RMP Media Analysis

Is Content Marketing just Self-Promotion?

In General Analysis on November 6, 2014 at 9:09 am

self-pro·mo·tion noun. Promotion, including advertising and publicity, of oneself effected by oneself (The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company)

IMG_1915In the last two days I’ve received 3″ of unsolicited catalogs. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Over the next couple of weeks I expect to get a minimum of 3″ per day in the mail. God help the mail carrier! The first thing most people will think is that these are from companies I have purchased from in the past. Those people would be wrong.

Over the last couple of years I’ve sorted the catalogs into piles of companies we had purchased from at some point and those from whom we had never purchased. Initially the Purchased From pile was bigger, which was what I expected. Over time though the Not Purchased From pile has dwarfed the other.

So how does Content Marketing tie in here? By definition Content Marketing  involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire and retain customers.

All of the brands want me to purchase from them, but especially the Not Purchased From brands. They are putting their product offerings in my mailbox 2 to 3 times a season vs the Purchased From brands putting their offerings 1 to 2 times a season.

Content Marketing is a hybrid of both the Not Purchased From and the Purchased From brands that show up in my mailbox each day. By creating useful content and making it available to the end user digitally provides another way for the user to consume information. The awareness created leads customers to explore a bit further, to trust the brand, to respect the brand and in the end be more likely to purchase from and recommend the brand.

Verizon is attempting to take this a step further with SugarString.com a technology news site it is bankrolling to compete with Wired and the Verge. But the telecommunications company has put conditions on its editors/reporters – it is expressly forbidden to write about net neutrality and revelations around the spying from the NSA. Not exactly they way to go about providing consumers with unbiased content.

Coca-Cola has done it right with their Journey website; Verizon can take a page or two or three out of their book. Using their distributor network to provide local viewpoints on local Coca-Cola sites the effort has taken off. These sites are demonstrating how successful content marketing is done without censorship or pandering.

To answer the original question… is content marketing just self-promotion?

In a way Yes It Is. The primary reason to provide this content is to get the consumer to bond with the brand, to purchase more from the brand, to view the brand as the best choice.While it is not directly advertising it is demonstrating the brand’s thought leadership, transparency, innovation etc.

Self-promotion is not wrong. A strong brand will use multiple methods to win and retain customers, content marketing is just one of those methods.

Acquisition Fever in Public Relations

In PR Vendors on October 22, 2014 at 10:27 am

Acquisitions

 

The first quarter of 2014 saw big names on the selling block

 

January – Gorkana and Precise speculated to be on the market for buyers.

FebruaryCision - Blue Canyon Holdings AB makes a cash offer to shareholders.

MarchVocus begins process to find a buyer. Salience Insight acquires US operations of CARMA International.

 

In the second quarter the landscape had changed

 

April  - Vocus acquired by GTCR

May – Cision is acquired by Blue Canyon Holdings an affiliate of GTCR

June - GTCR announces it’s intent to combine Vocus and Cision. Kantar Media acquires Precise.

 

The third quarter was relatively quite as acquisitions settled in

 

July/August  – no public activity.

September Vocus Marketing Suite is spun out as OutMarket. Cision and Vocus acquire Visible Technologies.

 

The fourth quarter brings another round of major acquisitions

 

October  – Cision/Vocus/Visible Technologies re-brands as Cision. Moreover is acquired by Lexis Nexis. Cision acquires Gorkana Group.

 

Is anything missing from the Cision stable?

 

Why yes, yes there are. Actually it depends on the strategic direction Peter Granat has put forth internally, so I speculate here.

One thing missing is a broadcast media monitoring service. Critical Mention, TV Eyes, ShadowTV and iQMedia all come to mind as potential acquisitions. Moreover is off the table as it was only this week acquired by LexisNexis.

The acquisition of a broadcast monitoring service would give Cision full control of the news data adding to the Vocus News On Demand service and durrants clipping service.

Another missing component is a solid social media monitoring and engagement component. Cision, Vocus and Gorkana all have a social media monitoring component but none of them are known for their social media prowess.

Right now Cision needs to integrate and solidify the synergies of all these acquisitions. With only two full months left to the year it would be surprising to say the least if Cision makes another acquisition. It would be prudent to focus on the integration tasks at hand because they are exponentially more than a typical singular acquisition. The redundancy reductions will provide the job market with individuals well versed in their former organizations methodologies and strategy. Competitors would be wise to have an open mind when hiring.

Time to sit back and see how and if this behemoth of an organization will be nimble enough to be #TheFutureofPR

Moreover – Moving Media Measurement Forward

In Measurement, PR Vendors on October 20, 2014 at 12:53 pm

As of today, Monday October 20th LexisNexis has acquired Moreover Technologies. From the press release which can be found here: “In the near term, new and existing Newsdesk customers will be able to subscribe to LexisNexis licensed content, which can be accessed via Newsdesk. In 2015, additional content from LexisNexis will be directly integrated into LexisNexis Newsdesk, along with additional capabilities. LexisNexis customers will now have an unprecedented suite of current awareness solutions, which includes LexisNexis Publisher and LexisNexis Newsdesk. “

I wrote the post below without knowledge that Moreover was in talks with LexisNexis. After reading through this again – I haven’t changed any part of it because it still holds even after the acquisition.

MoreoverHarvesting media content is the core of Moreover’s business. Why would anyone think of this company as a measurement specialist? The fact is Moreover has a split personality.

One side is as a vendor to major public relations software companies (Cision (Vocus), PRIME Research, Salience Insight, MyMediaInfo etc.)

The other side is as a service provider directly to customers through the NewsDesk platform.

Moreover Technologies Managing Director, Mark Denn is a colorful no-nonsense veteran of the industry who sees trends before they are readily apparent to others. Moreover’s business model focused on providing a service which was in turn re-sold and reused by their customers customer. Why not take out the middle man? That is what Moreover has done essentially with NewsDesk.

PR vendors can purchase Moreover content, PR Agencies can purchase Moreover content and now Direct Customers can purchase Moreover content. I say now but Moreover’s NewsDesk has been available for a few years now.

Providing content (data) is only one piece of the measurement puzzle. Providing insights into that data is the golden ticket.

How is Moreover Moving Media Measurement Forward?

NewsDesk is not a full workflow product for public relations and corporate communications, it is a media monitoring and analysis product that allows PR agencies and customers alike to perform their own adhoc analysis and surface insights.

The industry (especially researchers) has used Boolean logic to find relevant content in their queries. Forming complex queries is time consuming and requires a certain level of expertise. You know your industry best, you know what your strategy is and all it’s nuances, the ability to create a targeted search strategy and all the iterations required to refine it is not practical for the man on the street.

Moreover designed NewsDesk to move clients away from Boolean simplifying the act of discover by indexing all content. From a discovery perspective the ease of use makes NewsDesk very appealing.

News Desk by the Numbers

5 Million posts per day  from over 20 million blogs

55K Online sources creating up to 2 million articles per day

Global Print articles from all markets

As Moreover continues to refine and include new features NewsDesk will evolve into a tool that can be used easily by the average PR professional without significant on-going training and required mastery. The question of PR budgets though may hinder the acceptance of this fledgling offering as it heads out into the open market.

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