Sharon Crost, who leads online and social marketing at Hitachi Data Systems, is taking content marketing to a deeper level by micro-segmenting audiences and using social listening tools to gain insight. “Content has been a really big issue for us and everyone in the industry—getting the right content into the right eyes and ears, given the saturation of social,” Crost said. “Our content strategy is related to the buyer's journey, and it includes microsegmenting audiences and developing new ways to deliver adapted content and context to these audiences.” HDS uses Google AdWords to segment audiences, into categories such as IT professionals in the energy industry, then delivers relevant content—for example, a link to a white paper talking about solutions related to oil and gas. “By segmenting the audience and giving them a discovery piece of content, we are getting much better uplift,” Crost said. “We will also try to do the same kind of thing with promoted tweets in Twitter or on Facebook, where you can segment audiences.” Crost is also using social listening tools to gain more insight into social media content and convert it into business intelligence to inform content. “Right now we are using Twitter interfaces and Twitter APIs to be able to ingest all that Big Data and use strategic filters to find out how much of it is related to our industry and the influencers. When [we] take that big pipe and filter it down, it helps us get more intelligence.” Another big project for Crost over the past year was developing mobile apps, such as a mini-mobile app delivered to users through QR codes at events that provided such content as case studies, product information and videos.