Proof To Create Value Beyond What You Invoice
You have to go beyond communicating the value of your product or service. Instead, it’s about adding value to your audiences experience with what you do.
This is the core principal for what content marketing is, the ability to create value and nurture experiences that are noticeably different from what you normally invoice.
Naturally it all ties back to how you monetise your business, but by adding another tier of ‘company worth’ can drive affiliation and interaction with your business with the ability to build an audience that goes beyond the ‘thanks for following…now follow us on LinkedIn’ auto reply message on Twitter and the race for more traffic.
Bringing Out The Proof
Let me highlight two examples of an owned media approach in action, where a company has complete ownership within a preferred channel by creating value with content.
Before we jump in, I just want to highlight these demonstrate when a content approach is integrated into the entire marketing strategy. It doesn’t sit separate, it all links back.
The Big Brand
I have started reading a book to my daughter at bedtime called Gerald’s Missing Shoe. Abby is three.
Nothing different so far. A book with a couple of sentences and a big picture to accompany each page.
Basically, Gerald’s shoe went missing and ended up helping a planet from being attacked by aliens, before it making its way back to Gerald’s fridge to be found again.
It’s a book that Abby wants read to her every evening at the moment.
The children’s book is by footwear company Geox.
From digging deeper, it doesn’t just sit as a PR move but a commitment to encourage children to let their imagination grow and to provide shoes that have ‘breathability,’ otherwise Gerald’s shoe wouldn’t have helped out another planet. This is part of a series of books for children.
This comes back to the main brand and the ability to create value beyond what you do as a company.
Industry protocol would have highlighted that Geox produce comfortable shoes that are healthy for your feet. You can add every other industry into this box, from an accountant that can help you manage your finances better, to a web company that can make you stand out from the crowd to joining a local networking group that promises the ability to meet new people. It is nothing new and messages that are the equivalent of pop-up ads, they are wallpaper.
The word that Geox stands for is the ability for their shoes to ‘breathe.’ This all stems back from owner Mario Moretti Polegato’s holiday in the Nevada desert, where his feet became so hot that he cut holes in his trainers for better ventilation. As soon as the holes were fashioned, he felt better and Geox was born (plus a story for where the problem started and how it was resolved).
Geox employees 30,000 people and has 1,200 stores worldwide.
The Local Business
They are an app provider and mobile consultancy, based in Bournemouth. I know Lee Mallon and his team and the good work that is coming from the company.
As an app consultancy and product team, a traditional route would be to focus entirely on the website and highlight the virtues of ‘connecting brands in a digital world’ as if it was 2010. They’re better than that.
What the company has just released is a report that highlights how the UK is becoming an increasingly connected country, have a look here. It explains in everyday language how the country will evolve in the next 10 years.
I asked Lee why they decided to do this, “Over the last 12 months we have been heavily researching the area of connected devices and IoT (Internet of Things). Sparked by a client project we grew more and more of an interest in the area but there was so much going on across the world, lots of hype and lots of confusion.”
“We had blogged a lot on the topic over the past year and wanted to bring it all together for both our own collation of ideas as well as to share with others.”
“The problem with new technology, such as IoT, is in the early days, not many people get it. You talk and share ideas that will be mainstream in a few years but they are too far ahead for people to think, publishing the report enables us to start the conversation now.”
From Lee’s statement you could say that this was his hole in the shoe moment, where working on a project helped provide clarity to what is hazy to many people.
From reading the report and what Lee explains, you can say that the word and opportunity that they have to take forward is ‘connection.’ When you find that one word you stand for, it opens up a world of opportunity, click here to find out what this all means and to try out your side.
I asked Lee how this connects back to the main business, “At Rarely Impossible we have a grand vision for what can be accomplished with connected devices and found that many people don’t get it so we needed to educate them, as we increase the knowledge of others who participate with us we can then start to bring more of our complex “crazy” ideas closer to understanding as people understand the value reward.”
Bringing Both Brands Together & Your Business
Both examples are ways of communication that are separate from the main line of business ie. selling shoes, producing apps. Both have taken on the role to educate and inform.
The reason I am highlighting two completely separate businesses is that you don’t need sizeable investments to communicate a message, more acknowledgement that you can create something beneficial that is noticeable from your main brand.
By creating a web of touch points can help move the customer through a connected journey.
From my daughter asking for Gerald’s shoe to a potential customer having access to Rarely Impossible’s take on how the IoT affects us all, both link together by:
- Encouraging more compelling reasons for people to engage
- Align goals of the main brand ie. educate and sell
- Teach others how to be better informed and be a part of the decision process
- Create value aimed at selling shoes/mobile first strategies
- Differentiating by taking a stand against something that they believe in
- Pain points identified and acted up, notably in the examples mentioned as discomfort and awareness (both with emotional tie ins)
- Finding an issue and then curating a message (not the other way round of selecting the medium first and then determining the message)
- This is not about flag waving about how good a company is but being purposeful to someone else
The ease with which companies can create, publish and distribute content becomes more defined when there is an audience who is receptive to it.
The examples from Geox and Rarely Impossible are not part of a campaign but where content becomes a recognised, useful and recognised behaviour of a business.
Lets Round Up
Where this brings us all in the same room (as businesses) is when content is created for a person in mind to engage and for businesses to become more meaningful, when compared to the other options that are out there for people to choose from.
The ability to produce consistent value is something that goes way beyond relying on Google Adwords and begging to be liked by others.
You have to take a step beyond a generational mindset that was to sit within your own island and repeatedly beat the same drum, but to identify spaces where you can identify gaps, problems and wider issues and take a responsibility for change and to address that doesn’t have to be blinkered by what you do, but the benefit you can provide.
Like Gerald’s shoe he took that step to help out another planet, your mission can be a lot more simpler but just as effective.