A few weeks ago I was interviewed by Frank Boosman, the VP of Product Marketing at udu—a very cool startup that has created a programmable data blending and business intelligence platform. I hope you’ll check out the whole interview, which was published on the udu Data Insights Blog. Here are just a few condensed excerpts of our discussion, which ranged from the definition of content marketing to the way data analytics is changing the marketing landscape.

What is content marketing?

Content marketing means different things to different people. Our approach at TDA Group is to try to understand the informational needs of your target audiences and then create original thought-leadership content that meets those informational needs and fosters engagement. The kind of reaction that you’re going for from the readers is, “Wow, I didn’t know so-and-so knew anything about that,” or “Gosh, I hadn’t thought about that part of the puzzle before, and maybe I need to do something as a result of being better informed or have a little better understanding than I did before.”

How is content marketing changing in the technology industry?

Salespeople used to play a big role in influencing purchase decisions. And now, by the time the salespeople actually get involved, the decision has largely been made.

The other thing that has changed—the free trial is ubiquitous. What that means is now you still have to foster the same understanding of value that you used to do pre-sales. But now you do that in the context of your product offering.

Does that prepurchase research happen with consumer-oriented brands as well?

Even for things as pedestrian as dish soap or soda pop, there’s a ton of online research that happens now. Every purchase decision is becoming more and more considered. It used to be that there were point-of-sale impulse buys, and there still is that, but more and more buyers are better informed than they’ve ever been. They know what they’re looking for and when they show up in your aisle, if you don’t have the thing they’re looking for, there’s disappointment.

The content that’s being consumed by those buyers before they get in the aisle is content that those brands are publishing to influence and inform those buyers.

Do content marketing and data analytics intersect?

There’s a lot of untapped potential in that space. Traditionally, web content people have been very focused on the direct marketing pile of metrics: how many impressions did I get, how many clicks did I get, how many opt-ins did I get, how many opens did I get, how many conversions did I get?

Over time, you’ll be able to see trends in those performance metrics that are by topic. And by noticing the trends in the marketplace—such as what people are paying attention to, and where that is likely to go—you’ll be able to forecast what those trends are in time, write down your opinion about those topics, and post them just as that demand begins to crescendo. That way, you’re aligning your editorial strategy with those topic preferences. It’s going to take the speed of execution to a whole new level in this business.

Ready to discuss ways your organization can capitalize on these and other shifts in content marketing? Let’s talk.