“Content Marketing” is a top term in marketing circles these days. Besides getting its own budget line item in many B2C and B2B companies, it’s a foundation of some of the most successful social media contests. It represents a broad category of business needs and solutions ranging from content creation to aggregation to analytics.
The Altimeter Group’s Rebecca Lieb and Jessica Groopman took on the Content Marketing landscape, evaluating 110 vendors, including Pixlee. In their report released this morning, they identified the issues Marketers face today as they navigate this increasingly complex space.
Groopman and Lieb highlighted several trends that make the CMO’s job especially difficult.
Lack of Integrated Content Strategy: While marketers acknowledge the importance of a Content Marketing plan, 70% of them lack a consistent or integrated content strategy. So while marketers know they need to have a plan, they can’t figure out how – or don’t have the time – to develop one.
Not Enough Content: While these brands are under pressure to produce content, few are leveraging user-generated content (UGC) into their efforts. We live in a world where people are taking and posting more pictures than ever before. And yet the Altimeter Group – the leading researchers on the subject – finds that companies can’t generate enough content. This is an area where we believe brands should be leveraging the enormous base of brand-attributed Visual UGC to find high quality, contextually relevant content.
A Need to Feed The Beast: Meanwhile, marketers are also investing in Marketing Automation tools, which don’t work without curated and contextually relevant content.
In addition to highlighting challenges for the CMO, Altimeter highlights important criteria in selecting the right long-term partner.
1 – Easy to just “get it done” without IT overhead
As a Cloud based SaaS product, Pixlee can be implemented by a Marketing team and requires minimal IT support. An organization can leverage Pixlee’s “self-service” approach and immediately see delivered results.
2 – Integrates with the other tools in the Content Marketing Ecosystem
Pixlee features a full Restful API integrating easily and seamlessly with all the major ecommerce platforms, analytics platforms, and any 3rd party databases, making us a flexible tool for any enterprise deployment.
3 – Serves multiple buyers/teams in the marketing organization
Because Pixlee provides both content workflows and actionable insights; it’s well suited for multiple groups across the company, including your social team, e-mail marketing team, e-commerce group and brand development organization.
4 – Roadmap that meets both today’s tactical needs and tomorrow’s strategic initiatives
The Pixlee product map includes new features around Mass-Personalization at Scale.
5 – Eye towards support for Converged Media
The Pixlee platform identifies the best photos by picture content, text, sentiment and popularity. It then tracks how those photos perform contextually – whether on social media, owned, or paid environments. This makes Pixlee an ideal partner in terms of audience optimization across all marketing touch points.
6 – Supports the brand’s sophistication
today whether that’s “Feed the Beast”, “Refine” and “Govern” – CMO’s must decide what Content Marketing stage they are in when developing their strategies. Whether a brand is merely trying to generate mass amounts of content to get started, aggregating and optimizing that content, or developing intra-company policies and procedures, Pixlee’s tools can be leveraged to optimize Visual Marketing efforts.
7 – Scalable Processes
While user generated content is a giant repository of high-quality, relevant content for brands, the process of curating such a high volume of content requires a scalable process. Pixlee’s curation and moderation filtering tools streamline the process of identifying content and moving it from social media across your marketing ecosystem seamlessly and efficiently. The more content you want to curate and organize, the better.
Most marketers are either dabbling in or have made some initial bets on Content Marketing activities. Because of this demand, hundreds of vendors are vying for the attention of CMO’s, building niche products in an effort to create a beachhead. These point solutions may fix a short-term pain point, but they also extend the time (path) to finding a strong long-term partner.
Like the Altimeter Group, we believe it’s critical that brands think about content marketing holistically, with an eye on driving fundamental business KPIs across all marketing touch points. As the application of content marketing becomes more integrated across the organization, both brands and their technology partners will benefit and the quality and sophistication of solutions will improve.
And, while we’re excited to be one of the few Visual Marketing based tools highlighted by Altimeter, what’s most exciting to us is building a solution that satisfies companies fundamental needs in visual content marketing, regardless of where they are in their brand journey.