Agree with some of this, but not sure I understand your point about re-purposing content and if I do then I think I disagree! The point about putting the same content into different formats is to help the reader/user/consumer. Different people like information in different ways so give it to them how they want it, not how you want to give it. I'll eagerly read (and if I like it share) your blog post, article or probably even PowerPoint presentation on SlideShare. I'm very unlikely to watch your video or listen to your audio podcast. I don't have time, I don't learn that way, it's just not me. However, I know enterprise buyers who are the exact opposite and will watch your video, but probably won't read your article.
@stuartbruce - Dennis covered the syndication point well in his comment. I do think I could have expressed that point a bit more clearly. I do believe that offering folks content in different consumption forms is a good thing - I wouldn't have created so much video and audio content over the years if I didn't.. But then there is a line that gets crossed into syndication and that tends to dilute conversation and create an impersonal, rather than a personal connection. I'll think on this tonight and perhaps tweak that section tomorrow....
@jonerp @stuartbruce @dahowlett Thanks for the swift replies. Think we are all probably thinking similar things. That's why I prefaced my remark with I wasn't quite sure what Jon meant on that particular point. What Dennis says about 'command and control' is particularly important. Back when I actually used to do PR for clients I constantly had battles to argue that the best case studies were 'warts and all'. You tell me enterprise project that worked perfectly. You can't, because they don't. Prospects know this so if you include the crap of what went wrong and then what you did to try and put it right then it starts to become credible. Knowing that is one thing. Convincing the client is another.
@jonerp Well that is how people are trained to believe by monopoly cultures, and it works very well generally, until it doesn't, but it's been tested many many times and almost always fails to hold up with the very valuable IP-- not to be confused with incremental innovation. That's why fines and awards are so large - it's the behavior and culture of large social ecosystems-- quite well known by CEOs and directors-- some of whom turn their head and others frustrated they can't change the culture. They are an inventor's worst nightmare - no accountability for failure and self accreditation for any good idea in the universe. - MM
@kyield - Terrific comment. I think you've also nailed some very legit issues why some companies/individuals would not be transparent or want to share stories that might infringe on IP. My view is that not every company or industry can be equially transparent for a variety of reasons. What is more important is avoiding faux transparency and being upfront about what is bloggable and what is off limits.
That said, as someone who has given out a lot of IP for free, I've come to believe that at least for myself, there is a big value in giving a good amount of IP away, or giving it away in exchange for opt-in as trust develops. The advantage for me is that this attitude pushes me to remain creative and to continually put out new assets. I'm not saying that this applies to all companies but it's something to think about. And yes, people are going to steal some of that free content. But I'd argue the downside of not sharing original content is worse. :)
That's the short version - thanks for staying up so late to add some meat....
@jonerp @stuartbruce Good discussion on otherwise rare topic. Since I've been pretty deep into the use case and sales cycle the past 18 months, would chime in a bit. First is that I rediscovered from under a different hat again the difference between original content from a founder and what that means in a world full of CI, highest priority of protecting IP and IC regardless of what anyone else thinks they want or need, and providing the actual information people should need if they were actually looking after their org's long-term interests. That's probably worth a second look. Second, I found out how rusty my own skills were, and still are to some degree, particularly relative to a pretty broad range of ability to understand advanced topics we cover. Third, there is a disconnect between understanding public and private information, particularly relating to customer intel. I am transparent by culture and preference, but that can prove dangerous in a world where customer apathy is remarkably dependable as a strategy for cynics, and incumbent's spend more on CI and copying and protectionism than real innovation, even if it costs billions USD. Apparently even massive fines and historic awards are not much of a disincentive--it's baked into the culture. Fourth, the challenge of customer competition in some cultures extended to locked-in incumbent ecosystems is worthy of a (private) book. And not quite finally but it's 2am, it's easier than ever to go direct to the source and that's a game changer despite all of these challenges. Gate-keeping is failing even if apathy still rules. Certainly agree with the multi-media comments- while most can do both, some much prefer one format over another supported by obvious cognitive bias. And of course the content modeling in the industry is just a mess and all the customers know it, but then they also have the opportunity at any time to hire unbiased consultants--many do, again less transparent and more wise than some might presume.
@stuartbruce Right. I could have expressed that point more clearly, that's certain. I'm glad you brought up customer case studies because while these are often derided by content marketing purists as not being effective for those who don't care about your product, for those prospects in the sales cycle a well-executed case study can be powerful. Especially if it addresses their industry and situation.
I'm actually thinking of doing a piece here on the art of the customer case study. Your point about imperfect case studies is key. If you don't acknowledge some of the struggle then the whole document falls apart. Amongst enterprise buyers, there are very few suckers anymore. BS filters are on high...
@stuartbruce < @jonerp can answer for himself but we have found over the years that simply reprinting material in other channels is not a good strategy. Despite what might have seemed to make sense in the past, syndicating content doesn't deliver the desired or expected results. That was something I genuinely thought would be a net good at EnterpriseIrregulars. Instead, it became a glorified RSS feed source. Great for aggregating content for the drive by info consumer but lousy elsewhere since that content already existed in another primary domain.
What's more, because those stories existed in distributed networks, we could not effectively create stories and conversations around the stories without considerable and, at times, self defeating effort.
We see brands (in tech at least) attempting to get away from this by developing their own content as a pull mechanism to their web properties. It is a very hard trick to pull off unless you really know what you're doing and can add in the necessary 'independent thinking' layer. Too often, the best intentions get lost as the marketers fall back on their broadcast training once they see this requires genuine effort that takes time to pay off.
I have only seen one really good example - Xero.
The problem then comes that in many cases, we see the 'command and control' brand police step in, along with legal, who then extract all the juice out of these efforts. So that doesn't work so well either.
What we are advocating is fundamentally different. It is obvious (to parrot @Euan) when you think it through but does require discipline (which we bring) knowledge (to which everyone can contribute) and authenticity (because we control the output.) In turn we are transferring knowledge back to partners from which they can benefit. Net-net we think the reader gets a better experience.
To your point on consumption types - yes - we agree. But to say 'I don't have time' for certain media misses the point. We are finding that people do make time when they need to and so blending all media types is a sensible way to offer alternative ways to consume within a single package over time. The logic there is that we're not storm chasing, we're providing context which we see as a higher level activity and which attracts the RIGHT readers .not just the drive by guys.
Curiously and, if our early results are indicative, it discourages the trollers and only pulls in those who want to add to the conversation. Our spam levels are remarkably low.
We see our job as creating both short and long tail stories and story 'books' through which readers can easily navigate nuanced points of view and to which they can return as needed. That's why we have no adverts and have no sidebars in the mobile device versions.
Does that help?