Hitting home runs in the age of crap

I gave this talk at the Inbound Marketing conference in London a few months ago (and a version of it at the Social Media Marketing and Marketing Profs B2B conferences too).

I usually don’t just dump slides that were intended for speaking on to Slideshare, except as a resource for attendees. I mean, they weren’t designed as a self-presenter, they were designed as visual aids to what’s come to be known as a ‘talk track’ (in this case, me yammering on in an introvert’s monotone).

But this deck got a lot of views when the folks at Inbound posted it, so maybe it’s more self-explanatory than I thought. What the hell. I’ve put some notes below it to explain the bits that might not be clear:

Content marketing in the age of crap from Deeply Digital


Title Slide: sorry about that image

— Slide 3:
The B2C Bastards are eating or lunch again.

Yeah, this bothers me. I spent my whole career in B2B, looking over the wall at the consumer marketers with their Nike commercial shoots in Hawaii with Thierry Henry and Lady Gaga while I spent three days in the Supply Chain Managers Conference in Scunthorpe.

Then content came along and for the first time, we B2B guys had the jump on the B2C marketers.
But now they’ve discovered it and they’re starting to do it better than us. Which SUCKS. So we need to fight back.

— Slide 4:
As content marketing goes mainstream, it stops conferring advantage.

In 1990, having a website was an advantage. Today, it’s just the price of entry.
Same with content marketing. It still delivers benefits – it just doesn’t create an instant advantage any more, because everyone is doing it. I know: ouch.

— Slides 7-8
Content marketing is a home run game.
A content program with a few home runs in it dramatically out-performs a program with just good, steady content. Every time.

— Slide 12
The most beautiful chart in the world.
These are the sources of views for our Crap slideshare. Embeds is by far the number one source. Referrals and direct and Slideshare itself all add big chunks. But search? Search is a tiny sliver.

This is important: As content marketing goes ape-shit, search will stop serving us. We need to learn to do things that don’t depend on search traffic. And if we succeed, our content analytics will resemble this chart. Build community. Participate in communities. Let Google juice be the gravy.

— Slide 19
Most content marketers are studying the wrong things.
They’re studying ‘how to do content marketing’ which means we’ll get more “9 Ways to Use Twitter to Brush Your Teeth” type posts and more shitty infographics that are really just pimped up clumps of statistics.

If we want to hit home runs, we need to study home runs. Really study them.

— Slide 21
Originality is over-rated and creativity is totally misunderstood.

Creativity is stealing something from one place, giving it a spin and dropping it into a new place.

You can’t be all precious about it. “I can’t do that, Quentin Tanantino did that!” News flash: Quentin Tarantino stole it to. From someone who stole it.

Steal proudly.

— Slide 22
Steal from far away.
Not just from your own market but from other markets.
Not just from marketing but from any kind of home run: your favourite novel, movie scene, stand-up schtick… whatever. Steal it.

— Slide 24-25
Steal the right things.
I thought the success of our Crap slideshare might have been down to its use of a naughty word in the title. So I searched ‘crap’ on Slideshare and got all these decks. None did very well. Except for the one with the girl in a bikini.

So steal the right things, not just the obvious things.

That pretty much explains the slides than need any explaining.
Hope you enjoyed it and, as always, I welcome your thoughts (below):


Darn. Woke up at 2:30am. Reached for the iPad. There this was. Fully awake now. Hey, what about doing this as a Slidecast? You’re almost there. Could be a home run? Let me know if you want help to record Or something. Thanks, Greg

    Thanks Greg — hadn’t thought of that but it sounds like a great idea.

Brilliant. Made me lol but inspired me too. Apologies in advance if I shamelessly steal your content 😉

I absolutely agree with your points.

Especially concerning what marketers should really study. They should concentrate on bringing invested capital back (home runs). Thus, to do so they are obliged to know (and to study) how to deliver value to the targeted audience.

Hi Doug,

This is a really interesting blog, I watched the slides first which was good because I had to think about what you would have spoken about when presenting them and then you filled in the gaps with your breakdown in this blog.

Love the part about stealing, reminds me of the quote ‘it’s amazing what you can achieve when you don’t mind who gets the credit’ – not quite the same but when we drop our ego’s and forget about whose idea something was in the first place, we can be free to achieve good things with our own slant applied, which sort of makes it a new and different idea anyway!

Will have more of a think about the search side of things and what that means to our brand strategy as we move closer to an aligned content strategy, I guess you mean that it’s more about forming communities, nurturing and that the days of sitting back and hoping to be found are slipping away.

And yes, that image is minging!!

Thanks for the great read.


[…] Doug Kessler from Velocity Partners calls this “home-run content.” To learn more about it, check out his presentation called Hitting Home Runs in the Age of Crap. […]

I hope I’m not too late.
Two tips that will probably change the way i create content henceforth
1. Its time to stop creating content and hoping google will find you, participate in communities and create one if possible. Let search traffic be the gravy.
2. Creativity and originality are over emphasized yet most things are already on the internet. It’s only a matter of stealing the right things and using your voice to republish.
Regards Doug.

    Never too late! Thanks for the tips.

[…] Otro término que me gusta que describe éstos objetos es el “jonrón” de marketing de contenidos (yo le digo“golazo” de contenidos), que acuñó Doug Kessler de Velocity Partner U.K. en su presentación “Content Marketing en la era de la basura”. […]

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