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Is content the new spam?

Posted by Carole Mahoney on 8/6/15 5:03 PM

The credit for the headline goes to Trish Bertuzzi of The Bridge Group. She has said it before, and most recently during a conversation on LinkedIn that was started by an update that Mike Kunkle made:

It's only Tuesday. I've already had 5 authors this week, who I *don't* know well, send me an EMAIL trying to get support for a post they've written. Seriously? Do people really find this sort of push marketing to be effective? Or am I just too hard on people who are trying to market their work?”

It got my attention as a reformed and recovering inbound marketer who has turned to the dark side of sales. It got the attention of quite a few other people as well with 52 comments on the topic.


In addition to this discussion, I was recently asked, ”As content and inbound marketing continue to build momentum, do you fear a "bubble" in the industry? And if so, when and how do we insulate against it?”

This is the new bubble. As more and more content gets produced because of the pressure that we have to publish something, it ends up becoming just more irrelevant noise. (And yes, I see the irony that I am creating content about content being spam.)

We also got asked: “How can we better leverage the marketing content we've worked so hard to produce into our sales efforts? What questions, can I ask our team to net out what they really are trying to do? I often find that there is a disconnect between what is asked for and what is actually needed? (marketing content/collateral)” and “What is the best content to create inbound leads?”

The thing that all these questions have in common and are really asking is, how do we become more relevant to buyers? (The definition of spam is “irrelevant or inappropriate messages sent on the Internet to a large number of recipients.”)

As content marketing continues to trend touting statistics like, “Buyers are 67% of the way through their buying process before they contact a salesperson,” as the banner headline, many have been led to believe that if they write it, the sales will come. It still amazes me how statistics make it so easy for lies to seem like absolute truths.

Find a stat to support a claim, and you can find another that directly contradicts it.

Like the stats from SirusDecision 2015 B2B Buyer Study. Low and behold, they found that not only do buyers interact with salespeople, they do so throughout their buying process. Human interactions still matter.

All this leads me to believe that the ‘Trishism’ is true. Not only is content becoming the new spam, so is automated email lead nurturing. But it doesn’t have to be. The whole point of creating content is to attract people to how you think about problems and build trust that you understand their challenges and hopes.

If buyers are consuming content throughout their buying process, and they also want to interact with salespeople throughout the process- then perhaps the answer to the problem of content spam lies there. Maybe content should be a sales led effort? Maybe the salespeople and account managers should be creating the content about the questions and problems they hear every day from buyers and customers?

What do you think? How do we reach buyers in the oncoming age of content spam? How do we differentiate? Or is this post just adding to the content spam pile?

Have sales questions of your own that you haven’t gotten a good answer to yet?

Send it in to us by commenting below!

Topics: content marketing