Crikey. It’s hard to believe that another year is coming to a close. This year has been a great one for us, and I hope that for all of our friends, clients and colleagues it has been just as good. MANA is now firmly established, serving clients in multiple innovation-focused industries, and working hard to change the agency business model. And our work is just getting started.
This time of year has always been my favorite. Probably because it is always filled with optimism. As we plan for the year ahead, we look forward to new strategic directions, new programs and new clients. And for the clients we work with who are focused on content marketing, this time of year is the time to engage in content mapping for the year ahead.
So what is content mapping, and why is it important? The concept is simple. Content mapping is about delivering the right content, to the right audience, at the right time. It is to content marketing what personalized medicine is to healthcare. It is a powerful part of any content marketing strategy. Understanding who your audiences are, how they consume information, what motivates them, and segmenting them by different stages in the decision making process are key ingredients to successfully mapping your content.
For those of us who have worked across multiple marketing and communications disciplines, the core principles of content mapping are easy to recognize. As somebody who has managed medical communications companies in the past, I believe that publication planning is really the birthplace for modern content mapping and much of content marketing. In medical communications, every good publication strategy starts with the data, and then maps out when, where, how and to whom that data will be communicated. It includes deliverables such as competitor and market analyses, audience definition and segmentation, message development, a master timeline and message delivery matrix, proposed content for peer reviewed medical journals, medical congress activities, medical advisory boards, digital media, medical symposia, medical affairs activities, book chapters and more. A good publication plan crosses multiple channels and media formats to deliver scientific data and information in a consistent, impactful way. And so does a good content marketing strategy.
If you are an agency selling content strategy and mapping to your clients, I hope I haven’t pulled the curtain away completely on your Wizard of Oz by showing that the concept of content planning and mapping really isn’t that new. The fact is that its roots go back decades. For clients, regardless of the fact that it isn’t new, content planning is an essential approach to effectively launching and marketing your company, product or service. So if you are a healthcare marketing professional (or any marketing professional for that matter), and you are looking for the best place to start, this is it.
On behalf of MANA LLC, I want to wish everyone a happy, healthy and prosperous holiday season and New Year.