Modern Marketing Theory.
(4 Min Read)
[This post was originally send to my email newsletter subscribers]
I spent parts of last year sending out an email newsletter talking about logistics. You can read through all of them on my website... in fact, you can read anything I've done in the last few years on my website. But that's not the point. The point is that since, these days, I get paid to talk and do marketing, I'm pivoting the contents of that newsletter and bringing everything together.
WELCOME. To my marketing newsletter.
How I ended up in marketing.
At the end of 2019, I stopped being a consultant and started producing podcasts. When I did this, something stood out when I asked someone questions like:
- How do you want to bring people to your podcast? i.e. how are you going to market the content?
- Or, if you are going to use the content in your marketing, how do you intend to do that?
The most common response I got was crickets, and having had some experience with podcasts myself, LMN is the most prominent example. I now had a fresh understanding of a problem, the problem being how do you make content and then promote it with a plan, i.e. how do you do content marketing strategy.
Since then, I've set out to apply my process and logistical superpowers to marketing and to figure this out. Deconstructing the process of marking and then marketing stuff took a while, but then again, I had COVID time on my hands, so a while is what I took. I came up with a marketing method based on what I'd learnt from Google, and YouTube, listening to podcasts and reading articles from other marketers on Medium.
Don't worry, I get it, and I completely agree with you... How someone with the imagination of a logistician intends to work with creatives and bring fluff to fruition is a weird and naturally pretty ridiculous idea. In fact, some cold sweats have reminded me of this quandary.
The first things I learnt during my 'find and learned from Yoda' time:
- I have no idea what to charge.
- I assume nobody wants to pay for a piece of paper with the word 'strategy' on the top.
- I should figure out how to make strategies quickly to either charge less or not lose too much time doing it for free.
Thing's I've learnt since:
- It turns out that people will pay for a strategy.
- Social media is pretty powerful.
- But even with all that power, people's bullshit-o-meter is so finely tuned these days that it'd be easier for the world's most unvaccinated tennis player to stay in the country than try to sell someone a product they aren't interested in.
- This makes email more potent because of how intimate the relationship is with someone.
- And lastly, marketing takes a lot more time than you'd expect, to do it properly at least, because it takes time to get the details right.
This is surprising given how I often see ads for training courses selling "sales funnels" and "100-client-a-day methodologies".
I don't care for having 100 people message me a day. That sounds exhausting. What I do like is a method. A proper and thoroughly researched method that someone else took the time to do (which saves me accumulating years of experience that I do not have). This is where the content marketing model, assembled into a book by Joe Pulizzi, stands out.
When I heard about this guy and the model he and his wife had come up with (and how he was the one to coin the phrase "content marketing"), I ate up every bit of his content I could get my hands on. In the space of a week, I listened to his podcast, listened to his book, read his articles, and subscribed to his newsletter. I was hooked. The model made perfect sense of what I'd been trying to figure out this whole time.
Though I don't follow Joe's method the exact way it's described because I've made some adaptations from other learnings. These act as safeguards for myself and my clients while, at the same time, making way of marketing - possibly the most meticulously boring way of doing anything, ever.
I don't know if I'm off to a great start, though. Going back to the click-bait-farm-entrepreneurs selling bullshit courses… you don't see any of them running around saying, "I have the most boring way of marketing you've ever seen "... From everything Netflix says about marketing via promos for Emily In Paris, Marketing meant to be all flashy campaigns and buzz words. Concepts sold so sexily that you completely forget the rainbow riding and pixie dust farting unicorn laden land in which these ambitions - and the budget to execute them - exist.
Nonetheless, Joe's onto something, and I think I'm on to something because my adaptations are built specifically for applying content marketing to complex projects. Like with an engineering firm, an SME, or a wholesaler. Because in my experience, B2B operators know all about their products, but much less about communicating them.
You could dress it up by saying "modern-day craftsmen," but fluff aside, it's more accurate to say that it's content marketing for nerds. I know what nerds look like because I spent ten years working with IT guys and software devs with no social skills... so the pivot has actually been pretty natural.
Now, obviously, in public, I can't call it that out loud because someone might be offended, so instead, I call it Knowledge Marketing. A Knowledge Marketing Strategy (a KMS?!) by Krystian, at Storytime. Noice. Maybe it's nice? I don't know; I have no reference point. We'll see.
Summary: What is Knowledge Marketing?
It's about a process: that starts with assessing insights and ends with a portfolio of assets that, promoted strategically, give your audience the answers they are looking for along with all the evidence they need to see that you are the one that can solve their problem.
It's for concepts that need to be cared about to be understood - that take time to communicate.
It's about solving, not selling.