Digital Investment Deeper than Marketing

Inbound Marketing Summit 2009 from Valeria Maltoni

This summer I will be preparing new material to help marketers and business types with content and activation. Here are my confirmed upcoming talks.

I went back and looked at a presentation I gave at Inbound four years ago on writing engaging content for the next web and the socializing of information. It's a bit of a mouthful — it does sound a lot like today's headlines, doesn't it?

We were beginning to see examples of what I put forth then, yet many were struggling with it. Organizing around production and publishing to go beyond getting attention to keeping it and developing relationships via content is still difficult.

Of course, today everyone is talking about content marketing.

Here's the summary of my thinking at the time:

Content-centered marketing is undergoing a transformation, one where the content is moving from:

  • promotional to non-partisan — some call it thought leadership
  • highly-controlled to less-controlled — more legos than logos
  • occasional to ongoing — life stream your business
  • corporate voice to authentic, personal voice — who should embody the voice of the company?
  • one-way to conversational — the one overarching concern remains that of message consistency, and effectiveness

How do you keep that with such a messy medium that is conversation? Learn how losing control of your content is the best thing that could happen for your business.

Today, that is not enough, everyone is doing it or saying that they are. To realize the value of a brand's digital investment takes innovation at the service level, as we discussed recently at the Consumer Goods Technology summit, technology or content for its own sake is pointless.

Making the effort, just generating content, having branded accounts in all major social networks and posting everywhere makes little sense without a game plan and the ability to play it smarter.

Think about the tools and services you return to — they are the ones that put you in control, where you can decide the settings, the terms of engagement, if you will. We do not need to be all technology-savvy to adopt technology; and here's precisely the difficulty for brands.

Commerce with digital at the core looks very different, and the service layer is critical to delivery of experience, which is where the rubber meets the road.


Valeria is an experienced listener. She designs service and product experiences to help businesses rediscover the value of promises and its effect on relationships and culture. She is also frequent speaker at conferences and companies on a variety of topics. Book her to speak here.