Guild CMO: Content needs purpose - Press Gazette

Guild CMO: 'Content should inspire, entertain, educate, challenge or solve problems'

Guild CMO

Guild, the messaging platform for professionals, and their CMO Michelle Goodall are under the spotlight in the latest of Press Gazette’s Marketing Maestro interviews. This series is produced in association with Lead Monitor, New Statesman Media Group’s content marketing arm.

What’s been your proudest achievement in your current role?

It sounds trite, but I genuinely love the fact that every day on Guild people are getting their ‘jollies’ – whatever that looks like for them!

They are making new connections, collaborating, recruiting brilliantly, solving problems, battling inequalities, fighting climate change, learning something new, finding a mentor, closing a deal, saving money, etc.

Every day I receive thanks from people who have had something nice happen to them on Guild. Imagine that little daily dopamine rush!

So, my proudest achievement is helping to create this growing platform  that people genuinely love and value.

What media channels do you see as most important and best value when it comes to marketing spend and activity?

Partners are the most important part of our marketing mix. Building relationships with people who understand how to build communities and networks and can monetise their services around our platform. Partner marketing provides the best value for us by a long chalk.

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What is your advice for mastering social media?

That’s simple. Work with a great agency or specialist that can help you keep on top of things and choose the channels and approaches that are aligned to your objectives.

It was something I specialised in for many years. Now with a bit of distance, I can see just how crazy and dynamic social is – that the small algorithmic changes, influential voices, ad format performances, new targeting options are hard to keep abreast of if you’re not totally immersed in social.

I’d also say that you need to blend social with community. Social is great for upper funnel brand building and awareness, but owned community, where you can access data, control the user experience and not fight against algorithms works extremely well in the middle and bottom of the funnel.

In your opinion, what is the main difference between B2C and B2B marketing?

I love B2B marketing – I think the biggest difference is that in B2B, marketing and sales have to work so, so closely together.

It feels massively strategic, long term and a team effort – account-based marketing (ABM) and community-based marketing (CBM) are huge strategic levers.

To say that B2B is about logic and B2C focuses on emotion for me misses the point. Brand building and emotion play a massive part in B2B marketing.

What is the key to producing engaging marketing content and what types of content works best for you?

I’ve always used the content purpose pyramid to ensure content has some kind of ‘why’ that is aligned to audience motivations. Content should inspire, entertain, educate, challenge or solve problems and not just inform and convey a message.

Apply more than one content ‘purpose pillar’ to your brand and awareness building content and you’ll find that it’s significantly more engaging.

But let’s be honest, some content also just needs to get you there quickly and is transactional rather than transitional –e.g. buy/take action quickly. So, content that “works best for me” is content that is tailored to different stages of the customer journey.

How important is technology in modern marketing?

Not as important as brilliant people, a clear strategy, creativity, good measurement, insightful analysis and continual optimisation.

I can’t imagine not having a Martech stack – and mine is probably much smaller than many marketers – but as with any technology, it’s the question you ask of it that’s the important thing.

What future marketing trends will become mainstream before too long?

Co-operative collaboration and co-ownership.

If web 1.0 was about information, web 2.0 was about social connections, then web 3.0 is all about encouraging people to collectively earn a stake in whatever IP they create on the Internet. Web 3.0 is, as Zoe Scaman called it at our first Guild Community Summit, “the ownership economy” and its impact will be felt by all brands and businesses.

You have the Minecraft generation entering the world of work and their values are very different. If they see a problem, they fix it – they don’t just post a petition or slap a logo on their Instagram profile. They are a generation of action. Think Greta!

Put these community, environmentally-conscious, collaborative demi-consumers together and watch what they create. Smart businesses and brands will realise they have to give up even more control and can benefit by giving them space and the opportunity to co-own the IP, designs, products, experiences that comes out of co-creation.

And finally, if you could ask your peers for one piece of advice or help, what would it be?


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