David Meerman Scott’s New Rules of Marketing and PR came out in 2007, which seems like a lifetime ago. Now it’s a “marketing classic.” As the world continues to evolve, marketers need to be lifelong learners to stay current.
In the interests of continuous learning, I’ve been reading a wide range of books and want to share the more interesting ones here. Ty Montague’s book True Story: How to Combine Story and Action to Transform Your Business is a good place to look for marketing inspiration.
While marketers everywhere realize the importance of storytelling, Montague suggests that we take it further, committing instead to Storydoing™.
The strategy requires an organization to craft its own metastory. Doing so requires a deep understanding of the participants and the stage, as well as the business’ own capabilities. The fourth key component of the metastory is the “quest” – or the higher purpose of a company beyond simply making money.
To move from storytelling to storydoing, you need to let the metastory guide actions. The book offers illustrative stories of the theory in practice for inspiration.
The key takeaways are relevant to every marketing organization:
• Make sure you truly understand your prospects and market participants.
• Honestly assess your own capabilities and personality.
• Have a vision or purpose – and make sure it’s authentic.
• Let that purpose and story inform your messages and actions.
For another inspiring book, see the earlier post on Empowerment Marketing discussing Jonah Sach’s Winning the Story Wars.
I just finished reading David Meerman Scott’s book Cashing In with Content: How Innovative Marketers use Digital Information to turn Browsers into Buyers.
The book profiles 20 different organizations that use content-rich websites to achieve their goals. Scott then extracts useful best practices from these organizations.
While the best practices remain completely relevant today, I was curious about the profiled companies. The book was published in 2005 – in Internet years, that’s half a lifetime! I thought it would be worthwhile to revisit the different websites and see where they are now at the end of 2010, and whether they are still pursuing the same general content strategies.
Much has changed since 2005 – at least two of the profiled companies have been acquired, and some of the nonprofits restructured. Clearly, the Howard Dean campaign site from 2004 has closed up shop. But most of the profiled organizations have maintained their dedication to providing rich, fresh and relevant content on their sites. And for many, it appears to be working. A quick look at Alexa shows many with relatively low bounce rates, a larger than average number of pages per visitor, and several minutes spent on the site per visitor. In other words, these sites are serving their targeted communities (whether large or small) with content that the visitors find relevant and interesting.
Since maintaining up-to-date content is an effort and investment in itself, we have to assume that the strategy is working for those companies, or they would have abandoned the effort and let the content go stale.
Long live content marketing.