new digital marketing tools, and exploring digital innovation into marketing and communication strategies has now become more critical than ever!

Globally there are a lot of aspiring marketers in general and digital marketers in particular are looking for a strategy that is near to perfect if not absolute perfect. 

The process of adding up the sum of all digital activities both on internet and mobile doesn’t make a Digital Marketing Strategy.

We have observed that every brand big or small has fallen head over heels on strengthening their brand awareness, engagement, and reputation. The focus is also on lead generation as most of the marketers believe that digital marketing is the potent tool to generate qualified leads. I believe that most of the digital marketing experts who have experience in both B2B and B2C Sectors in various industries such as Banking, Healthcare, Retail, Real-estate, Ecommerce, Manufacturing, etc. would agree that use of digital marketing, and optimization of innovation in digital media into marketing and communication strategies is now more critical than ever. It helps strengthen brand’s visibility, and reputation.

Digital marketing strategy is the series of actions that help brand achieve desired goal(s) using online, or mobile marketing. The term ‘strategy’ to most of us might seem intimidating, few might even argue that why do we need digital marketing strategy when we are doing absolutely fine with our digital marketing exercise. A detailed look into the marketing plan of most of the brands will help us understand that they equate digital marketing with having a web presence and basic search engine optimization. In my view, digital marketing is not just having a web presence and basic search engine optimization, it is way beyond these basic activities. In-fact the definition of web presence and search engine optimization has also evolved over time.

It might sound to most of the digital marketers that digital marketing strategy is something very complex but building an effective digital strategy is not a complex exercise. It is just a plan of action to achieve a desired goal, or set of goals. It is important for digital marketers to understand that in an ever-evolving digital landscape, success in business can often depend on what brands do or don’t do in terms of marketing. It is also important to evaluate how marketers are executing digital marketing, and what tools they are using to evaluate the performance.

Digital Marketing Strategy Journey

It can be both an exciting and challenging act to figure out where to start the journey of digital marketing and, more importantly, what activity will have the biggest impact on business. In my view, digital marketing starts with web presence, and include host of other activities which help individual visit the website and engage with the brand. The core activities of digital marketing include, content marketing, search engine optimization, social media optimization, managing the mix bag of paid ads, influencer marketing, analytics, etc.

This journey of digital marketing is function of scale of your business, objective of the digital marketing activities, engagement level of the target group, and investment in the digital marketing plan. The digital marketing strategy might involve multiple goals but a well-defined, clutter free and simple way of thinking about strategy can help brand meet objectives.

A campaign that runs over the course of a couple of years doesn’t make it a digital marketing strategy

I believe, the question which we need to answer is how to build the ultimate digital marketing strategy? Is there a definitive approach to build a successful digital marketing strategy? 

In my views, it is very easy to confuse your digital strategy with your digital marketing campaigns. Digital Strategy is the series of actions you take to help you achieve your overarching marketing goal. The process of adding up the sum of all digital activities both on the internet and mobile doesn’t make a Digital Marketing Strategy. Marketers need to embrace digital innovation and seize the opportunities it provides for marketing and communications on both platform – internet and mobile. Digital Marketing Campaigns are the building blocks or actions within your strategy that move you towards meeting that goal.

Perfecting Digital Marketing Strategy

For any good strategy, it is important to know what we want to achieve from the exercise. The digital marketing strategy is no exception. In the case of digital marketing strategy, we should also know “What should a perfect digital marketing strategy entail? “Hence, before we move ahead, it is important for us to answer a few basic questions (a sample list of questions):

  • Why should digital marketing ever be used for your brand?
  • Is increase in awareness among audience one of the key takeaway of the digital strategy?
  • Do marketers care about increase in site visits, leads and sales?
  • Are CXOs demanding the gain in market share?
  • Is building brand awareness, engagement, and reputation the key to all digital marketing efforts?

The reasons of designing a digital marketing strategy can be one the above-mentioned reasons or may be combination of them. Irrespective of the scenario, the approach to design digital marketing for the organization and brand will change with the changing requirements but the basic will remain same.

For any good strategy, it is important to know what we want to achieve from the exercise.

I believe creating a perfect digital marketing strategy for brand, marketers need to perfect following components of Digital Marketing Strategy Framework – Situation Analysis, Objective setting, Strategy, Implementation and Analytics.

Situational analysis is the root analysis that has to be made for the answers to the very basic question Where is the brand right now? The situation analysis provides answer to the basic but important questions viz. industry and competitor analysis, customer insight. It helps to identify where we stand as a brand and what we need to do to win the digital marketing race.

