Today’s Pro Interview features Jamie King, Partner and Creative Director at The Tite Group in Toronto.
Jamie and The Tite Group were recently featured in our Content Marketing Hotshots post, showcasing Canadian companies pushing the boundaries of content marketing.
Pagezii – Jamie, please tell us about yourself.
Jamie – I’m an East Coaster who’s been in the marketing game for some 17 years – currently sporting the duties of Creative Director and call The Tite Group home. I love leveraging creativity as a way to solve the problems our clients trust us with – it’s a process that still fascinates me. If I’m not doing that, I’m likely nerding out on music, photography, Netflix (Hello Chef’s Table!), cooking, staying active, managing my hockey team or working towards getting my pilot’s license. I like to be active. Always learning and pushing myself.
I love leveraging creativity, as a way to solve problems.
Pagezii – What is The Tite Group?
Jamie – We are an independent content creation collective based in Liberty Village, Toronto. My partners and I come from a background of large global agencies and discovered along the way that the traditional model for marketing just isn’t working anymore. With so many things fighting for our attention, brands are in the battle for time. To win it, brands have to create stuff people want to see vs stuff they have to see. That’s what we do. We create the stuff consumers want to see. Instead of being the commercial, we’re being ‘the show’ so to speak.
In fact, we just became a publisher, helping create and publish a book for CBC’s “This Is That” called “A Travel Guide To Canada“. Super fun stuff that people want to see!
Pagezii – In your experience what key elements go in a content marketing strategy?
Jamie – There are a few key inputs needed when creating a content strategy that will lead to great outputs.
First, a brand needs a belief. It needs something it stands for outside of a product. Without that, focus will always be on product benefits, which inevitably creates advertising. To get to the belief, we do an exercise with clients where we get into a room and write on the wall, we believe that… then we finish the statement several times until we nail it. Sometimes it takes ten minutes, other times it takes 6 months. It really depends on the client’s needs and approach to validating the belief.
Rather than focus on gaining impressions, leave one.
Then you need to define who you want to reach and who you don’t want to reach with your content. The latter may be more important – many brands make the mistake of trying to reach everyone. We don’t see a skateboard company creating content with hopes of reaching people who love to geek out on knitting. It wouldn’t make sense for them to do that. It’s no different for CPGs, auto companies or tech companies. Know who you want to reach, then ensure your content is having a positive impact on that audience. Don’t’ worry so much about those outside of the target audience.
The main reason for creating a content strategy is to build an owned audience that your brand can tap into. It’s not the same as an advertising campaign where you go hard at it for a month or two then shut it off and ask if it was successful. It’s an always-on game that can and should be constantly refined, looked at and improved on. Red Bull Media house has this figured out in a big way.
Lastly, measuring success. Define what success looks like, and the KPI’s you’ll use to ensure you’re on the right path. If it’s a digital magazine you’ve decided to create – is it the number of downloads? Page visits? Time with the magazine? Ask yourself what is the right KPI? Don’t use impression. They’re not a true indicator of content that’s winning the battle for time because impressions can be bought. Rather than focus on gaining impressions, focus on leaving one.
Pagezii – What type of content creation process works the best?
Jamie – I’m not sure there is a creation process that works best. Different clients have different demands, budgets, targets, and goals. One process might work great with one client while another client requires something different.
Our process has a history of working very well. We start with insights that help lead to the Brand Belief I talked about earlier. The Brand Belief leads to a content platform with different pillars to support it, all customized for our clients. Then, any content we create we make sure it supports the content platform, the brand belief and at the end of the day is providing value to the people consuming it.
Pagezii – What has been the most memorable campaign you’ve worked on?
Content can be repurposed so many times.
Jamie – Ha! Funny enough it’s not a client assignment or something that has generated accolades, but back in 2012, I quickly created a shark meme in response to union station flooding as a joke. Since then the image has gone viral several times – each year it bubbles up in my feeds. It fascinates me that the same piece of content can be repurposed for so many different events and has gone viral so many times. I suppose you could say its won the battle for time, a few times over. Proof that you never really know until you try.
Pagezii – What trends in content marketing do you see taking place in 2017?
Jamie – Purpose-driven marketing – focusing on the ‘why’ you’re leveraging content marketing rather than ‘what’. This will allow your organization to not worry so much about the latest trend, but instead focus on why you should leverage it.
Integration with Sales Force – there’s so much discussion around content helping drive customers down the sales funnel, but the sales force and content marketing aren’t generally working together to create something bigger. Get sales to buy in early and have them leverage the content to help close the deal.
Pagezii – Thank you, Jamie, for a very informative discussion on brand belief to content marketing. Our readers will appreciate your thoughts.