The four components of the marketing mix (product, price, communication, distribution) are strongly influenced by the development of the Internet. Many brands are therefore faced with the challenge of proper integration. Content Marketing should not be considered in isolation as a Marketing tool. A fortiori, the classic Marketing actions and the Content Marketing actions are to be reciprocally favored for a multiplier effect. In a series of articles, we will look at the influence of Content Marketing on each variable of the Marketing Mix …
Part 1: Integrating Content Marketing into product policy
The product policy encompasses all decisions relating to the design of the offer enabling a need to be satisfied in a given market. Eight different product dimensions can be distinguished:
- The marketing concept;
- Components ;
- Functions and performance;
- Sensory identity;
- The packaging;
- The quality ;
- Associated services;
- The name of the product as well as the brand.
The overarching goal is to create value for the target as well as for the brand. Content Marketing boosts the most important variable in the marketing mix. Here are the three main effects:
Creating a good product
Successful marketing relies on the “right product,” readily available to potential customers. This goes through two distinctive factors: the quality of the product and its product advantage.
Afnor (NF EN ISO 9000) defines the quality through ” all the properties and characteristics of a product or service which give it the ability to meet expressed or implied needs “. Content Marketing has the capacity to satisfy the needs of customers since the content is accessible following queries on search engines. Knowing that the definition of quality is based on need, Content Marketing makes it possible to deliver the necessary information when the prospect needs it, which means real quality service.
Theproduct advantage is defined by the characteristics valued by the customer and distinctive compared to competing products. Thus, an integration of Content Marketing makes the product more competitive. Coca Cola for example, ranked third in the world in terms of value in 2013, developed an exemplary content marketing strategy in 2011 called “Content 2020” in which the brand emphasizes storytelling.
The content created helps convey a vivid, transparent and authentic image, while transforming customers into fans who actively participate in creating stories around the brand. Coca-Cola obtains a product advantage over its identity since customers can “live” the brand by now contributing to the stories. On its French website www.coca-cola-france.fr, the brand positions itself as a true friend in the daily life of the client. Therefore, it is the customer’s interests such as music, sports or vacation activities that are at the forefront, not the product itself.
The physical product becomes digital
Content Marketing makes it possible to digitize a physical product in order to increase its attractiveness. The different content formats used accessible via the web (guides, white papers, blog articles, posts on social networks, images, videos, etc.) make it possible to enhance the classic product for the client. Coca-Cola, a basic physical product, is more closely linked to its customers through its website and social networks in particular. On Instagram, the brand opted for entertainment content that showcases the physical product in a daily environment. “What are your favorite things to take on vacation? “. According to the photo, the brand considers the bottle of Coca-Cola as essential for having a good time of relaxation:
Product differentiation through the creation of an associated service
The services associated with the product represent all the complementary services bringing additional advantages to the product as well as a source of differentiation compared to competing products. An essential part of the product policy is meeting the needs of consumers. Through unique content to meet the needs of Internet users, Content Marketing is defined as a real associated service. By offering optional services such as guides or white papers, the brand not only builds customer loyalty, but also differentiates itself positively from the competition.
Let’s take the example of Coca-Cola where it presents useful information on nutrition, sport, commitment and happiness in particular. The internet user for example benefits from a playlist of summer songs “100% happiness”, an infographic explaining why the French are so keen on city life, the announcement of the next sporting event in Paris or an article on easy daily recycling:
Source: Coca Cola England
Content Marketing makes it possible to create a “good” product, to transform a physical product into digital, and finally to differentiate the product through the creation of an associated service.
The other variables are also strongly influenced by Content Marketing. In the next article, we will discuss the influence of the price variable.