Talking Content Marketing – Interview With Scott Monty
Lets bring another well respected name to the Talking Content Marketing table, here is an interview with Scott Monty.
Scott has become recognised internationally for his work with Ford (as Global Digital & Multimedia Communications Manager), but today (22nd July), Scott has announced his new role as Executive Vice President Of Strategy at SHIFT Communications.
Lets get down to business and have a chat about forcing traditional marketing into all platforms, the biggest challenge for business and which brands tell a good story.
A lot of what you stand for is building attention and trust from an audience. Do businesses focus too much on social as a marketing channel, rather than nurturing the places they actually have full ownership of (websites, blogs, email) to engage with an audience?
It’s a great observation and question. In my view, I think too many brands have forced the traditional marketing funnel onto practically every platform and iteration, ignoring that (a) the customer experience has gone from linear to multiple inputs/direction and (b) people have different needs on these channels than they do on traditional ones. What I mean by that is that people consume information differently and in the case of social in particular, they prefer talking with other people rather than being talked at by a brand.
What is the biggest challenge for business to move from product driven messages to useful content creation and give value to their audience?
We’ll continue to see this emerge as one of the most critical issues in the customer journey today: people want a message that fits their needs; they don’t have the time nor the inclination to sift through information that’s irrelevant or completely misses their needs. In fact, they may get annoyed if they’re presented with enough mass marketing. The challenge for business is to get the right content to the right person on the right platform at the right time. And just as you say, it should provide value to the audience, rather than being a strictly sales-based message.
It’s okay to sell, but you’ve only earned that right after you’ve built a relationship with people, and to do so, it requires consistency and trust.
C.C.Chapman Ardath Albee and Barry Feldman highlighted that businesses need to make customers the hero of the stories we tell. Do you agree that this approach is how businesses differentiate?
While that may work some of the time, I don’t think it’s a universal prescription. Certainly, having customer stories as part of the mix is important – particularly when you’re trying to have someone relate to someone like them. But those stories can come from a variety of sources: employees, investors, suppliers, etc. I think the important part is to make sure that there are human stories being told. Stories that show the human benefit of the product or service a business is trying to convey.
You highlighted in your ‘New Twist On Content‘ article, the need to be ‘consistent in our efforts.’ Is this the key to success by having an ongoing commitment (rather than the six month campaign mentality)?
I’ve long said that social is not a campaign, it’s a commitment. Think about it from the customer’s perspective: would you prefer to associate with a brand that jerks you around, based on its own priorities, or would you like to do business with one that responds to or even anticipates your needs as a consumer? It’s only by doing things consistently and repeatedly, over time, that a brand can hope to win trust from a consumer, and trust begets loyalty.
You have been recognised as an influencer in your own right. What are the main facets to building a personal brand? Is it continual learning, is it being present, is it being connected, is it standing for something, is it building a community?
You know, it’s funny, because I never set out to build a personal brand. I let my curiosity and ability to write lead me in a certain direction. And for me, it was about taking my personality to the web to interact with other people. I always find that there are so many people out there who are so much smarter than me, and I try to curate the content I read and the community of people I surround myself with to reflect that level of intelligence. Once you’ve done that, it’s about how you interact with those people: sharing, expounding on certain points, debating, etc. And of course it’s about having the appropriate platforms on which to do so. If you do all of that, your personal brand will shine through.
Which brands do you consider tell a good story well?
Right now, I think General Electric is doing a stellar job of taking the mundane and unknown of its B-to-B businesses and making it relative and interesting, particularly through visual communications. Another is Maersk. They’ve been fearless in trying new ways of communicating and telling their stories. Coca-Cola, with their Journeys website, has turned corporate communications on its head with their varied content. There are many more, but these are a few that rise to the top.
We wish Scott every success in his new role and HUGE thanks for taking the time to be part of the Talking Content family.
Why not find more from Scott’s world:
Scott on Twitter: click here
Scott’s site: click here