By Robert Rose published November 15, 2019

‘Do Less and Obsess’ & Other Observations From Ann Handley [The Weekly Wrap]

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And that’s a wrap of the week ending Nov. 15, 2019

This week I’m thinking about whether we can be taught to learn by learning to teach. I’m digging into the news that Xerox is building a storytelling team. I talk with the one and only Ann Handley about how to just say no to more content. And I point you to the full results of our latest research into B2B content marketing plans and practices.

Listen to the Weekly Wrap

Our theme this week is “docendo discimus” – by teaching, we learn. Let’s wrap it up.

  • One deep thought (2:30): Hire for fit, train for skill. How often have you heard that advice as the way to build a high-performing team? The first part of that maxim is widely embraced. Unfortunately, the second part – the training – is often overlooked. And that’s the most important part (anyone can hire for fit). When we don’t train our hires, we are destined to fail. I dig into my belief that those who can’t teach can’t change (and what this has to do with content marketing).
When we don’t train our hires, we are destined to fail, says @Robert_Rose via @cmicontent. #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet

  • A fresh take on the news (10:30): PRWeek reports that Xerox has built a storytelling team. The tech company’s senior vice president, and chief communications and brand officer, Anne Marie Squeo, who is a former reporter at The Wall Street Journal, chose people with a journalism background for the team, including a former producer for ABC News, according to the article.

It’s a little early to see whether Xerox can successfully train these talented journalists to thrive in a corporate culture. But I love to see organizations like Xerox create teams to focus on stories rather than yet more marketing content.

.@Xerox is focusing on stories rather than more marketing #content, says @Robert_Rose via @cmicontent. #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet
  • This week’s person making a difference in content (13:46): This week, I’m chatting with someone who needs no introduction to this audience. Just in case you don’t know, Ann Handley is The Wall Street Journal best-selling author of Everybody Writes and Content Rules. Ann speaks worldwide about how businesses can escape marketing mediocrity to ignite tangible results. IBM named her one of the seven people shaping modern marketing. She is the chief content officer of MarketingProfs, a LinkedIn Influencer, a keynote speaker, a mom, a dog person, and a writer.

Ann talks with me about slow marketing – the idea that we don’t need more content, we need to “do less and obsess” – and other observations from the B2B Content Marketing 2020: Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends research we conduct with MarketingProfs.

We don’t need more #content, we need to “do less and obsess”, says @annhandley via @robert_rose. #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet

Listen in, then learn more about (and from) Ann:

  • One content marketing idea you can use (30:03): This week, I’d love for you to look at the post in which our fearless leader, Stephanie Stahl, digs into the results of our annual B2B research. Stephanie’s article, 2020 B2B Content Marketing: What the Successful Do [New Research] includes a ton of detail that will help you plan for the coming year and learn what distinguishes the top performers in the space.

What strikes me this year is that content marketers are so focused at the top of the funnel. Few focus on the mid funnel or loyalty. Yet, in many cases, it’s easier to show ROI there.

Focusing too much on top of funnel leaves marketers missing easier ROI metrics, says @Robert_Rose via @cmicontent. #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet

Here’s a look at what the content marketers who feel most successful do – and what those who feel less successful don’t do.

Love for this week’s sponsor: ContentTECH Summit

Content, Technology, & Strategy for Enterprise Marketers

Join me this spring at ContentTECH Summit 2020, where we’re lining up in-depth workshops, keynote talks, and practical presentations to help you become a more effective, more strategic content marketer. You’ll get insights to help you provide a richer experience for your customers and build a more profitable, stronger business.

I hope to see you and your team April 20 to 22 in San Diego. Check out the agenda and register today.

The wrap-up

November marks the 104th anniversary of Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity. But they told me there’d be no math in content – I’ll add and subtract, but graphing is where I draw the line. Next week, I’ll offer one thought from the right angle, a news item that I’m positive will matter, and one tip that will convince you that not all content marketing problems are hard … just sum.

And deliver it in a little less time than it takes a millennial to say … “OK boomer.”

If you like this weekly play on words, we’d sure love for you to review it and share it. Hashtag us up on Twitter: #WeeklyWrap.

It’s your story. Tell it well.

To listen to past Weekly Wrap shows, go to the main Weekly Wrap page.  

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

Author: Robert Rose

Robert is the founder and chief strategy officer of The Content Advisory, the education and consulting group for The Content Marketing Institute. Robert has worked with more than 500 companies, including 15 of the Fortune 100. He’s provided content marketing and strategy advice for global brands such as Capital One, NASA, Dell, McCormick Spices, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Robert’s third book – Killing Marketing, with co-author Joe Pulizzi has been called the “book that rewrites the rules of marketing.” His second book – Experiences: The Seventh Era of Marketing is a top seller and has been called a “treatise, and a call to arms for marketers to lead business innovation in the 21st century.” Robert’s first book, Managing Content Marketing, spent two weeks as a top 10 marketing book on Amazon.com and is generally considered to be the “owners manual” of the content marketing process. You can catch up with Robert on his popular podcast - The Weekly Wrap. Follow him on Twitter @Robert_Rose.

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