Pam Didner’s book on Global Content Marketing is long overdue. This is a must read for companies engaged in global strategies. By combining a current perspective on content marketing with a long awaited framework for global scaling and management, the author builds a strong case for a complete course built around this book. The popularity of the topic obviously stems from the growing dependence of global marketing on social media and digital content for communications. Ironically, like mobile adaption, its growing importance is widely neglected by even large brands.
The race for storytelling, real-time responsiveness and buyer journey alignment has arguably taken its toll on global adaptation. This book amazingly covers almost every aspect of content planning, however, that global marketers need to consider in their regional content strategies.
The book, in my opinion, qualifies academically as a primary reading for MBA and undergraduate level courses. The recommendation is based on the following:
- Pam Didner’s extensive background in global marketing and social media for large brands lends credibility to the proposed planning process. Her fresh insights on the 4Ps (Plan, Produce, Promote and Perfect), in particular, show promise as a content framework for sales enablement. The Plan part of the process encompasses rigorous reviews of metrics, persona targeting objectives and global management buy-in strategies. The Produce section lays out steps for global content production, the conducting of audits and developing content for sales enablement. Extensive tips are given at this stage on how to localize content and align it to the buyer journey. The Promotion section describes how to globally scale paid, owned and earned avenues for content promotion. Finally, the Perfect section covers the measurement aspects of content required for both sales enablement and service.
- The book fills a gap in global context now widely adopted by many universities. The author points out many pitfalls in cross-cultural disconnects and orchestrating headquarters and regional offices when content assumes a “one-size fits all” global context.
- The author shows an excellent grasp of the most recent and future challenges in content strategy development. Much attention is given to the tailoring of content to personas, channel preferences and inbound marketing objectives that could benefit domestic content development as well.
- Each chapter provides a number of mini-cases especially useful in capturing some practitioner perspectives backing the author’s redefined 4Ps. This provides a substantial amount of material for professors to consider in critical thinking exercises.
- The book is well organized to fit a typical strategy oriented curriculum. Starting with a rationale for priority attention, it progresses to global team building strategies for content planning set-up. From there, the author provides a chapter by chapter introduction to her Plan, Produce, Promote and Perfect framework that lines up well with a typical content marketing curriculum. Tips on global scaling run parallel to the discussed topics. This enables a systematic development of a global content plan while keeping the sequence of familiar content marketing steps in tact.
- The book has a broad appeal to large brands and small organizations.
What keeps the book, however, from qualifying as a primary text for MBA social media courses is the following.
- The general focus of the book is on global adaptation. Though highly important to global brand operations, it has limited appeal to professional services, entrepreneurs and SME’s focused only on a domestic audience. This presents a challenge for book adoption in a broad social media marketing course or by universities that do not appreciate a global perspective in student learning outcomes.
- As a content marketing book, it would likely have to be supplemented by other textbooks covering the networking aspects of social media marketing. For example, topics like influence marketing, fan engagement strategies and context marketing in a social, local, mobile (SoLoMo) setting are not well covered in this text.
Overall Evaluation of Social Media Book
Category: Recommended primary reading for an MBA or undergraduate courses in content marketing. Recommended supplementary reading for global marketing management.
So what is your take on this book being qualified for higher education? Please share your own criteria or what disagreements you have with this book’s academic influence.