The goal of content is to create trust between an audience and a brand or a broadcaster (to eventually sell more things and widgets). But behind that trust, there is one big business goal: to get to know consumers and clients better.

The sales team will tell you they know the market. They know consumers, clients, as if they were family.

But those insights are based on the people they come in contact with. The people that walk into the store, that call headquarters to speak with someone, that manifest interest publicly.

But too often, these insights of “I know the market” are not based on a lot of experience with the people who did not even get to that point of walking into the store, calling headquarters, etc. The ones who said “nope, not for me” before that.

But the marketing team is in contact with these individuals through the content it produces. It gets to know them, can analyze their behaviours, their actions, where they quit, etc.

Content has, for too long, been seen as an expense that mostly serves customer success in making sure existing audiences, clients and consumers come back again and again. But more and more, it is seen as a key data collection engine in the knowledge built about consumers.

As Helena Mah puts it in a CMO Council article, building those connections with our audiences allow us to build insights on their personalities, lifestyles, interests, opinions, values, initiatives attitudes, etc.

And these become essential in the strategic planning of any corporation: better knowledge of its market, both the one they are “in”, but also the one they are “out of”.

Content marketing has become a data collection engine and with the new privacy and third-party limitations that are being put up in 2021, this is becoming even more important.