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Get content Get customers

Get Content Get Customers

— Turn Prospects into Buyers with Content Marketing

By Joe Pulizzi and Newt Barrett. Published by McGraw Hill, June 2009. 262 pages. RRP $34.95 (PB). ISBN 9780071625746.

Reviewed by Bob Crawshaw AMAMI


‘Content is king’ is an old marketing maxim. According to US authors Joe Pulizzi and Newt Barrett, content has now become the new monarch when it comes to successful marketing.

With so much choice and so little difference between many product and service offerings, the best way to engage and keep customers is to give them valuable information that will enrich their experience with your organisation.

Internet-savy customers look everywhere for information before making their buying decisions. Selling to them has become more difficult and traditional media channels are less influential. Pulizzi and Barrett are urging companies to take advantage of new digital technologies to become their own publishing houses and deliver high-quality editorial content to the people who matter most – clients and customers. In more than 250 pages of delightfully simple-to-understand language they show the reader how to develop and follow-through on a content marketing mindset.

A content-based approach starts with knowing what customers want, similar to traditional marketing. Who are my customers and what do they need from my product now and in the long term? What and when are the best ways to engage them are questions that demand better answers than merely reaching into the bottom drawer for another tired advertising schedule. In today’s environment it is totally about ‘them, not me and you.’

Pulizzi and Barrett identify how companies can deliver information straight to customers. Their communications menu includes websites, online forums, social media, e-books, white papers, webcasts, digital magazines, blogs, podcasts, videos, road shows and face-to-face contact. Corporate magazines and newsletters get a new lease of life under a content marketing strategy and the authors identify 15 tips to repurpose information from a traditional company magazine to increase the return on investment on each story.

One of the book’s real strengths is the 15 case studies showing companies in different industries using content marketing to drive sales and increase market share. They include a couple of Australian examples, a rare find in US marketing books. It seems Melbourne-based website developer Bitemark is using content marketing to create leads and drive sales and a giant American manufacturer has strengthened ties to Australian customers through a print and online program that bridges business cultures.

Marketers instinctively know the importance of credible information. Get Content Get Customers shows how to develop that information and deliver it directly to customers to get short and long-term impact. Get the book because this is a worthwhile read.

Bob Crawshaw blogs marketing, PR and social media at http://mainestreet1.blogspot.com/

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2009 Australian Marketing Institute