Content marketing and the democratization of proprietary knowledge

An idea behind content marketing is providing value to consumers before a transaction. David Ogilvy’s famous ad campaign, “Guinness Guide To ___”, was almost entirely about how to pair foods (like different kinds of “Sea Fish”) with beer. There was a subtle plug for Guinness in the lower right corner.

Now, content marketing is everywhere – I just saw a SaaS company with several free ebooks, a podcast series, a YouTube channel and a blog. Of course, there’s still an advertising spin to it all and many other reasons for this like establishing trust and credibility. Still, I see something non-zero sum about this trend towards more and better content.

Just as the library democratized the knowledge of the scholars, perhaps digital content is the beginning of democratizing the proprietary knowledge of companies. Far into the future, I believe all human competencies (both artistic to technical) will be fully democratized for people to pursue for the sake of mastery, not profit optimization. We can all dream, right? 🙂

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