In her keynote speech at Content Marketing World in Cleveland last week, Kraft Food’s Director of Data, Content, and Media, Julie Fleischer, announced that Kraft now generates the equivalent of 1.1 billion ad impressions a year, and a four-times-better ROI through content-marketing than through even targeted advertising. After its split with Mondelez two years ago, Kraft “really started getting its act together in content,” according to this article in Ad Age.

Fleischer, who has been named the Content Marketing Institute’s “Content Marketer of the Year” for 2014, holds the quality of her content to a very high standard, and still thinks of it in terms of paid advertising.

“It’s not about putting something out every day to be part of the conversation,” she said, adding that Kraft “believes brands shouldn’t post content they don’t deem worthy of paying to distribute,” writes Ad Age.

She refers to this as “relentlessly pursuing worthiness,” and adds: “The days of free organic reach are rapidly coming to an end. If you wouldn’t spend money behind it, then why do it? It’s shouting into the wind without making a sound. How many of us are guilty of being slaves to a calendar or posting cadence?”

These are worthwhile questions to consider and answer as content marketers.

In her speech, Fleischer also notes the importance of marketing to individuals, not to segments. According to the article, “Kraft tracks 22,000 attributes of the more than 100 million annual visitors to its websites and has merged its content and data-management platforms. The data is used to power the increasingly individually addressable advertising Kraft does through its programmatic media buying, which Ms. Fleisher eventually expects to account for the majority of the company’s buys.”

She also advised content marketers to pay attention to trends and apply them quickly, and to realize that content and advertising are inextricably linked, because even as content outperforms advertising in terms of engagement, Ms. Fleischer said, “…relevant content programmed strategically with your advertising makes your advertising work harder for you.”

What do you think of Kraft’s approach to content marketing? Let us know in the comments.

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