Talk Shop

A summit of content + commerce

We asked our panelists: What's the biggest pitfall you see companies falling into as they integrate either content or commerce into their business? What's the biggest opportunity?

"Separating the content from the products most relevant to that content; for example, an online kitchen store that separates recipes from the machines or products that can be used to make them. The biggest opportunity I see is integrating content into the consumer discovery phase in a seamless way that never takes the shopper far from the checkout button." - Kelland Willis, Forrester Research

"As brands have entered into 'new' media, they have often abandoned the tactics that made their content so successful in the past: being authentic: telling rich stories and aligning against core business objectives. The biggest opportunity is to connect with people in a content accretive fashion: entertaining, informing, and delighting their customers and prospects." - Adam Berger, Facebook

"Branded content is part of a bigger conversation happening on multiple platforms so it needs to add meaningful value (social, relevant, informational) that goes beyond a transaction. Companies need to find ways to make the purchase process so easy and seamless that their customers want to keep coming back." - Scott Lachut, PSFK Labs

"The biggest pitfall we see is when companies fail to coordinate internally between content, ad buyers, social, and executive teams. Right now there's a huge opportunity to get extra bang for content investment (and extra earned media) while content marketing is relatively unsaturated." - Shane Snow, Contently

"The biggest pitfall is in thinking of content and commerce as two separate things.The biggest opportunities are in curation and integration." - Vanessa Holden, West Elm

"The biggest pitfall I see is when companies that are strong at providing users with engaging content just throw in product as a way to join the commerce wave (and vice versa with product companies adding in content haphazardly without considering the user experience). The biggest opportunity is to think about how adding content or commerce to your existing site can really enhance the full experience. Relevance and authenticity is key." - Eurie Kim, Forerunner Ventures

"One pitfall for brands integrating content is they benchmark against other competitive brands instead of the wider content marketplace. To win, brands must approach content like publishers: building an audience, offering a value exchange and finding unique, fresh narratives. The balancing act is achieving marketing and sales goals in the process." - Steve Baer, Code and Theory

"It's easy to create 'content' that's really just thinly veneered advertising, but audiences engage in a much more compelling way with stories that entertain and inform — and this in turn can do a lot to inspire the behavior you're hoping to see. Deliver value, and you'll see value returned." - John Poisson, Wantful

"As brand managers wish to make "content" part of their communication strategy, they must allocate sufficient resources. To not invest properly results in many secondary pitfalls that range from not giving enough time to the development of the concept to poor distribution to no maintenance plan or the further development of the content. On the flip side, when integrating commerce into "content," the commerce opportunity needs to feel organic to the experience and, perhaps more importantly, it should fulfill a desire/tension that is produced through the experience of the content." - Jacob Ellenberg, Whole Foods

"The biggest pitfall is having grand ideas  but not enough resources to supper them. Specifically, not taking into account how many people it takes to create good content, and that those people are different than the ones who help build the commerce side of the business. And because it is content, most senior management does not understand the value and why resources should be allocated to these areas. The biggest opportunity is to try and educate leaders on the value of content and how it can drive engagement and traffic in the long run. It requires resources as much as the true ROI side of the business."  - Kyle Andrew, Kate Spade Saturday