techmap: Overcoming Content Shock

All hail techmap! What a brilliant evening.

A massive round of applause to last night’s panel of experts: Emily Turner, Doug Kessler and Gareth Case, who provided great insight into strategies and tactics for overcoming content shock. We hope you left last night’s Meetup with some key takeaways about how best to handle the content revolution.

Emily Turner kick started the talks by taking us back a decade to consider just how far content marketing has come. She reminded us of a time when CD-ROMS were the norm and when market research would only skim the surface, providing limited insights surrounding our audience we were trying to reach.

Fast forward 10 years, we are now engulfed by a mass of technology and data is at the cornerstone of everything we do, but more than ever, it appears we are moving further away from the audience we are trying to connect and engage with.

Let’s look at Tesco & Lush as examples.

Two large organisations that have recently had to set-up digital organisations in London, to carry out meetings across departmental functions, to consider consumer insights. Even some of the most successful big brand names are asking for help in an attempt to get closer to their audience.

Doug Kessler started his talk with a few calculations and came to the conclusion that we’ve been living with content shock for over 450 years; reiterating that content marketing is not a new thing. 450 years? That sure adds up to a big boatload of content and nowadays, every B2B marketing agency is cramming the word content into everything they do. Again, do the math – lots and lots and lots more content from more and more sources being produced. In Doug’s famous words, “we’re all about to be buried in Crap.


Doug went on to talk about the key factors which content shock appears to ignore,

1. Granularity

2. Change

3. Quality

According to Doug, there will always be a vacuum for new content but there’s content and there’s capital C content. Just doing content marketing doesn’t cut it anymore; you have to be doing it right and you have to be hitting home-runs repeatedly. Create a brand that people want to come back to, how? By creating content that captures your audiences’ attention.

Doug highlighted how to increase the likelihood of hitting home-runs with your content,

1. Create content with confidence

2. Stay in your sweet spot

3. Create content which displays emotion

Gareth Case began his talk by giving the audience something to think about, “ask yourself this, would the same piece of content work for a CEO of a bank and the CTO of a bank?”

Gareth posed as a case study at last night’s Meetup and demonstrated the use of Turtl by Xchanging. He introduced Turtl, as a digital publishing tool, which in his opinion, successfully bridges the content online gap by redefining collateral. Xchanging are the first Turtl customer in the world, and have replaced all customer facing materials including, presentations, white-papers, brochures and fact sheets, newsletters and surveys and the list goes on.

Gareth went on to give an overview of how Turtl poses as an analytics engine allowing you to,

  • See who’s reading your content
  • And for how long
  • And on what device
  • And in what country
  • And if they’re sharing it
  • And who with…

Gareth advocates that Turtl has produced great results for Xchanging; “78% click-through rate on our first email, social sharing up by 600%, 22% of our readers are engaging in polls… actual leads are being captured.”

Gareth’s key takeaway note – “start strong and the content recycling opportunities are almost endless.”

The talks were followed by a great Q&A session; here’s a snippet for you:

1. How do you strike the balance between data and creativity? 

Emily: You need to understand the holistic approach, the real conversions; put the user at the heart of what you are doing.

Gareth: Data is vital to what we do but ultimately the user needs to be central to everything you do.

2. Content generation – what brands are pioneering the way?

Emily: Government Digital Service, everything they do is about transparency in terms of codes and processes, and what they share. Others that spring to mind include Association of Account Technicians and Institute of Engineering, particularly for their YouTube content.

Gareth: SAS; in B2C terms a brand called Bounty – their content is really personalised and empathy wise its definitely up there. Paddy Power is another great example.

Doug: B2B wise its got to be MailChimp, HubSpot and GE, GE are especially pioneering the way; in terms of B2C, although it seems cliche, Nike – they have such attitude.

3. Does content marketing still have value?

Gareth: Most definitely; its the most important part of the marketing mix and it sits at the heart of the mix.

Doug: People think it is a hype and a fad; but can you ever imagine a time when packaging up your expertise to help your team do their jobs is non-existent? Content marketing is much more fundamental than a fad. Yes it has faddish elements but its here to stay.

Emily: Yes and B2B are ahead because of personalisation and segmentation. B2C are trying too much to be membership organisations that’s why they are lagging behind.

 4. Some B2B marketers loath using marketing automation tools as they feel it makes their role redundant. How can they adapt?

Gareth: Tools to curate content are really important otherwise your required to have a team on hand 24/7. Realistically, nowadays it is almost impossible to manual automate content.

Doug: People jump into using tools even before they  know what they are using them for; education is key.

A key takeaway from last night’s Meetup? “Become a life long learner and that’s how you can overcome content shock.” (Quote: Emily Turner).

What a great evening. We hope you left feeling a little less bewildered by content shock and gained some ideas which you can apply to your own business, agency, or marketing plan. We’ll be posting videos of the talks up on the blog here just as soon as they have been edited. 

Be sure to keep an eye out for the next techmap Meetup – Is Data the Holy Grail for Marketers? Registration is open now.