Boston Consulting Group covers a lot of ground as an organization of business strategists with expertise in 17 different “practice areas.” BCG is also a reminder that content marketing was around long before the Internet, publishing long-form articles to educate its clients within those areas of expertise. With the recent launch of BCG Perspectives, the company began publishing short-form content online.
As head of global marketing in BCG’s marketing and sales practice area, Carrie Perzanowski is just one of the many people in charge of developing and publishing content on BCG Perspectives. We spoke with her recently about the firm’s explorations with new content types, what makes content “successful,” and how print products fit into today’s content marketing world.
Although the Perspectives website is less than a year old, BCG has been in print publishing since the ’60s. Periodically, we would publish and send out “perspectives” as short articles to our senior clients. We would also publish one-off articles that were pushed to clients through local marketing organizations. By bringing Perspectives online, we shifted our aim to pull in our audience, rather than push our content out to them.
We are creating content across a variety of mediums—from quick video interviews, short-form articles, commentaries, podcasts, and interactive slideshows all the way up to the longer reports our company is known for.
In the past, we were much more the company behind the scenes. We were not deliberately marketing our company publicly. Perspectives changes that by putting us out there to a broader audience.
What does it mean to be successful when it comes to content? It all depends on the topic and how established we are with it. At the end of the day, are CEOs calling us? Is business coming in? Developing timely, short-form content may get more media buzz than the big reports, but the verdict is still out on the long-term impacts. We track specific bits of information between clients. What content has produced casework and results? In my department, there should be an uptick across everything and discussions leading to consulting work.
Our strategy is geared toward positioning our company as an expert in the fields our current and prospective clients are in. A lion’s share of what we produce is not meant for external consumption. We have a huge amount of content moving around on our internal knowledge platform. Most days, it is less about marketing and more about creating information for our internal library.
For some audiences, receiving a printed publication means they are more likely to acknowledge and read it. Sometimes, having physical copies of a published report on hand can be valuable in building credibility—at conferences, major presentations, initial client meetings, and so on.