In 1732, Benjamin Franklin published the first annual Poor Richard’s Almanack to promote his printing business, one of the first examples of content marketing. A lot has changed in the last 300 years.
Since the content was digital, some 20 years ago, content marketing has grown exponentially. In 2016, IBM made a bold statement: 90% of the world’s data was created in the past two years. If you don’t believe me, go to the promotional guide or anywhere else in your inbox and count all the articles, infographics, podcasts, videos, and e-books that appear every day.
The noise of content marketing drowns out real communication
With this growing amount of content distributed across multiple channels, proclaiming messages has become a major problem for sales and marketing teams. The customer’s communication landscape is noisy, secure, and complex. On average, an entrepreneur receives about 120 emails a day and the success rate for unsolicited calls for scheduling business meetings is only 2.5%.
The way people decide to buy has also changed: from traditional health and life insurance, magazines and even car rentals to cable TV subscribers and boxes of clothes and food delivered monthly, we are more likely to do things like buying a subscription instead of paying the full cost in advance. This boom in the subscriber economy, a term coined by subscription company Zuora, has been adopted by service providers (such as online content streaming companies) and heavy machine manufacturers (such as Caterpillar).
Personal obligations break the noise; Artificial intelligence makes it easy
The most progressive organizations have already discovered the sales channel with the highest ROI: social sales! It refers to building and maintaining sales relationships with your networks, sharing personal, not marketing, and content that is valuable to your current and future customers.
And here comes the challenge again: sales don’t write their own content; and with the huge amount of content flying over the radio waves, Sales can’t find a way to put it together, much less personalize it.
Discover the value of marketing content
In today’s digital marketing world, AI is often used to leverage analytics and reduce resource scarcity. Three out of four marketers interviewed for a PwC study agreed that AI is a “business advantage”.
AI-based marketing content can also help build trust and innovative leadership. With the level of customization that AI offers, each salesperson can build a personal brand and position themselves not only as a trusted advisor who understands the client’s unique challenges but also as an identifiable personality with unique interests.
From now on, marketing remains the task of creating attractive customer lifecycle experiences for many organizations. But if you look at sales transformation in the context of the entire buyer’s journey, the next step is the digital transformation of the sales organization.
The true leaders of digital transformation in their respective industries, companies like SAP and Guardian Life, successfully used AI-driven content marketing strategies to cultivate relationships and generate revenue years ago.