Understanding digital content marketing
This article argues that as the importance of digital content to business and society grows it is important seek a holistic perspective on the definition and nature of digital content marketing (DCM). Along the journey it becomes evident that a recurrent theme in DCM is customer value, and this leads into the second major contribution of the article, an exploration of the notion of customer value in digital content marketplaces. Digital content is defined as: 'bit-based objects distributed through electronic channels'. A structured analysis is conducted on the basis of a set of questions in order to surface some of the unique characteristics of digital content marketing. The analysis is informed by a literature review, and the exploration of numerous web sites which deliver different types of digital content. The conclusion summarises the unique characteristics of digital content, and associated consequences for digital content marketing. It focuses on the impact of the difficulty in developing a notion of 'value' in the context of digital content, and its consequences for value chain structures, pricing strategies, marketing communications and branding, and licensing and digital rights management. In addition, the customer's experience of digital content is influenced by all stakeholders in the value chain as well as requiring the customer to participate in learning and co-creation of the experience. The potential of the 'value-in-use' notion of customer value as a basis for ensuring that consumers are fully engaged as stakeholders in the content economy is discussed. On this basis recommendations for practice and further research are developed.
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