Chicago AMA: Congratulations on Deloitte’s recent acquisition of LRA Worldwide (to operate as LRA by Deloitte). Speaking of customer experiences – for marketing to deliver right-time consumer experiences it fundamentally requires organizations to take a sustainable approach to content that’s instantly at odds with marketing expectations for the disruptive pace of change. Have you found content architecture to bridge the gap between content strategy and content management to ultimately serve content marketing?
JC: Thanks! We’re very excited about our acquisition of the leading global provider of Brand Protection and Customer Experience Measurement services for multinational companies with complex customer interactions. It’s a great complement to our already formidable customer experience and customer strategy offerings.
For a professional services business like Deloitte, delivering insights to clients about the issues that matter is a critical component of a great client experience. Our clients rely on the content that we provide to them to gain the confidence to move forward in the face of uncertainty.
We invest significant amounts in developing research-based content. Our Issue Architecture guides our selection of research topics and helps our clients navigate through our content repository.
It’s the job of our Content Marketing team to make sure that clients become aware of the most relevant content at the right time and using the right platforms. Often this means customizing and distributing previously developed content based on external market developments.
One area where we have seen this pay off, for example, is in the area of cyber-security, where our clients often start looking for relevant content when a major cyber-breach takes place.
Chicago AMA: In what ways have you seen big data influence content marketing strategies?
JC: We use big data both to create content and inform our approach to content distribution.
We recently published research on smart mobility (http://dupress.com/collection/smart-mobility/). This research takes a data-driven look at what metropolitan areas can gain from four alternative mobility approaches—ridesharing, bike commuting, carsharing, and on-demand ride services—and explores ways that governments can encourage their use. If you go to our website, you will see an interactive map that allows the viewer to look at different alternative transportation modes by selected geographic areas.
Big data also shapes our distribution strategies. We’ve gotten a lot smarter about SEO, what types of outbound email works best, and content consumption patterns. As a result, for example, we’ve changed our approach from one-off pieces of content to a more curated approach, where we offer a collection of content from multiple perspectives on a single topic.
Chicago AMA: In your book Brand Resilience: Managing Risk and Recovery in a High-Speed World you state “Marketing is no longer about building a brand. There’s now a need for brand defense.” Can you talk about risk and resilience?
JC: I believe that we live in a world in which what our customers say about our brand is often more important than what we say.
We all need to recognize that brand-damaging events will take place and that waiting for the events to occur before we spring into action is a losing strategy.
The book focuses on what brand stewards can do to proactively manage brand risk as part of a comprehensive enterprise risk management program. It also offers suggestions as to what brands can do to engineer resiliency into their brand risk management approaches, beginning with equipping employees appropriately.
At Deloitte, for example, our Ambassador Program and our brand narrative have been key tools in galvanizing our employees to reduce and manage brand risk.
Chicago AMA: To keep momentum, what strategies are effective in scaling content marketing?
JC: You asked previously about content architecture. We use the term, “Issue Architecture,” to identify the issues that matter most to our clients and select the appropriate topics for content development.
The single most important strategy that has worked for us is developing content that has a common core and is then customized by industry sector.
Two years ago, for example, we identified additive manufacturing (a.k.a., 3D printing) as one of the topics that was becoming more and more important to our clients, regardless of industry sector. We developed a core set of materials on additive manufacturing which then became the platform for a substantial collection of content (http://dupress.com/?s=additive+manufacturing). This included the first ever MOOC from a professional services firm. A number of our clients, including the Federal government, have contracted with us to use the MOOC for educating their employees on this topic.
Interview with Jackie Maman, Content Manager, Chicago AMA