Attention Kmart Shoppers: Content Marketing Is NOT A Thing.

kmartSometimes I feel like our whole industry has gone mad… and then I realize it’s me. But this is not one of those times.

For the past couple years the topic of “content development’ and “content marketing” has become a very popular buzzword that is snowballing downhill and growing to cartoonish proportions.

So before it is too late, I would like to explain to the world that content marketing is not a thing. It is an end result of other things.  It is what ensues from specific and strategic marketing pursuits. But it is most definitely not a thing.

Imagine telling your significant other that you need some groceries. “Please get us some groceries immediately,” you say. And 35 minutes later he or she returns from the store with three  combs, a pear and two cans of baked beans.

Now imagine telling your marketing department or your PR agency that you need some content. “We need to generate some content immediately,” you say. And 3.5 weeks later they return with two news releases, two videos and a blog post.

In the words of Forrest Gump, stupid is as stupid does. Content development, like grocery shopping, is the byproduct of something else. Neither are strategies in and of themselves. If you need – and therefore purchase – food and milk and garbage bags, then these things end up being your groceries. Likewise, if you need – and therefore produce – news releases and videos and brochures, then these things end up being your content.

So here’s the bottom line: Content development and marketing is not a strategy. It is not a thing that you can do… it’s a thing you end up with after you do the things you are supposed to do.

Please don’t get sucked into the stupidity of buzzword marketing. And please, never tell anyone you need content… it’s just embarrassing.

Jim Sweeney


Jim is a veteran of the agency industry and the founder of Sweeney. He is uncommonly passionate about the idea of creating and implementing insanely great marketing campaigns that achieve insanely great results. He pioneered the full-service, full-circle agency model and continues to forge new ideas in an ever-changing industry. And he is accessible to everyone about anything, seemingly all the time, serving as a mentor to all agency personnel and clients.