Marketing people do what marketing people like to do: talk! (in my case a lot about Content Marketing)

Germany’s oldest seaside resort is called Heiligendamm on the Baltic Sea. Founded in 1793, it is among other things a great place for people to enjoy the beautiful surrounding and discuss great matters. For instance, the resort hosted the G8 summit in 2007 and more relevant to us, the 2013 CMO Summit.

The resort is quite far away from major airports, highways and other cities. When I asked the CMO Summit organizers why this particular location, the answer was because marketing people tend to take off in the afternoon after the official part of such an event to socialize with others in the industry, or people they may know.

Well of course they are right. It’s our job to be communicative, is it not? And as you can see in the snapshot below, the location is certainly conducive to talking. What’s more, there were many really interesting and nice people to meet and talk with at this summit. It was a great opportunity to talk shop because we all face the same challenges in our daily work.

In addition to the wisdom of the crowds, there were some great presentations covering a wide range of topics such as: "The Customer Journey in E-commerce" by Luis Hanemann, CMO, Rocket Internet or "Marketing Activities: Global Standardization or Regional Adjustments? - The Voith Paper Way" by Dr. Guido Purper, Vice President Marketing, Voith Paper Holding, and many more. And we all found time for conversations in between presentations and during breakfast, lunch and dinner. The topic that I had the most discussions (obviously working for a CMS provider) about was around content marketing – less about what it is and more about how to put this concept to work in the real world.

I learned that the ever increasing number of channels that need to be fed with content are creating a serious problem for a lot of companies. If you have one product and only your website and maybe one social media channel and some press releases, you can get by with desktop-level tools you might already have. But if you have multiple brands you need to support, each with a couple of social media channels, a mobile channel, branded websites and multiple languages and countries as well as online marketing via campaigns – you need to find ways to become more efficient. Another reality for those companies is that content is usually created in decentralized departments and stored in multiple locations. What’s more, there are different platforms stemming from mergers and acquisitions, and created content is typically used one time only for the specific channel it was created for.

What I heard loud and clear is that CMOs are looking for one integration platform where they can store content that could be created anywhere within the company, repackage it as needed and push it out to the channels they need to support.

I was surprised the hear that social media has become less of a hot topic compared to the recent past. Everybody agreed that it continues to very important, but right now there still seems to be more testing than really new developments, particularly in B2B. The larger consumer brands already have a lot of experience with social channels, but the monetary results are still hard to measure and “being social” is a lot of work if you want to do it right. And if you start, you can’t stop. It’s a lot like Pandora’s Box but luckily it does not contain all the evils of the world as the original box did.

Were you at the Heiligendamm CMO Summit? If we missed talking, or you’re a marketing manager who wants to share notes, please drop me a note or add your thoughts in the comments.