Content always core – some quick #aopb2b thoughts

March 14, 2012 11:05 pm

Today I attended the first event from the Association of Online Publishers (AOP) aimed only at those in B2B media. (You can still check out the #aopb2b hashtag on Twitter.) Call me biased but out of several big themes one stood out.

Some great speakers, publishers, agency heads and one mega-brand, IBM (whose Caroline Taylor / @green_goddess was super-interesting – “business-to-person” publishing instead of B2B or B2C, anyone?) spoke about lots of cool stuff, though I’ll quickly single out:

  • ‘Hits’ standing for “How idiots track success” (Incisive’s Tim Weller)
  • Everyone up to the CEO having to live and breathe social media – “You can’t delegate it. You have to immerse yourself” (IDG’s Bob Carrigan)
  • The need to make smart decisions based on data – which you can do only if you’ve captured who is reading/viewing as well as how many.
  • The blurring of client/agency/publisher roles (according to just about anyone from a media agency and plenty others besides).

But as a panel featuring agency heads from Banner, Just International and Mindshare concluded, virtually any interaction with a consumer of information (reader, viewer, event attendee – whatever) comes back to the need for compelling content.

I moderated a session around virtual events – which, by the way, it turns out are usually a good thing for a company’s physical events too – and even there the upshot was that we should think less about one-off events and more about ongoing environments, kept fresh with new content. (So we get not-quite-there-yet terminology such as ‘knowledge centres’ and ‘hubs’.)

I said I was biased because Collective Content comes from a position of long understanding the power of great content. Only now it can be produced by brands, agencies and even individuals, bypassing traditional media channels.

It’s not particularly easy to do that well – so long live a lot of established media, where engagement with intended audience is usually higher – but it is increasingly happening.

I’m looking forward to the next one of these events.

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