Q&A: Castleford Sales Director talks content marketing differences in the US, Australia

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At Brafton’s sister company Castleford, Director of Business Development Rob Cleeve leads the content marketing agency’s Australia and New Zealand sales operations. In a recent visit to Brafton’s Boston office, […]

At Brafton’s sister company Castleford, Director of Business Development Rob Cleeve leads the content marketing agency’s Australia and New Zealand sales operations.

In a recent visit to Brafton’s Boston office, Rob shared insights into content marketing in Australia, the key differences between content marketing demand across continents and what he looks to take back from his experiences in the U.S.:

How has the content marketing industry evolved in Australia in recent years?

Massively. Everyone in digital marketing in Australia is talking about 2014 as “the year of content marketing.” It’s been simmering for the past 12 months and people are starting inquire about it. I would personally say in the last four or five months I’ve really started to notice a shift; people are much more eager and they’re much more interested.

What are some of the trends you’re seeing in content marketing for 2014 in Australia?

In the US, everyone does everything online. In Australia, they’re less likely – offline marketing is still a main method for reaching customers. But it’s definitely shifting. People are starting to understand what content marketing is. Brafton and content marketing in the US in general have walked a lot of miles in the shoes we’re just putting on.

In 2014, I think we’ll see a massive spike for content marketing budgets. Video is massive in the US, and everyone seems to be using it. For us, we’ll focus on starting to walk before we run in terms of video: We’re still talking to people about building blog strategies for text. Still, I think video is on the horizon, so I think as early as 2015 we’ll see strategic companies leveraging video as part of content marketing.

What are Australian marketers’ most common content marketing goals?

SEO is still a main focus, and an alarming amount of people still don’t know what it is. Where Brafton and its customers are quite sophisticated in how they target content against business goals through the sales funnel, Australian marketers are starting to realize the importance of their websites. They’re starting to realize their competitors are making money from their sites and that there’s an opportunity cost of not being seen in search results. SEO is also the easiest to justify.

What have been some of the biggest differences in content marketing in America that you’ve noticed during your visit to our Boston office?

I’d say in terms of the company atmosphere, Brafton and Castleford feel very similar in terms of the level of knowledge and the enthusiasm.

In Australia, it’s much less acceptable to do sales virtually instead of face-to-face, so in terms of the actual process, we’re a little bit different. I’ve found that on the phone in the United States people seem to be more receptive; the calls that I’ve sat in on have been very friendly and everyone’s willing to have a chat.

What’s the No. 1 tip you’ve picked up from Brafton’s content marketing strategists that you’ll bring to our Australian colleagues?

There have been so many little things I’ve picked up with different people. Brafton’s business development team is definitely a well-oiled machine; from the point of sale, customers are talking to people who know the value of custom and results-focused strategies. I appreciate the culture of sharing knowledge across the business, and really educating prospects and customers alike. The sales team and strategists here really start with the client’s goals and that’s definitely something we firmly believe in at Castleford.  When you learn about a business and their goals and then come back with a tailored plan, it’s much more personal and much more primed for success.

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Molly BucciniMolly Buccini is Brafton's marketing communications coordinator. She joined the team with a background in digital journalism and community engagement. Likes: All things Boston, beaches and black labradors (especially her own).
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