As content marketing has grown, so many larger companies and brands have started to establish their own teams to create and distribute content. The Drum produced an interesting analysis of one such company: Adidas.
The back story is that Adidas set up its first content marketing department as part of its strategy for the London 2012 Olympics. Since then it has expanded globally into 12 ‘newsrooms’ – each based in a different city.
In effect this means it is putting out a lot of content; one new story a day is par for the course. For a magazine or newspaper, output of this magnitude is nothing to write home about. But for companies it is a challenge.
It’s the changing mindset that makes this interesting. In many marketing departments the production of an ad or campaign is a lengthy undertaking. It will likely stretch from research to brief to concept and finally to execution. Sometimes these steps will be repeated.
Content marketing newsroom
Producing content as if from a newsroom is an entirely different process. Yet for a brand some aspects of the tried-and-trusted formula need to be retained; most publications don’t have brand guidelines or individual product strategies to adhere to, for example. Some of these differ on a market-by-market basis. And content marketing is just one strand of the overall message.
To get around this Adidas has put in place guidelines to allow its teams to access its sites and publish content quickly.
Problems and solutions
The other challenge is measurement. Research has shown companies are continuing to struggle with the concept of ROI. In this regard Adidas is grappling with the age-old question of what makes people read. Take an article featuring Kanye West. Are readers interested because of him? Or is Kanye himself the only person spending time on the page?
While not every company will go the route of building an internal team, most large ones doubtless will. It highlights a dilemma. On the one hand you need marketers to understand the message, and on the other you need journalists to create it.
Agencies will continue to supply some of this demand. Maybe, too, we are witnessing the birth of a different type of marketer.