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Why You Should Have Opinions and Embrace Creativity [The Weekly Wrap]

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And that’s a wrap of the week ending March 6, 2020

This week I’m wondering whether we’re spiraling into silence – and what we can do about it. I talk about whether Salesforce’s acquisition of The CMO Club is the first of many. Jason Miller joins me to talk about how creativity may be the only real edge we have over machines. And I share an article that explores the power behind purpose-driven brands.

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Our theme this week is opinions (when we want yours, we’ll remove the duct tape). Let’s wrap it up.

One deep thought: Break the spiral of silence (2:50)

Every content creator with an opinion has one thing in common: Fear. I have it. Everyone who offers an opinion has had it at one time or another.

Every #content creator with an opinion has one thing in common. Fear. @Robert_Rose via @cmicontent #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet

The first fear is commitment. You’ve written an opinionated article, social post, or email that’s about to go out to thousands, and you hover over the publish button. You pause. You feel fear. So, you go back and review it for the hundredth time.

And then, somehow, you overcome the fear and you hit publish. You feel great. For a moment. But your cycle of fear isn’t over.

I explain what I call the “three fears of expression,” which too often stop us from putting out any opinion at all. Worse, over time these fears result in what researchers call a “spiral of silence” that keeps us from expressing anything that could be perceived as controversial.

But that’s exactly what we as content practitioners are tasked to do these days. We have to differentiate. We have to develop our unique point of view on the world. We have to take a stand on issues. Listen in to hear some suggestions for tackling these competing impulses.

A fresh take on Salesforce buying The CMO Club (11:30)

A fascinating acquisition happened this week: Enterprise software company Salesforce bought The CMO Club.

In a post announcing the acquisition, Salesforce CMO Stephanie Buscemi called The CMO Club “the world’s most innovative and engaged member-based community of CMOs and progressive marketing leaders.”

According to The CMO Club’s website, the group is 650-plus members strong and represents both B2B and B2C brands with more than $33 billion in collective annual marketing budgets.

That Salesforce is the company making this kind of acquisition is not surprising – it has indicated a strong desire to improve its content marketing and to build experiential, content-driven platforms.

I talk about whether this is a tipping point that will spur its competitors to take the acquisition of content- and media-focused communities seriously – and what this means for brands who want to follow Salesforce’s lead.

This week’s persons making a difference in content: Jason Miller (15:32)

I’ve been a fan of Jason Miller for a long time. He’s been around the business forever. And, as you’ll soon hear, he’s starting a new adventure. Jason recently worked as head of brand for Microsoft Europe. Before joining Microsoft, he spent more than five years leading innovative content marketing programs at LinkedIn (and was a 2018 Content Marketer of the Year finalist). He’s also an accomplished photographer.

Jason and I had a wonderful chat about creativity, creative collaboration with machines, and London’s vibrant music scene. Here’s a peek at one of the opinions Jason shared.

Any sort of edge you think you might have in the general knowledge space or even specific vertical knowledge, that’s all being surpassed by machines right now. I would say the biggest opportunity we have to sharpen one cognitive skill is to focus on creativity.

Biggest opportunity to sharpen cognitive skills? Creativity, says @JasonMillerCA via @cmicontent. #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet

Listen in to our conversation, then learn more about Jason’s work:

One content marketing idea you can use (32:07)

The one post on CMI that I’d love you to take another look at is 3 Purpose-Marketing Lessons From Innovative Brands by our own Kim Moutsos. Published in 2018, it’s even more relevant today. One of the brands featured in the article is Patagonia, which is never afraid of putting out opinions that support its purpose.

But my favorite lesson in the article is the section called “Reporting on the difference you’ve made together.” It shows how even when you have a minority opinion, you can build a constituency by showing the difference you make. Then you might just have a shot at differentiation and at creating something that can change the world.

If your customers’ use of your product has made an impact, calculate and share how much it has meant to the cause, says @Kmoutsos via @cmicontent. #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet

Love for our sponsor: Kapost

So let me tell you a story … Once upon a time, customers wanted content. So, marketing produced it.

As new ways to reach customers emerged, marketers kept creating more and more content. They also started growing their teams and adding technology to help drive engagement.

But in all the excitement, we forgot why we started making content in the first place: for our customers. We knew the messages we worked so hard to build were getting lost in the chaos, but we didn’t know another way.

Finally our customer said, “Enough! You’re confusing me!”

With that, Kapost was born. Kapost unites revenue teams to speak in one voice across the entire customer journey.

Learn more at

The wrap-up

Tune in next week for one thought you can fish with – because it’s up for de bate. I’ll point out one news story you should watch to keep up with the times. And I’ll share one content marketing tip that will help you remember that double negatives are a no-no. And it’ll all be delivered in a little less time than it takes for another Democratic presidential candidate to drop out of the race.

If you have ideas for what you’d like to hear more of on our weekly play on words, let us know in the comments. And if you love the show, we’d sure love for you to review it or share it. Hashtag us up on Twitter: #WeeklyWrap.

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute