The Matrix Guide to Content Marketing

The Matrix Guide to Content Marketing

Reader Comments (34)

  1. Nice metaphor. Bottom line is know what you do well and continue, and know what you need to work on and try asking questions and learning to adapt. Users want a human touch to the company and will applaud the good, and let you know of the bad. With a human face and they will appreciate the hard work in getting in touch and making efforts to change.


  2. Hi Sonia…I really enjoyed your take on this, especially the Agent Smith-type content. The majority of organizations fail to realize the importance of positioning themselves as trusted content providers – trusted resources by developing information solely around what’s important to customers (regardless if they are good at it or not).

    Even though it is starting to change, marketers still have failed to adopt the mindset that they are indeed publishers (media in their own right over content niches that matter to customers).

    This is in line with what Jim Stengel now calls Purpose-Based Marketing (focused on the customers), which is what we’ve been calling (and I believe you call as well) the art and science of content marketing.

    To your point, the entire exercise starts with understanding the core informational needs of customers and prospects. Without that knowledge, content marketing is literally impossible to predict.

    Love the posts on content marketing. Keep them coming.
    Best, Joe

  3. It’s not SWOT (similar, but not quite the same), but you’re completely right on the old-as-hell part, Bobby. This is the kind of nuts-and-bolts stuff big agencies and consulting firms do. (I’ve spent lots of time with big agencies and consulting firms doing exactly this kind of work.) The Matrix part is there to get your attention and help you remember.

    I strongly advise you to use the same technique with your own stuff. πŸ™‚

  4. You got it across very well, Sonia, although I’ve forgotten about their names except Neo. πŸ™‚

    I admit I’m not a big fan of The Matrix.

    It is a great way to categorize business activities into multiple spectrum, instead of just important or otherwise, those that fall into the 80 or 20, etc.

  5. Nothing short of brilliant. I wish you could see my jumbled notes and diagrams drawn in sharpy littering my desk. I just did a four category drawing to find the connections between Type A moms and those who piss them off. This helps! Wish I could afford to hire you! When I pare my feeds down to the top 10, this site will be there. thank you! I had those ideas both as a four quartered circle and a timeline. For some reason, I hadn’t attached the word matrix to it, but that’s just the word I needed to tie it together. Is there a tip jar here?

  6. You’re not being obtuse, the Type A thinkers will never get it outright. That’s what I’m working on. If you’re ever in the Philly area or need contacts here, let me know.

  7. This is one of my all-time fav posts…maybe that’s cause I’m a HUGE Matrix fan, but still a great read! Thanks!

  8. Great post, and obviously stuff I should pin down πŸ™‚ A question…

    Sonia, and all of you, what do you think of disruptive innovation a la Clayton Christensen and the risks of focusing too much on your best customers? Might it not point to a problem with The Matrix, causing you to miss growth opportunities?

    Seems to me The Matrix proposed here, although a great tool in itself, could need a Glitch added πŸ˜‰ Just to leave room for innovation catering to peripheral customers (i.e. could be future best customers).

    Any thoughts?

  9. This is an awesome post. I really enjoyed the comparison between content marketing and The Matrix. Very clever! I especially enjoyed the Persephone analogy. I like that you said attempting to get better shows that you’re willing to admit that you’re less than perfect. Awesome post!

  10. Arvid, I find the Disruptive Innovation stuff fascinating. Every businessperson needs to decide for herself if it’s relevant or not. If you’re anywhere in the technology or manufacturing space, it’s probably a good idea. But (me being a fuddy-duddy and all) I’d advocate having a very strong grasp of the old rules before you try to play by the new rules.

    For a lot of the readers of this blog, blogging itself was already the disruptive innovation. But the other boring bits of the business haven’t changed. Even if you come out with an extraordinary new thing no one knew they wanted, this matrix is still going to help you deliver a quality experience and create a quality relationship with customers.

  11. I think your absolutely right. Especially for start-ups or new bloggers the Matrix is great. I mean the Disruptive Inn. problem is really a problem for established companies. Not for starters with none (!) or maybe a few customers. Interesting you mention blogs as disruptive – perhaps some are becoming ripe to be disrupted themselves πŸ™‚

    Many thanks.

  12. I’m a veteran blogger who is looking to get into the non-profit side of things. I think there is something to be said for not just editing your copy, but clarifying your purpose and audience as pertains to business. I did a little social experiment of sorts in the last two weeks which proved my theory.

    My audience is in my actual community with the brick and mortar non-profits.

    If anyone needs insight into the underbelly of the mommy blogger world, I have more material than you could ever need. It is a huge, huge distraction from your otherwise disempowered life. Not for me. I’m too smart. I got turned down for presenting at BlogHer with an offer to staff the name badge table.


    I joke that I’m on the hit list for the product review mommy blogger mamfia. Except I am running in the opposite direction from all community groups online that look to me as a mother first.

    I love my kids, but damn are they boring to an academic. Mommy bloggers too.

    This is a refreshing discussion and has helped me clarify just how simple I have to make the online experience for those who are non-adopters. They need the access not another disruption or distraction.

  13. Excellent piece. You’ve taken Johari’s Window and the BCG Quadrant — Stars, Dogs, Cows and Question Marks — and given it a new cool. However, I’ve found I’m a much better consultant (and content marketer) now that I am off the pills — be they blue, red or, well, white.


    Britton Manasco
    Illuminating the Future

  14. I like how clearly you cut the world into the important and the unimportant, but what of the borderlands and long tails?

    What I keep noticing is that so many things are important to somebody out there and it’s those companies that keep people absolutely satisfied that get brass ring treatment.

    Yes, the best answer is transparency and adroit reactivity. And responsiveness, even just an acknowledgment, improves things a ton. But there’s something about that…treating it ALL as worthy of addressing and acting on. Not stressing out, but always, steadily, improving with Zen tranquility.

  15. Think bigger. You need the matrix as a platform, as your piece of paper. It’s just an idea that doesn’t exist in real space.

    Do matrices exist to help divergent interests come to consensus?

    To get that one customer that will make the $5000 purchase, setting off a series of bigger purchases when they are satisfied with the brand.

    Maybe they got burned in their first output of import to them…maybe it was originally $100.

    They think and think and aggregate diverse data that would take a 400×400 matrix to sort out the connections.

    Is the ROI or sale proportional to what?

    I have the statcounter graphs and clicky stats for my fictionalized rant/through process. In doing it to the extreme for effect, I beta tested my hard sell approach vs. my soft sell, genuine caring approach.

    What I learned? Genuine, time consuming effort to cultivate a lot of small sales isn’t worth your effort because they will turn the fastest onto the next new thing. This is a dynamic, Type A group. You have to overlay the matrices with the filter and use of coincidence detection.

    So my 4+ years of personal blogging averaged 9 uniques a day, three of whom I can predict will life long friends.

    My experiment, throw out mass content and see your bounce rate drop if you make them read to the bottom, confuse them, waste 10 minutes of their time to decide they didn’t want it after all. They will tell their friend who is their polar opposite, the light bulb will go on and she will need it now!! So she’ll arrange a giveaway and swag bags.

    Your customer is the ditzy friend, but pitch and bring the smart one into the conversation. Her friend loves to hate her and always does the exactly opposite of what she does.

    Pitch to the creative genius. In 5 seconds they can give you the up/down on whether they would buy it. Take it to the bank. Middle america can’t wait for the next new thing that the elite didn’t have use for. Until they bought stock in it…

    All from two weeks of observing the mommy blogger review scene and dissecting the Leap Frog pitch, watching the fallout when I criticized the group that disagreed with me. They won’t agree with me ever. They will step of their courting of the PR people and give the PR people time to find the next new thing. Thus, for the price and status of lunch in NY, they have a ready supply of free info.

    I sit by and judge it as pathetic because it doesn’t matter how many good ideas you have, people like the train wreck factor and it’s exclusive of community. When the train wreck is genuine you don’t feel good about looking. When watching a train wreck makes you feel exclusive? You build your business around it.

    I can totally name names and connect the dots and it would make it even more clear, but that would have to happen offline of course. Unless you want me to keep agitating this group who is bound by social and legal constraints to be nice.

    But thanks to the matrix idea of Sonia’s I was able to distill the chaos in message board communities like mothering into 4 steps to discontent. The spinoff boards that do the 180 opposite in the same 4 steps are laughing their asses off snarking at the first group.

    The key is using the matrix to simulate before you run your test. I knew it would get ugly, but didn’t predict just how. Good thing my husband is a lawyer and I don’t draw income from my writing.

  16. I like this word,
    “Use an online survey, or just watch blog and forum comments coming from the people who are your biggest fans today. ”

    This was actually the most important thing to drag your customer. But finding whats the major favorite is the hardest one, not all people are like to one thing at the same time

  17. I don’t think it is very useful to work on what you don’t do well, or your weaknesses. It is far more productive to just focus on your core strengths and then outsource anything you aren’t very very good at.

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