Henri Kingo kindly participated in JOBCM academic and industry collaboration co-faciliated by BOBCM’s curator Justin Kirby. He is Managing Director and Senior Strategist at Wunderman Helsinki / Y&R Finland. Henri has over 15 years of international experience from advertising, marketing, media and research agencies and he believes in the marriage of creativity and data. He is a guest speaker at Aalto University Executive Education events focusing on digital, social and content marketing. He is also an active a BA/MA thesis tutor.
Why do you think a Journal of Branded Content Marketing is relevant to practitioners?
I think that the main reason is that most brands are now trying to find out how to move on from interruption marketing and how to become what people are interested in. In order to succeed in this practitioners should look beyond the new channels, technology and all the buzz surrounding Branded Content Marketing right now. I think that the academic world, and academic journals have a relevant role in bringing more than just the hype talk to the equation. And more the academic world and practitioners are engaged in dialogue, the better it is for the development of the art of marketing.
What are you expecting to get out of it?
I addition to having great discussion on the subject I would expect to get in depth analysis based on empirical research and real cases. This is what the marketing practitioners usually do not do or at least share within the industry. I really would like to understand better why and how content marketing works. The psychological and behavioural side of things.
And more concretely; what kind of content works and how to measure success? I think that would be the key for me.
Why do you think a conceptualisation of Branded Content Marketing is relevant and how would you try to do it?
I guess that if we’d ask 10 practitioners to explain Branded Content Marketing in one sentence, we would get 10 totally different answers. So in order to develop our skills in content marketing, we first must have a shared way of looking at it. What is really is. If we fail to do this, it might become the next “big data”, something that everyone wanted to use, but only a few knew what it actually meant.
Where do you think are the biggest (knowledge) gaps in academia when understanding branded content consumers and their behavior?
Although content marketing by definition is not a new thing (think of Poor Richard’s Almanack from 1732), thanks to digitalization the tools and consumer behaviour around it are constantly evolving. And here lies the biggest gap in my opinion; due to the academic and scientific nature of the process, the research findings can often be outdated the very same day they are released.
One other gap is the ability to turn theory into practice. Theory can be a beautiful thing, but it shouldn’t stand in the way of practice.
Have you worked with / collaborated with academics and if so, then on what and how?
Not as much as I’ve liked to really. I’ve had some enlightening discussions with academics, but seems like these two worlds, academic and practice, move quite at different speed. The pace of doing things is just much more rapid on the practitioners’ side. So it has been more like asking for advice on specific things, but not really collaborating, because I needed the answers by the end on the week
What would you like to collaborate on with academics in Branded Content Marketing in the future?
I think that B-to-B marketing is often overlooked when we discuss Branded Content Marketing. However I see an even bigger disruption happening right now in B-to-B marketing than in consumer marketing. And B-to-B brands often actually own a lot of valuable content, but not even the most sophisticated marketing automation system can make it shine by itself. So as an industry we would need more insight on content marketing in B-to-B environment, e.g. how it can support inbound sales. I’d be happy to collaborate on this subject.
What outcomes/KPIs/performance of branded content marketing do we need to investigate/learn more about?
I think first of all it would be great to have at least some level of agreement on the KPIs. What should be considered as the established industry standard metrics when we measure performance of content marketing.
Secondly I would like to learn more about the content types and their “impact ability“. How different content types perform against engagement objectives, against marketing objectives or sales objectives. What is the long term impact versus short term impact and so on. Ideally this could lead to concrete recommendations to brands and marketers and hence take the industry a giant leap forward.