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155 Content-Free Marketing: How the Marketing World Got Duped into Saying Nothing Everywhere (Snow Leopard Book Excerpt)

Monday 15th July 2024
LOM_Episodes-155 Content Free Marketing Snow Leopard

The Content Marketing category is almost 700 billion. Almost every company is working on content and increasing their content marketing investments. And yet, when was the last time you got a piece of content marketing and you said that was legendary? Let’s dig into how the marketing world got duped into content free marketing, aka saying nothing everywhere, and why this is one of the largest opportunities hiding in plain sight.

We recently launched our newest big book from category pirates. It’s called Snow Leopard: how legendary writers create a category of one. What you’re about to hear is the audio book read of me reading chapter three, which is all about content, free marketing, and why it’s a giant opportunity for the rest of us.

Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind.

Content-Free Marketing

The Content Marketing category is a $4 billion industry. And it’s estimated by 2024, the content marketing industry will grow another 270 billion, bringing the grand total to 700 billion.

But content marketing is broad and includes everything from creation to distribution to content management. For example, in 2020 the enterprise content management industry was valued at $47 billion and is projected to more than double over the next five years, to more than 105 billion translations of the soon to be 700 billion content marketing industry. 20% of the entire market is exclusively dedicated to managing the content that gets created.

Well, what’s the content? More importantly, how much of the content being created, especially by enterprise companies and b2c companies, is actually worth reading? When was the last time you clicked on a company blog post and opened a company newsletter or listened to a corporate podcast and said to yourself, “wow, sure am glad I clicked on that”? The fact that most content marketing is garbage represents one of the greatest marketing opportunities of our time, for those willing to buck current conventional wisdom.

Content Management

The Content Management subcategory of the mega content marketing category is growing faster than ever. And yet, the number one activity b2b companies outsource is content creation by a mile. Get this: 86% of b2b organizations surveyed said they outsourced content creation. The next closest activity is content distribution, which only 30% of b2b organizations surveyed said they did editorial planning.

Now, let’s connect these two data points. On one hand, Content Management is growing at breakneck speed, while Content Creation creates more to manage. On the other hand, content creation is often the number one most outsourced marketing activity. Which means companies are deferring the single most important aspect of content, which is the creation of each and every idea and who’s coming up with these ideas.

Gary Vee D

As we wrote about in our mini book, The Me Disease, many marketers today have, unfortunately, caught Gary Vee D. It is a content disease that leads creators and companies alike to believe the whole purpose of content creation is to do it and do it as often as possible. It doesn’t matter if it’s good or if it’s valuable. Just say it out loud and say it off and, “pump out 200 pieces of content today”.

Gary Vee and other digital marketing “gurus” have led the masses to believe the fact that you did it means you’re succeeding. More equals mo betta. And so, every marketer everywhere has adopted this spray and pray approach where 100% of the emphasis is on the output, and essentially zero of the emphasis is on the quality of the content, and what is actually being said.

To hear more about Content-Free Marketing, and how to avoid falling into this marketing trap, download and listen to this episode.


Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger.

He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur.

Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist.

In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard acquired the company in 2006, for $4.5 billion.

He also co-founded the marketing consulting firm LOCHHEAD; the founding CMO of Internet consulting firm Scient, and served as head of marketing at the CRM software firm Vantive.

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and subscribe on iTunes!