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Content or Target? What comes first for campaigns?

It is a no-brainer that both and a  are crucial elements of a There are many ways to ‘mix and match’ these elements for desired results. Some companies bet on a ‘‘ approach. But there are others who stand by a ‘‘ strategy. There is no right or wrong way in doing this. But definitely, there is a ‘better’ way – and it can be easily derived from your campaign objectives. Here are my views on both approaches. Feel free to chime in with your thoughts in the comments section.

Content First Approach:

For most -driven organizations, developing solutions comes first. and may follow instead of preceding it. In such cases, the aim would be to the solution / product to the target market as much as they could. So, across various formats takes the driver’s seat for . Depending on how targets react to content, lead nurturing is planned and executed. This approach is also used for ‘spray and pray’ awareness campaigns.  


  • Can reach wider audiences since content is generalized
  • The number of assets needed for the campaign may be less when compared to a target first approach
  • Campaign execution is simpler due to a lower number of messaging streams


  • may take a backseat since it is generalized
  • are usually low
  • The acquired may not be of high
  • The need for extra activities results in higher

Target First Approach:

For some organizations, are of utmost importance. They cannot afford to wait for s to happen at its own pace. And they may want to capture all their low hanging fruits as effectively as they can with minimal touch. In such cases, organizations first define their targets and acquire as much intel as they can about them. This may include their current state of business, buying journey, personas involved, available budgets and expiring projects. Interestingly, this is the most crucial effort as the impact of the content, and the campaign itself, is dependent on this intel. The marketing team creates multiple for different types of target profiles. As a result, the targets receive customized content – which better resonates with them. This considerably improves the success rate of the campaigns by delivering higher conversions and better quality leads. I suppose these are the very reasons that make this approach a ‘favorite’ for deal / account based marketers.


  • Resonating content potentially delivers better conversions
  • Significantly accelerates sales cycles
  • Quality of leads is much higher
  • Paves way for the sales team to approach the prospects with better intel


  • Target intel is crucial for success. If intel is insufficient/inaccurate, campaign will fail
  • Larger the target audience list, more the asset creation effort. When account-level-customization is considered, this gets even more cumbersome to manage
  • Cost of content creation may be high if it is not managed well
  • Reach may be limited to a select number of targets
  • Campaign management is challenging due to the complexities involved in managing multiple sub-campaigns

After all, this boils down to ‘reach’ vs ‘impact’ – shallow and wide as opposed to narrow and deep. Honestly, that’s a call that you have to take based on your campaign strategies and your execution capabilities.

But, thinking out loud, making a wide and deep cut is not an impossible task.

After all, you just need a starting point – the thought that this is possible and the intention to make it happen

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  1.  – Great blog post. One of the key steps is defining their campaign objective clearly. Once that is done, a good mix and match of the two approaches would work perfectly in line with the objectives. Completely agree with your blog. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks for sharing. 

    When we are working for a B2B client, we aim to either to build their brand or in lead generation. While the brand building campaigns aims at ‘Content first’ approach, as their positioning in the market/industry or their offering has to be highlighted, the lead generations campaigns need to be or must be ‘Target First’ approach. Target audience would love to read what they want to read and what they know to read. 

    Thanks for sharpening my thoughts. 

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