Art And Science Of Content And Data

Hundreds of creative minds and industry thought leaders from around the world descended on Sydney to share their insights across the media, analytics and advertising industries at ADMA’s Global Forum, which is now the largest of its kind in the APAC region.

A melting pot of technology, data, trends, content and innovation, the event broke down the silos of the digital industry, opening new learnings for all.

For content marketers, analytics have driven the capability to measure and improve on strategy and execution. It was fascinating to hear how the worlds of data and editorial are now so intrinsically linkedlike two dancers trying to keep in sync, with neither partner necessarily taking the lead. It is indeed an evolving chicken and egg scenario, where neither necessarily drives the other, yet the two must now coexist.

As Cameron Partridge, Digital Marketing & Analytics Director at General Electric explained, ‘data models helped unlock the future of content marketing at GE’. The Melbourne-based marketer adding ‘Be brave, be dedicated, captivating and worthwhile. Be targeted and make the ideas stick. Content for the sake of content is just clutter. Align it to the brand essence and start small.’

It was that mentality that saw CPA’s brand publishing strategy see success. According to Jillian Bowen, General Manager of Content and Social Media at CPA, if key stakeholders had pulled the pin after the first year of their content commitment, they never would have seen the content platforms bear fruit. This only happened in year two, after much patience and hard work. In her presentation ‘How to build a community with content your audience wants to read’, Bowen highlighted the need to ‘lead with a story and let your audience find out about the brand organically’. Adding ‘If you put the brand up front, you have to question whether you’re truly making content’. Driven by CEO, Alex O’Malley’s best selling book, ‘The Naked CEO’, the CPA content strategy has hands down worked. Hero video’s like the ‘Ask Alex’ series have seen thousands of mentoring questions answered on YouTube with more than 75,000 views.

‘We are not afraid to fail. I don’t need to sell it anymore because our audience are advocates. Take risks. Because when it does go right, it’s absolutely incredible’. Bowen proclaimed. But success takes meticulous, and ongoing planning. The editorial team are now working on content for 2016, making the potentially boring accounting industry accessible, even entertaining. ‘It’s all about creating content and putting it into the sandpit your audience plays in’.

A man with a plan and plenty ahead of him, Chris Janz, drew a large and curious crowd, as he shared the HuffPost Australia vision on Day Two. The newly appointed CEO of the publication that launches on August 19 was quick to point out the new kid on the block ‘startup’ mentality the team intends to foster, sharing that ‘it’s a really unique experience to have our little startup sitting next to the world’s best practice, working with the team in New York’. ‘We expect to be profitable within 3 years… and want to be in the top five readership within 3 years’. 

Staying nimble is a theme that was threaded through most of the conversations at Global Forum, where big brands are finding new ways of targeting and communicating with their communities. In this spirit, Janz pointed out the light and shade of ‘old world’ publishing versus the fresh approach many in the media are hoping to foster. For example, in a modern day global newsroom, the homepage is no longer king, ‘it’s all about social and search now. I think the homepage is dead’ he added. We no longer operate on single platforms. ‘Mobile isn’t the future, mobile is it. In some Asian markets, consumption on mobile is up to 90 percent’. He also proudly highlighted HuffPosts’ willingness to step out of the ‘walled garden’ and write about what know best, but share through links to the experts outside the site where the information there is most insightful, ‘do what you do best, and link to the rest’.

Finding ways to break down barriers between businesses and buyers is the new frontier, highlighted by nearly all the dialogue at this year’s Forum. The internet of things has given shiny new ways of achieving this, but at the same time thrown new challenges on marketers. Getting cut-through with content will mean that quality, value and entertainment will become the key ingredients in any recipe for success. As companies and publishers scramble to reach the younger, often ad-blocking, low attention spanned, multiple screen loving youth, it will be how they seed that experience in their daily lives that will determine success.

Through adaptive and agile marketing, data and insights, knowing the audience’s intelligence and using it properly, brand stories will be immersed seamlessly in a future world that will almost certainly continue to break down the barriers between art and science.

Originally published on ADMA’s official website

Rakhal Ebeli is the Founder and CEO of Newsmodo. He hosts the Brand Storytelling Podcast – tune in to hear the latest trends, tips and insights in content marketing.