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article imageDigital agency banks on content marketing at Advertising Week Special

By Michael Krebs     Oct 4, 2011 in Internet
New York - Advertising Week kicked off in New York City on Monday, and through the lectures and the case study gatherings, iTrack Group's Valerie Voigt was happy to share her perspectives on the boom in content marketing.
With the launch of Advertising Week in New York City on Monday, the digital media space remains a volatile environment of experimentation and disorder; a perfect blend for those on the frontier with the stomach and the intellect to see their experimentation through.
Content marketing, one of the buzzwords in the advertising industry currently, is arguably one of the looser definitions in a sector known for bending its words. Wikipedia defines content marketing as an "umbrella term," and this is likely a more than fair description.
"Every form of marketing is content marketing," Valerie Voigt, strategic communications director for project agency iTrack Group explained. "If you are marketing a box of cereal, you are participating in basic content marketing. The content is in the story of the brand. At the product level, a brand manager is attempting to create brand loyalty, and she might use photographs or videos or essay contests or sweepstakes. How she pushes this content out is her definition of content marketing."
However, the practice of content marketing is often more complicated than assembling product-oriented material and pushing that material out to a select consumer base.
"When you get into thought leadership or associative content, this is where the subtleties happen," Voigt said. "Let's say your box of cereal is Cheerios. A product-driven message would feature the box and might get into the features within the box; Honey Nut Cheerios feature the bee while the original Cheerios box owns a very specific yellow color, and both help remind consumers of the content within the box. But when you start to examine associative content marketing for Cheerios, you see the heart health message. With heart health research in support of the brand, Cheerios is able to explore thought leadership in areas of cholesterol management and diet and associate the age-old cereal box with positive lifestyle. In television, you see the commercials with the little girl concerned about her father's heart, and there's that yellow box. Online, you might see dietary advice columns or long-form stories on exercise or even on circulatory anatomy. The possibilities have widened due to associative research."
Much of the Advertising Week push over the years has been toward mobile, particularly now with the explosion of mobile media consumption brought on by the iPad.
"There is a lot of hype behind mobile," Voigt continued. "We're not all that caught up in it, as we see mobile as just another consumption platform. Video will propel mobile. Video has propelled the Internet. But everything comes back to broadband capability, and the mobile network providers are at or near capacity already. So, I am not holding my breath for a mobile marketing renaissance."
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