Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Evolution of Content Distribution

How do we get from print to pull?

While marketers should own a verb of human activity, their vendors should own one dealing with either planning or execution.   When it comes to content distribution there are four possibilities that also form a continuum for the industry's transformation.

Print - Publish - Push - Pull
  • Print:  the production and distribution of large quantities of content - usually defined by someone else. Companies are rewarded for operational excellence. 
  • Publish: adds the creation of the content itself to the production function.  Content producers, custom or mainstream, are rewarded for editorial excellence (and reach).    
  • Push: adds targeting to the mix and requires a deep understanding of the recipient's needs, behaviors and preferences.  Because this is typically direct-to-consumer suppliers are rewarded for return on investment.
  • Pull: flip the whole process on its head and let consumers find content they need or have in mind. Those who can solve a disaggregated technology problem will be rewarded. 
The concepts of push and pull require new thinking - who consumed what, where and how and then what did they do (buy)?  The keys to look for:
  • Trackable - each chunk of content has to be identifiable as a standalone entity.  The unique identifiers used in content or digital management should be viewed from a consumption not just a management perspective.
  • Identifiable - consumption has to be specifically defined as to individual, location, and context (possibly inferred from device).
  • Linkable - to determine the impact of content, consumption habits must be tied to purchase behavior. 
All this will eventually lead to answering the question: "What content should we produce?"  

And the first marketing services company to answer that question for its clients can make the claim: "We know how content works."

As Dave Mason sang in a World in Changes
World in changes going thru
I've got a lot to learn about you
World in changes going thru
You've got a lot to learn about me too

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