Woody, Yogi and Me

Thomas Marks brings years of marketing experience to his blog "It's All About Content" as the President and Managing Partner of TMA+Peritus. Prior to starting the agency in 1983, Tom was the VP of Marketing and Advertising for Bally Corporation in Chicago. He was also President of Bally's multi-million dollar in-house ad agency FFC Advertising.

I’d like to say that I played for John Wooden, the famed UCLA basketball coach who passed on not too long ago. But the fact of the matter is, at 5′-7″ I would have been better suited as the team’s equipment manager. Having gone to college in the L.A. area, I did see Coach Wooden at a game in Pauley Pavilion, but it was so long ago, I can’t even remember the opponent. One thing’s for certain, the guy was money when it came to turning a phrase. “If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?” Like I said, money.

So was Yogi Berra — whether intentionally or not — he could turn a phrase inside out or outside in, depending on your perspective. It brings a smile to my face when I read quotes like, “A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.” Or, “He hits from both sides of the plate. He’s amphibious.” And this gem, “Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t come to yours.”

That’s why content marketing is so wonderful. The content you generate, whether it’s written or spoken, can truly define you and your brand. It’s genuine and authentic — you own it and it can’t be taken away from you. Sure, the pretenders will always be lurking in the shadows laying claim to what you brilliantly wrote, but people see through them faster than Grant took Richmond.

So what is content marketing? It’s not copy; those are just words that fill a variety of distribution platforms like your website, a brochure or an ad. In fact, copy is something that’s usually copied by other businesses, which is why everyone’s having a hard time differentiating themselves. Content marketing is the creation of information assets that your audiences clamor for. It’s the delivery of critical insights and thought leadership that builds trust for you and your brand before the purchase phase and long afterwards, too.

“Consider the rights of others before your own feelings, and the feelings of others before your own rights.” Yogi didn’t say that — thanks for that one coach — but it holds true with content marketing. Listen to your audience for the type of information they want, how frequently they want it, and on what platform. It’s not about you, it’s about them. “I never said most of the things I said.” Well, maybe it’s not thought leadership, but it sure makes me smile.

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