Introducing Content-Based Marketing (CBM)

When I was a CMO on the buying side of Account Based Marketing (ABM), I always viewed ABM with a mixture of excellent potential and unfulfilled promise: I can get real buying intent signals derived from a potential purchaser’s browsing and other online activities, but I didn’t know who was doing the browsing. 

It was — and still is — a game of Clue: You know the weapon was a candlestick, but the best you can do is guess whether it was Colonel Mustard or Professor Plum. There’s lots of evidence of what they did, but not a lot on “who did it.”

So, I was left with the same elaborate guessing game that continues to bedevil ABM marketers today: I can see that an account is surging in interest in my category, so I wait to determine if it’s an anomaly or whether the account is actually researching my solution. 

If it’s the latter, then I’m off to the races: research who in the account might be the intent indicators and attempt to both surround them with ad buys and target them with email and BDR outreach. If I’m good, I might get a meeting. If I’m great, I caught them far enough down the pipeline to facilitate a fast sale.

But, very often, I’m standing outside the Conservatory room, trying to determine if that accent I hear belongs to Professor Plum or Colonel Mustard. 

To be fair, there are suppliers who can tell you some first-person data in the ABM world. There are tools that can help you figure out who’s causing the surge scoring. But, with the imminent death of Google third-party cookies — and them being the prime driver of ABM intent scoring — it was only a matter of time before ABM evolved to the only real indicator of buyer interest: Content Based Marketing (CBM).

According to Contentgine, CBM is defined this way: 

“Content Based Marketing is a new demand generation technique that utilizes content consumption as the indicator of potential purchaser intent. Unlike ABM, CBM does not infer potential purchaser interest through analysis of internet browsing activity or any other vague indicator of intent. Instead, CBM utilizes content access and consumption as an indicator that a potential purchaser is researching a particular topic.”

CBM is not a new idea, content syndication has been evolving towards it for some time. But, CBM is different from content syndication in a number of important ways. Firstly, true CBM can tell you — by name, role, account level interest, and other first-person data — exactly who is researching not only your solution, but your competitors’ solutions. By knowing what content is performing well in your category and what your potential buyer is reading, you gain immediate insight into your content’s effectiveness. 

Let’s face it: every marketer, especially the CMO, wants to “show their work,” and being able to demonstrate content effectiveness both as a demand generator and in relative performance against the competition is gold. 

Secondly, you are not beholden to one content syndicator’s reach. If content is king, the old saying goes, then content reach is the queen with all the dragons. If you’re distributing your content in multiple vehicles — such as the free Contentree library, and you’re utilizing the library’s ability to fly your content to your target audience, you’re vastly improving the chances of your content being found. 

So, with CBM, all that’s left is for you to follow who is “checking out” you and your competitors’ content, and your game of Clue is over. CBM provides you the perfect solution: by knowing who accessed what content, their name, role, contact information, and all the other data you can get from first-person data, you now know whether it’s Colonel Mustard with the candlestick or Professor Plum with the rope. 

And now, Reverend Green and Mrs. Peacock — all you need to do is make that arrest. 

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