By Robert Rose published April 7, 2015

New Era of Marketing Requires New Skills


We’ve just finished our Intelligent Content Conference, our amazing Executive Forum, and our 100th client advisory engagement. It’s time for a little bit of reflection.

The exponential growth of content marketing has revealed an interesting skills gap that is hindering the efforts of companies to transform content marketing from a promising set of experiments into an agile, scalable, strategic function in the business.

As brands expand their use of content and rich media assets to deliver engaging experiences to their customers, they are using a whole new lexicon and set of skills. Teams responsible for content planning, production, and measurement must be able to work together, speak the same language, and be focused on a common set of tasks even when geographically dispersed.

Brands create content marketing teams from different sources — in-house, agencies, and freelancers. This structure creates the potential for a modern-day Tower of Babel – people try to communicate with one another, but each speaks a different language and they differ on what content marketing is.

Making the picture even more complicated is the evolving role of the modern marketer, which is clearly in a state of flux:

  • 64% of marketers expect their role to change in the next 12 months, according to the Digital Roadblock report from Adobe.
  • 40% of those same marketers went on to say they want to reinvent their role as a marketer – but only 14% feel that they know how.

The content marketing skills gap will continue to widen unless companies take steps now to enhance the skill sets of their teams to keep pace with the evolution of content strategy and marketing. There are only two ways to accomplish this:

  • Train teams to have common and relevant skills.
  • Hire people with the necessary experience and background in content marketing (which, as we’ve seen, is getting harder and harder).

Both solutions have implications for practitioners and the companies that hire them. Companies that focus on developing the skills of their teams recognize the impact a well-educated content marketing team can have on the brand. Practitioners who take responsibility for their own development will advance their careers and gain the knowledge to secure both funding and senior-level support for their content marketing initiatives.

As content marketing grows, it must demonstrate ROI and contribute to the strategic direction of the organization – just like any other operational function. To help companies and practitioners continue their education and take a more strategic, operational approach to content strategy and marketing, we have published a new white paper that:

  • Explores eight key marketing challenges facing organizations today
  • Explains how they may impact your business
  • Describes what CMI is doing to help you address them.

Click here to download this new white paper: New Skills for a New Era of Marketing.

Ready to learn more about professional training and education for content marketers? Read this New Skills for a New Era of Marketing white paper and join us at 2 p.m. EDT Tuesday, April 21, for a webinar on the trends in content marketing contributing to the growing skills gap and to learn more about CMI’s growing online training program. Register today.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

Author: Robert Rose

Robert Rose is the Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of The Content Advisory - the education and advisory group of The Content Marketing Institute. As a strategist, Robert has worked with more than 500 companies including global brands such as Capital One, Dell, Ernst & Young, Hewlett Packard, and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Robert is the author of three books. His latest, Killing Marketing, with co-author Joe Pulizzi has just been released. His last book, Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing, was called a “treatise, and a call to arms for marketers to lead business innovation in the 21st century.” You can hear Robert on his weekly podcast with co-host Joe Pulizzi, "This Old Marketing”. Robert is also an early-stage investor and advisor to a number of technology startups, serving on the advisory boards for a number of companies, such as Akoonu, DivvyHQ and Tint. Follow him on Twitter @Robert_Rose.

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  • Shai Geoola

    Robert, fantastic white paper. Thank you for sharing! Cheers

    • Robert Rose

      Glad it resonated Shai…. Thanks for reading!!

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  • HeySeamster

    @robert_rose:disqus I am interested to know your take about using smarter software to solve some of the challenges discussed in your paper. How are people solving the challenges now, do you know?

    • Robert Rose

      Hi there…. I don’t think software is the ultimate answer… I think software helps scale the ultimate answer, or provides for efficiencies (as any tool does). In other words, a software tool helps us do more of a task, or do a task more efficiently (or both). But ultimately these are a set of “human skills” as new positions are created on our teams. And, I believe that whether we are training teams, or planning for our own career developments getting “good at it” will be the key to success.

      • HeySeamster

        @Chuck Frey:disqus I 100% agree with you and @Robert Rose:disqus. At the end of the day someone has to drive the “car” if you will. The challenge we face is building technology that gets out of the way to allow for better workflows, collaboration and ultimately better content creation.

        Very happy I found this article. Hope to be at next year’s conference.

  • Chuck Frey

    HeySeamster, as we learned at CMI’s Intelligent Content Conference 2 weeks ago, much of this data already exists, but is currently trapped in separate marketing technology applications. We can expect to see vendors connect the dots in the next several years. Ideally, this will provide marketers with a more complete dashboard view of what’s happening and what they need to do to improve the results of their content marketing initiatives.

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  • @GlobalWordsmith

    There’s a need for a change in mindset and business culture. As Henry Ford said “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”