Collaborative content marketing with your clients

Posted by Mark Wellings | 05-11-14


We’ve probably all heard about how producing content marketing can help companies to get closer to their clients. But what’s less well appreciated is how companies can get even closer to their clients by producing content marketing with them.

This enables a company to not only pool ideas and expertise with their client, but to also demonstrate their knowledge of that client, its industry position and how it wants to relate to its own client-base.

When one of our clients – law firm DAC Beachcroft – was asked by one of its most valued insurance clients, Zurich, to help it to produce a whitepaper, they quickly turned to us for assistance.

“When Zurich asked us to help create thought leadership for their Global Risk Managers' Conference in Rome I was only too happy to help,” says David Pollitt, partner and head of financial institutions sector at DAC Beachcroft. “We pride ourselves on working closely with our clients to understand their specific needs and challenges, so it was an excellent opportunity for us to demonstrate our advisory credentials in close quarters. I had no hesitation asking Grist to work with us on this critical and sensitive project.”

Creating a new path through the woods

The whitepaper was for an event which left us with six weeks to scope the whitepaper, conduct interviews and other research and draw all the material together. It was vital for DAC Beachcroft and Grist to touch base with Zurich’s key stakeholders as soon as possible and corral all thoughts on the whitepaper’s scope and function, in the short-, medium- and long-term.

The topic was supply chain disruptions – an often-discussed subject within the risk and insurance community. With such topics it is vital to identify an original angle or way of presenting the issue in order to avoid the ‘groan factor’ – the reader’s feeling of apathy when seeing an already ubiquitous subject covered once again.

The way of avoiding this lay in finding a cogent ‘story’ within the mesh of ideas.  Research told us that there was so much material on supply chain disruptions that it could be difficult for risk managers to know which information was most relevant to them, why it really mattered, and also how best to digest it. Part of the whitepaper’s function was to resolve these issues for its different readers by ‘unscrambling’ the data and various ideas on the topic, thus allowing them to navigate the subject more confidently in the future.

“The whitepaper was a highly professional outcome that all participants within Zurich were very pleased with,” says Iwan Borszcz, technical claims director and head of Large and Complex Claims at Zurich.

“The aggregated might of all of Zurich’s knowledge and experience was a major part of that. But the addition of DAC Beachcroft’s wider industry and legal perspective coupled with Grist’s discipline, flexibility, editorial nous and innovative portrayal style delivered a market-leading and highly relevant product, which remains a sustainable read nine months after its publication.”

Reaching every reader – and listener!

The whitepaper was distributed at an event Zurich holds annually for its largest global clients, and was sent out to other clients around the world. So in addition to featuring in-depth thought leadership that risk managers could refer to through the year, it needed to be immediately accessible to clients reading it in an often time-strapped conference environment. We ensured therefore that graphs, charts and other visuals featured throughout the paper.

Zurich also expressed a desire to use some of the whitepaper’s findings as supporting material for one of their presentations at the event. To help them with this, we included in the whitepaper a double­-page infographic that highlighted top-level trends that speakers (and the audience) could use as a springboard for live discussion.

If a client asks you to help them to produce content marketing, you’re being further entrusted with helping to bolster their reputation as industry leaders. Things can go wrong. But if you succeed in helping them deliver effective thought leadership, that client is likely to remember your help and expertise for a long time to come.

Mark Wellings

Written by Mark Wellings

View Bio

We'd love to hear from you

Get in touch