America isn’t happy with Comcast.

On the very same day that Comcast filed with the Federal Communications Commission for a merger with Time Warner Cable, the company won the title of “Worst Company in America.” In 2010, the cable giant was similarly dishonored with the “Golden Poo” trophy, also as a result of a Consumerist survey.

It’s a marketing and PR strategist’s nightmare–or golden opportunity.

Egg on their Digital Face

This year’s award comes on the heels of a major public relations offensive by Comcast, aimed at convincing consumers and politicians alike that merging with Time Warner Cable is in everyone’s best interest. Talk about egg on the face.

Some might argue that the $45 billion deal would be good for Comcast and not so much for everyone else. Actually, if massive consumer polls and surveys are to be believed, though, Time Warner is hated by its own customers as well.

Bad Business

Most cable companies are monopolies or near monopolies. With little competition, they don’t seem to think of customer satisfaction as a top priority.

Instead they are spending most of their money and efforts on lobbying in Washington, hoping the politicians will keep their heads in the sand.

There has been though, a little blip on the radar, indicating some desire on Comcast’s part to please their customers, maybe even wrangle up some new ones.

This may be because many consumers are so fed up with Comcast that they are simply choosing not to have cable TV anymore, even if they have little choice but to keep Comcast Internet services.

Comcast recently took out a page on BuzzFeed, featuring plenty of cute and cuddly images that are designed to “turn your meh day into an awesome one.” Seems Comcast is embracing the content marketing strategy in an attempt to appease and woo the public. Will it work? Can Comcast’s image be saved?

The Comcast Headquarters. Being big doesn’t make you more popular.

Can Marketing Help?

Most of America has become completely immune to traditional marketing. Television ads are sent into the wild blue yonder thanks to DVRs; magazine ads are ignored and people are so unlikely to see Internet banner ads that the phrase “ad blindness” has been coined.

Companies needed to find a way to garner the public’s attention without ads. That was a major challenge, and that’s where content marketing comes into play.

Enter Content Marketing

Content marketing is an attention-getting strategy based on creation and implementation of content (information or entertainment) that is both relevant and valuable to the end user.

The content is designed to engage a specific target audience that just happens to be the same population most likely to purchase the content creator’s main product or service.

Once the audience is engaged, interested and entertained, the marketing company launches their commercial message. While this might sound like consumer entrapment of sorts, people rarely view it that way, not if it’s still presented as a matter-of-fact choice rather than an obligation.

Done properly, content marketing works invisibly as consumers develop a better impression of the company, and greater loyalty to them.

All Content is Not Created Equal

Great content pulls the busy consumer in, makes him read, contemplate and, eventually, purchase. This may happen quickly or sometime down the line, but the moment a consumer enjoys content or finds it useful, the wheels have been set in motion. A sense of loyalty has begun to take hold.

Will Comcast’s cute and fuzzies turn their ominous reputation around? It will certainly help (though they should improve their products and services as well!) Often times, even when a company does improve dramatically, its poor reputation precedes it.

Once they do improve, research shows that impressions can change with constant positive reinforcement. In this case, it’s kittens and puppies. For another company it might be something else. No matter what though, if people like what’s delivered, they are on the path to becoming a customer, whether they know it or not.

Content is king, but it’s content¬†marketing¬†that rules.