How Kraft Foods bakes Content Marketing into its DNA – 3 lessons from day 1 at Content Marketing World

Half way through day one of the world’s largest content marketing event and there hasn’t been a single mention of viral cat videos. Thank god for that.

As Julie Fleischer Director Data + Content+Media at Kraft Food says in her keynote address: “Content is not about Facebook, content is a choice, content is our saviour, content is the answer”. Wow. That’s some pretty big content marketing love.

But it wasn’t always so. Fleischer says that despite marketing budgets in the millions, Kraft’s content Road to Damascus moment happened only two years ago.

“Content used to be a side project – now it’s our lifeblood”, Fleischer says. “We realised that content was an asset hidden in plain sight”. Now Kraft distributes “campaignable ideas, not just assets in a vacuum”.

This realisation has completely changed the way Kraft markets its business and also its results. Fleischer says that consumer increase in spend driven directly by Kraft Foods content marketing is running at 300% to 600%. You read that right! And in case you missed it she says it again. “Content supercharges ROI”.  So how do you get a little of that Kraft magic into your content marketing without the million dollar budgets?

Takeaway 1: Get personal – like REALLY personal

Kraft realised it was a mistake to commoditise its content. “We were good at creating content at the top level but people don’t need editors, they trust their friends”. This shift in perception moved Kraft from a ‘general’ to a micro approach to content marketing. “Now we market to individuals, not segments” Fleischer says. So they started using content as a barometer for the individual – what they liked and what they didn’t like. That allowed Kraft to personalise the content experience. And the more personal, the better the results. “Personalising content also resulted in dramatic improvements in e-mail opens”, she says.

Takeaway 2: Listen to what’s going on and act fast

Through social listening Kraft can work out what content to serve up to which individuals. A good example has an Irish flavour. In the run up to St Patrick’s day, Kraft picked up on growing interest in ‘green cakes’. So they repurposed a recipe and pushed out The Green Velvet Cupcake (using 4 Kraft Ingredients). Result? The highest performing recipe ever.

Kraft now views consumers as ‘micro tribes’  When you create content specifically for these tribes then track engagement, you can serve up more content with personal relevancy. If it’s relevant, it has memory. It’s as simple as that!

Takeaway 3: Move fast and break things

In the two years since its content marketing epiphany, Kraft has moved fast and broken things.

“Relevancy requires that you change and adapt. Culture trumps strategy, so just get on and do it ‘cause done is better than perfect”, Fleischer says.

She doesn’t underestimate the difficulty involved however and describes it as a “massive undertaking”. Kraft brought four distinct disciplines under single leadership, content, data, media and CRM. And it’s the combination of these four pillars of marketing that has created a supercharged, super powerful, co-ordinated content marketing strategy.

It’s not just about the content calendar, however. Kraft looks for content ideas that are “smart, strategic and campaignable”.

“Attitude matters”, she says. “Build it like it’s going to change the world”. What’s the point? “Content drives engagement and engagement drives share growth”.

We hear you, Julie!  Kraft has shown that content has currency. In fact she says it more than once: “Content is our currency”.

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About Karen Hesse

Karen Hesse is Managing Director of 256, a Dublin based Strategic Content Marketing Agency. An award winning journalist and publisher she has 25 years experience in creating hard working content assets for clients. She is Ireland's leading expert in content marketing strategy.