America’s division headquartered in New York, NY, USA
- Content marketing audit
- Online customer experience Map by persona
- Identification of content opportunities
- Strategic content marketing structure for future content planning
As with most financial services marketing departments, Natixis Global Asset Management (NAGM) was creating hundreds (perhaps thousands) of individual content executions each year, in many formats. But the hamster wheel of content had the team and resources worn thin, and there was a recurring question asking for a compelling business case to continue the inflated content creation practice.
Even at scale, the creation of content is not inexpensive, it’s just differently expensive. Opportunity costs are significant, in addition to the tangible costs of personnel, software, and third-party resources.
Resoundingly, the marketing team was asking over and over again: Is this content the right content? For the right audiences? At the right time?
When questions are not sufficiently answered for these key audiences, it creates uncertainty and dissonance about the products or services offerings. We set out to answer these questions and solidify the content creation strategy and structure to ensure that no time, resources, or potential client interaction was wasted again.
Similar to many financial organizations the NAGM sales team had been at the center of the client relationship, providing information to prospects whenever and however it was needed. However, customers often prefer self-serve information. In fact, Sirius Decisions research shows that 67% of the B2B buyers’ journey takes place online, and that most prospective customers do not want to interact via telephone or face-to-face until they are deep in the consideration funnel.
In many ways, NGAM was already providing self-service to potential customers as the marketing and product teams were creating many content executions, in multiple modalities, both online and offline.
While NGAM was far ahead of many other companies in its commitment to content, the next step was to optimize that effort for maximum results.
While NGAM was already creating significant content, they needed to know that content was of maximum value. They had no strategic way to measure the ultimate effectiveness of content and the resources needed to create it. We sought out to answer the following questions:
- Does the content being made every day by NGAM yield customer behavior that justifies the resources allocated to its creation?
- Are there content types that are disproportionately effective?
- Is content moving prospects through the consideration funnel in a controlled, sequential fashion?
- Is the content useful enough to break through clutter and gain audience attention? (is the content have Youtility)?
- Are there gaps in the content chain, where customers may have questions or obstacles to purchase that are not presently addressed by NGAM?
C&C worked with NGAM to identify an initial sampling of 50 pieces of content that represent common archetypes and objectives, and that fall into the category of “content marketing” more so than evergreen, static web content, or regulatory business communication.
Using four custom analytical prisms, each content piece was scored and changes were recommended. The prisms included:
- Funnel stage. Is the content optimized for where prospects are likely to encounter it, within their lifecycle journey?
- Usefulness. Does the content pass the Youtility test? Is it so useful, people would pay for it, if necessary? How can the content be modified to increase relevance and value?
- Call-to-action. Does the content give the prospect clear instructions for next steps? Does the content naturally lead the prospect through the consideration funnel?
- Format and execution. Is the content created in the best possible way? Are there tactical or creative adjustments that can be made so that the content is more resonant and relevant? Could the content be crafted in new formats, or in multiple formats?
Additionally, C&C mapped each piece of content on a comparison chart to show visual representation of three scales:
- Is the content vital, or non-vital to the lifecycle?
- Does the content require high or low effort to create?
- Is the content likely to create significant impact or low impact among prospects that consume it?
- Created a visual map of content opportunities to use with internal stakeholders, helping tell the story of content needs and narrow the focus on effective content execution.
- Drastically reduced random acts of content and content creation time by adhering to strategic content marketing structure.
- Established the baseline for measuring effectiveness of content and evaluation criteria for new content.