The outcome of situation analysis helps us set the objective of digital marketing. The objective can be defined as one to understand the customer acquisition process, understand customer retention targets, set customer satisfaction targets, define positive sentiments metric, customer’s engagement metric, metrics of brand reach. The objective setting of brand can be sum total of one or all of the above-mentioned objectives

Strategy is the third stage of the Digital Marketing Strategy Framework. It highlights how and which actions marketers should perform to attain the set objectives. This is the stage where you perform segmentation, target and positioning based on customer profile. The evolved organization also plans of creating a digital marketing culture and content marketing culture at this stage. The digital marketing strategy is a function of what has to be done and how it has to be done to engage and attract target audience

The sub section of strategy is the tactics stage. The tactics decides which special tools of digital marketing – Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Marketing, Email Marketing, Pay Per Click advertising, etc. to use for the success of campaign. Tactics is the stage that breaks the big picture of strategy into smaller details. Tactics also ensures that we provide the right details before we implement the specific part of big strategy. Tactics is also an intermediate state between implementation and strategy. Implementation requires us to define a few basic elements before taking the campaign live. These basic elements also become the KPIs of the campaign and help us in campaign analytics.

It is important to define the metrics which is used to monitor campaign performance – web analytics, user experience review, customer engagement, customer satisfaction, conversion rate optimization, etc. These performance indicators also help us decide which special tools of digital marketing to focus on – Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Marketing, Pay Per Click advertising, etc. for the success of campaign.

From our decade of experience we want digital marketers to understand strategy first and then only learn the technical skills of digital marketing. A digital marketer with only technical skills and no understanding of how to apply them, won’t be equipped to manage and execute on client projects. A lack of strategy is a common problem we are seeing in the digital industry

– Neil Pursey, Founder of Webgrowth

If we are following the Digital Marketing Strategy Framework – Situation Analysis, Objective setting, Strategy, Implementation and Analytics to the core we also realize that a digital marketing strategy is based on the three basic principles of marketing strategy: how to differentiate a business from its competitors, how to target the message to the right audience, and how to communicate that difference. 

Also Published at

Emerging Trends in Digital Marketing in India

Emerging Trends in Digital Marketing in India

In the last few years we have observed that there is a marked shift in consumer preferences towards digital media consumption as compared to traditional forms of media – television, print press, and radio. Digital media has not only gained importance as preferred choice of media consumption but also has gained on time share. Globally, people are spending more time each day on digital rather than traditional forms of media. Moreover, we have also witnessed that the digital media consumption pattern is also shifting from desktop to laptop and tablet and now to mobile. It will not be wrong to say that we are fast moving towards the mobile lead digital economy.

Global advertising expenditure across all platforms will grow 4.1% in 2016, reaching $537 billion. – A survey by ZenithOptimedia.

The increasing popularity of digital media has provided for a paradigm shift in the global advertising spends. Marketers are following the changing trend and increasingly allocating their budget to digital mediums – search ads, display ads, social media, email marketing, and others. According to Technavio Market Research global digital advertising spend is growing at a CAGR of around 9 percent. Yet another report from Juniper Research suggest that the digital marketing spend is set to grow to $285billion by 2020. This new numbers suggest that by 2020 the digital spend would nearly double the current estimated spend of $160bn for year 2016.

The growth of digital advertising in India is also attractive and in my views, it has huge unlocked potential. According to the ‘Digital Advertising in India’ report, jointly published by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB International, the online ad market will reach INR 70.44 billion by December 2016. The report also suggest that digital advertising spends is close to 12 per cent of total advertisement spends in India and it is growing at CAGR of 35 percent.

We all understand that this consumption shifts towards digital and social media has impacted customer’s mindset and is forcing advertisers to focus on the new platform – search ads, display ads, social media, email marketing, and others. According to CII-KPMG reports, digital advertising in the country is expected to cross the INR 255 billion mark in 2020, growing at a CAGR of 33.5 per cent.

Digital advertising spends close to 12 per cent of total advertisement spends in India – IAMAI and IMRB International report

In the last few years we have observed that there is a significant increase in content consumption on social media platforms. Much of this digital market’s growth both globally and in India can be attributed to the fact that these platforms are interactive and engaging for users. Since the customer engagement rate of these campaigns is relatively higher than the traditional media, advertisers are rapidly adopting it to increase customer base.

In line with global trends, the Indian consumer is increasingly consuming the content on digital platforms. Over years, increasing internet penetration, mobile device proliferation and availability of language content in all formats has helped fuel the use of digital platforms. The easy availability of mobile devices, improved networks, data connectivity, access to internet, and application development ecosystem has also helped increase the digital consumption as one can consume desired content anytime, anywhere. This growth in internet usages is seen both in rural and urban India. It is observed that social media and entertainment viz. music, and video, games, general search, and emails are the attractions of Indian mobile internet users.

Indian digital advertisement spends outperformed expectations in 2015 and is expected to cross INR 255 billion in 2020, states FICCI-KPMG Report 2016 

In India, the smartphone penetration has changed the digital content consumption behaviour. The content consumption in urban, and rural India is now being driven by smartphones. This has led to increase in mobile advertisement spends which has reflected a significant growth. According to FICCI-KPMG Report 2016, mobile advertising spends in 2015, were estimated to be at INR 9 billion, is now expected to grow at a CAGR of 62.5 percent to reach INR 102.1 billion by 2020.

