Brilliant Reads: marketing orchestration, why content marketing needs content strategy, and the role of social media in the college admissions process

Welcome to Brilliant Reads, where this week we’re looking at marketing orchestration, why content marketing needs content strategy, and the role of social media in the college admissions process.

The always-connected customer has killed marketing (Forbes)

The headline might feel like clickbait, but look beyond it and this article by Christine Crandell for Forbes has some interesting points about the impact of mobile on marketing, based on a Forrester report for Responsys.

The report says that complex customer journeys are replacing linear campaigns as the ‘new normal’, because the uptake of mobile technology means that buyers have multiple points of contact with brands across a range of different channels along the path to purchase.

In this new era, marketers should throw out campaigns and align directly to the experience each customer wants, with what Forrester calls ‘marketing orchestration’. Marketing orchestration is ‘an approach to marketing that focuses not on delivering standalone campaigns, but instead on optimizing a set of related cross-channel interactions that, when added together, make up an individualized customer experience.’

Rather than focussing on ‘how’ and ‘where’ as you would with a campaign-based approach, instead the focus is on ‘what’, ‘when’, ‘who’ and ‘why’ and on investing in understanding customers. The full report is available here.

Image credit: [bastian.]

Why content marketing needs content strategy (Brilliant Noise)

Lauren spoke at the Content Marketing Show last week about why content marketing needs content strategy.

She suggested that rather than being part and parcel of the same thing, they are two clearly defined and very different entities. Content strategy is about the ‘how’, the user, the big picture, the governance and the planning, while content marketing is about the ‘what’, the business, the tactics and the individual campaigns.

This difference is why content marketing needs content strategy. A purely tactical approach will only work in the short-term, and opens up a whole host of problems like inconsistency, inefficiency, and weakens your brand overall.

Having the elements of content strategy in place (see the image above for the Brilliant Noise take on what those elements are) can help to get rid of a lot of the difficulties that content projects commonly run into, because they provide essential structure and governance.

They also make a huge impact on productivity and efficiency – the content strategy elements come together to create a formula that makes it easier to repeat the process of creating great content time and time again.

Social media and the college admissions process (NY Times)

In this New York Times article, Natasha Singer looks at the impact prospective students’ tweets and Facebook posts are having on their chances of admission at US colleges.

One poll found that 31% of college admissions officers had looked at the social media accounts of prospective students, and 30% of them said that they had discovered information that had had a negative impact on the student’s chances of being accepted.

This is leading to an ethical dilemma, exacerbated by a lack of formal policies over the role of social media in the admissions process.

Brilliant idea: the pedal-powered work station

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