We did a one on one with Clare Forster, Head of Marketing & Content Strategy DAC.
The world of content marketing has permeated almost every marketing channel – gone are the days where simply creating content could put you ahead of the game. Your audience doesn’t need more content – they need better content.
So how do we create better content?
We chatted with Clare Forster, Head of Marketing & Content Strategy at DAC and our moderator at the upcoming CMA Power & Panel Hour, Harness THAT Data to find out what kinds of data, tools, and strategies other industry leaders are using. Forster leads a global team of creatives and self-proclaimed “Data-Nerds” across remote teams in North America and Europe and via DAC offices in Toronto, Chicago, and NYC. DAC’s global reach has been built on the belief that “where you are matters just as much as who you are”. Based on that notion, DAC focuses on helping brands build localized and personalized content strategies.
So, how can we build targeted and personalized content strategies? Forster starts with data and insight, typically beginning with primary data sources such as CRM data, sales data, web analytics, email, and social media metrics. Those data sources tend to give good insights about content consumption, demographic, behavioural and buying habits. Next, secondary research is layered on. With secondary data sources, her team is able to garner additional psychographic and demographic info about existing segments and look for any new markets that might be untapped. The toolkit? To name a few, Forster uses – GWI, Hitwise, Comscore, Netbase, Forrester, eMarketer, BuzzSumo and Vividata.
We asked if there was one critical data point every content marketer should be looking at, but alas it’s not that simple, “In order to build strategic content we need to know who and why; who is buying and why are they buying”, said Forster. Which means the critical data points can vary from company to company. Forster shared that if we look at DAC for example, “we find lead source extremely beneficial; it allows us to determine which sales and marketing activities are contributing to our pipeline goals and which channels are referring the most qualified leads. We’ve been able to shift budget around significantly by adopting the ‘less is more’ approach. Why spend resources and budget on a platform that you’re seeing no return on?” Google Analytics still remains to be an inexpensive tool that can give good insights as to where your audience is coming from. As for determining the why – if online data is too overwhelming or inaccessible, Forster recommends you go analog – stakeholder interviews, customer services representatives, outside sales teams, or speak with actual customers themselves.
- Determine the who and why. What data points will help you identify who your audience is and why they are buying. Once you know who and why, you need to determine where and how so that you can reach your audience in a meaningful way.
- Start with primary data – digital and analog. If online resources and tools can’t fill in the whole picture – go analog. Speaking with internal stakeholders who are on the ground with customers every day can give you invaluable insight.
- Use secondary data to look for additional market opportunities. Look beyond your existing audience and tap into new segments who you can introduce your brand to.
- Activate the data, infuse creativity, measure, iterate – repeat.
We finished our conversation off with some rapid-fire questions to get the inside scoop on where Forster gains inspiration and stays on top of industry trends.
- What tool can you not live without? Hot Jar – allows you to set up heatmaps and watch how users interact on your webpages.
- What is your favorite podcast? Weekly Wrap with Robert Rose, HBR Idea Cast, Six Pixels of Separation with Mitch Joel
- What is your favorite book? Permission Marketing by Seth Godin
As we wrapped up our conversation, Forster reminded us that every content marketer, “needs to treat their customers with respect and provide value instead of constant interruptions.” A wonderful conversation with an industry leader, some great insights and recommendations. Clare Forster will be live at our September CMA Power & Panel Hour, Harness THAT Data as she moderates are panel of experts on how to leverage data in your marketing. You can reach Clare via twitter @clareforster1
About The Author
Jenelle Peterson, BComm, MBA is a Senior Marketing & Research Consultant with Tenato Strategy, a Marketing Educator, and a board member with the Calgary Marketing Association. Jenelle’s passion for technology, design, and innovation has given her opportunities to work both on the business and agency side in a variety of industries; Oil & Gas, IT, Education, Health Care, and Consumer Goods. She loves the outdoors, making bad art, and all things Sci-Fi. Tweet her @petersonjenelle