Digital advertisement spend per capita in India still continues to significantly low in comparison to the top five spenders – U.S., China, Japan, Germany and U.K. According to the current growth assumptions, India is expected to be about 0.6 percent of global digital spend in 2015 indicating significant headroom for growth.

Also Published at

Making of Brand Arvind Kejriwal

Making of Brand Arvind Kejriwal

It will not be wrong to say that politics in India is all about mathematics of emotion, and storytelling. We Indians believed in the script – ‘Power of Common Man’. India has witnessed rise of many common men into huge political leaders using the script – ‘Power of Common Man’. There are many mass leaders viz. Lalu Prasad Yadav, Mamta Banarjee, Mayawati, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Deve Gowda who have built huge followers base on the story line – ‘Power of Common Man’. The latest in the list is Arvind Kejriwal. Not only he used the story line ‘Power of Common Man’ effectively but he also took the script to the next level.

The success of AAP and Arvind Kejriwal in the Indian politics can be attributed to an anti-congress wave and the fatigue among the middle class with a persistent corruption problem. It was the time when the educated middle class was frustrated as they found themselves politically exploited, fooled and marginalized. Indian voters who always believed in the ‘Power of Common Man’ was witnessing rise of caste-based politics, politics around religious issues, etc. Arvind Kejriwal had make use of the situation to their advantage and created a mass movement against the corruption with help of mass movement India Against Corruption. The anti-corruption movement India Against Corruption became the genesis of political party AAP.

Arvind Kejriwal is a master story teller. He is one who not only scripted the story very well but also executed each part of it with all honesty and sincerity. The story of ‘Power of Common Man’, is no new story for Indian voters, this story was told to Indian voters in the past and this time the story was shared with Indian voters by Arvind Kejriwal. This new story helped Arvind Kejriwal build the brand “Arvind Kejriwal”.

The journey of brand Arvind Kejriwal was not very tough but it was not an easy task either. The first major task for Arvind Kejriwal was to build a strong personal brand and he managed to build a very strong, trusted and approachable political brand. Building a political brand is not an easy task, a politician needs to build a positive image and sustain the image. Arvind kejriwal has been successful in building the brand and here is how the brand Arvind Kejriwal was built. In my views, the key elements which helped build brand Arvind kejriwal include:

Storyline with new twist: Arvind Kejriwal, instead of focusing on one religious group, or caste based politics, or income based classification of vote bank created a new segment of ‘Aam Aadmi’ and promoted it with his anti-corruption stand. This new segment of Aam Aadmi crated a new mathematical equation based on a new emotional connect. 

A Brand-New Voter Segment: The targeting of ‘Aam Aadmi’ with clean image enabled him to garner support from every corner of the town. This new vote bank was not about fifteen, twenty, or thirty percent of vote share but possibly every common man could associate himself with this new equation. This change was not about reengineering old equation, it was brand new mathematical equation in the political world.

Party with a Difference: Arvind Kejriwal, has always maintained that he and AAP are different from all other political parties. He maintained one single voice that Arvind Kejriwal and AAP stands for issues of citizenship, governance and accountability and they don’t believe in consumer politics of Congress or majoritarian politics of BJP.

Party has Origin in a Mass Movement: The success of Arvind Kejriwal can also be attributed to the success of India Against Corruption Movement. Arvind Kejriwal from day one has been advertising his party as a movement despite having registered it as a political party.

Symbol Connecting Common Man: The act of connecting with common man can also be seen in the selection of election symbol – Jhaadu (broom). The Jhaadu has been successfully utilized in delivering his anti-corruption message, which was the core of AAP promise.

Anna Topi a Symbol of Trust: A traditional symbol like the Gandhi Topi or Anna Topi which stands for an old world value like social change worked very well in favour of AAP. The power of Anna Topi was successfully adopted by AAP by changing the print on the cap to “Main Aam Admi Hoon” from earlier “Main Bhi Anna”.

Party of Common Man: Arvind Kejriwal also managed to create an image that he is one amongst the voters. He is the common man. Arvind Kejriwal with his middle-class dressing sense with thick muffler, old blue sweater, chappal, et all has managed to create a unique brand image in modern-day politics. The human face of Arvind Kejriwal can also be seen in many of his small and big actions.

Saying Sorry is Humane: Kejriwal managed to promote a face of common man by accepting his mistake of joining hands with congress, and yet another mistake of resigning as Delhi Chief minister in 49 days.

Kejriwal has kept his promise noble and ethical. AAP’s story is perhaps the simplest of all other contemporary political stories. Arvind Kejriwal has drafted the AAP Story and his personal branding carefully. 

Also Published at