The philosophical question
Who likes sandwiches? Probably everyone. What is the best part? Maybe the thinly sliced ham or the roast beef. The crispy lettuce and the garden-fresh sliced tomato with that delicious provolone cheese slice. Then there’s the mustard and mayo. What about the bread? Perhaps you opt for a delicious rye, or a scrumptious sourdough.
You may not even like a deli sandwich, but you probably like a PB&J.
So what is it that makes a sandwich a SANDWICH? Is it the bread on the outside? Is it the fixins on the inside? Is it the coming together of all the ingredients? Aristotle just may have been thinking about the sandwich when he proclaimed “the whole is greater than the sum of all its parts.”
The programmatic ingredient
Aristotle also may have been talking about digital marketing, advertising and publishing (he was very forward thinking after all). In the world of real time digital marketing, and with the rapid success of programmatic ad placement, one can’t help but wonder about what happens next. Where does marketing and advertising go after the programmatic ad buy? It also begs the question “of all the options and all the technology readily available, what is the safest and best option for my business in the rapidly progressing world of digital marketing?”
When everything gets boiled down the objective of marketing campaigns and advertising is simple, generate enough interest in your product or service to bring the consumers of your campaign to a point where they take action. No matter how advanced our technology becomes business leaders still want to onboard new buyers, and keep existing buyers.
The golden child of marketing: Programmatic
We see time and again the incredible growth and success of the programmatic ad buy. Exponential growth year over year with projections of increasing growth in the coming years. As companies invest in this technology and invest in the strategic placement of their messaging in front of buyers in real time, are they prepared to properly handle all this new traffic? The RTB display placement seems to be a key ingredient in the overall digital marketing strategy, but not all encompassing.
Content is king
As web traffic intensifies, as mobile ad placement grows, and as the RTB ad buy continues to gain momentum, what is the ingredient that insures engagement once the initial attraction has passed?
The answer is content. Relevant, consistent, engaging content is the hook. The important piece to remember on the content marketing side of a marketing strategy is the importance of being proactive. Often launching a content marketing campaign is met with enthusiasm and high hopes for success, but then quickly forgotten as other ‘fires’ require attention, or engaging topics become sparse. A fellow content marketing evangelist, Neil Patel, stated it perfectly in his recent article on Quicksprout.com
“Content marketing demands consistency. You can’t just throw a bunch of content on the web and expect it to generate traffic for the long haul. Search engines prefer to rank sites that show signs of life. You’ll reap maximum SEO benefit if you produce fresh content consistently.”
This challenge is easily dealt with when a strategic view of the content marketing campaign is taken. Too often content marketers view content creation tactically. Today we need a blog post. Our press release is overdue. The e-newsletter goes out next week and there’s no content. STOP.
Content marketing must only do four things well.
1) Establish your organization as the expert in your space.
2) Demonstrate thought leadership in your vertical.
3) Educate your clients and prospects.
4) Become a publisher of branded content.
Once this becomes woven into the core of marketing strategy, the burden of creating new content leaves, and the responsibility of publishing becomes paramount. Ask questions like: Who are we at our core? What are our values? How do we show honor to our industry? Who do we respect in our vertical? These questions are at the heart of content marketing and the only way to really show the proper respect to the programmatic part of marketing strategy.
So back to the marketing sandwich. When does the sandwich become a meal? Once it is all put together.
Effectiveness in the digital marketing space bears healthy fruit (new and repeat business) when a strategy hits its stride on the front with data-driven, real-time, programmatic ads, and on the back with a bountiful production of meaningful strategic content. When one side is absent, results are mediocre. When both sides are present the impact changes the sales game. No one wants to eat a bread sandwich.