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The Truth in Content Marketing: What Is and What Ought to Be True [The Weekly Wrap]

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And that’s a wrap of the week ending Feb. 21, 2020

This week I’m exploring the difference between what is true and what ought to be true. I share a news article about the problem with advertising and data. I talk with the authors of a new book about the internal workings of content marketing. And I recommend an article that gives you three strategies for connecting with your audience (hint: start with mutual truths).

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The theme this week is a question: Can you handle the truth?

Let’s wrap it up.

One deep thought: The magic of what ought to be (3:15)

“I don’t want realism. I want magic! Yes, yes magic! I try to give that to people. I misinterpret things to them. I don’t tell the truth. I tell what ought to be truth.” Blanche DuBois’ avoidance of reality didn’t end well for her in Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire.

But in so many ways, Blanche’s magic is what we marketers often communicate to customers. And there’s nothing inherently wrong with that. We don’t lie but, in varying degrees, present a version of what ought to be true rather than what the unvarnished truth is. I explore the difference – and how to apply it to your brand stories.

Marketers don’t lie. They present a version of what ought to be true, says @Robert_Rose via @cmicontent. #WeeklyWrap Share on X

A fresh take on a less-is-more content strategy (11:05)

An item in Axios Media Trends caught my eye this week for its relevance to the theme of this episode. Marketers Own Up to Data, Journalism Crises recaps a talk from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) annual leadership meeting in which publishing executives “confessed that new privacy regulation and industry changes are forcing them to finally be on their best behavior after years of reckless spending .”

New privacy regs are forcing publishers to be on their best behavior, according to @Axios Media Trends via @cmicontent. #WeeklyWrap Share on X

Here’s one confession from that event – from Eargo CMO Shiv Singh: “I’ve literally steered hundreds of millions of dollars to these platforms. And at no point in that journey … did I ask about their data policies or did I ask about what is their relationship with media or politics or consumer privacy or any of that. So, my first response is that we all have a stake in this and I think at some level, we all have screwed up.”

This is the part of the movie when I’m sitting in the corner keeping my voice quiet then sheepishly getting up and saying, “Hi guys, I might have an idea …” (Listen to hear my take on a content marketing version of the speech from the end of When Harry Met Sally.)

You can read this article from TechCrunch that explains what the IAB thinks of cookies and what it’s doing to make sure tracking stays around.

There are positive days ahead for content marketers using audience data to serve up better experiences, it’s just changing.

This week’s persons making a difference in content: Toby Murdock and Zoe Randolph (16:09)

My guests this week are Kapost founder Toby Murdock, general manager of the Kapost platform at Upland Software; and Zoe Randolph, content architect at Kapost. They are the authors of the new book, Mastering One Voice: A Marketing Fable and Field Guide to Content Operations.

Toby’s got extensive experience helping companies of all sizes turn business ideas into marketing content and a strategy that resonates with customers throughout the buyer journey. He served as Kapost CEO from its founding through the 2019 acquisition by Upland Software.

Zoe oversees messaging, hosts webinars, and authors long- and short-form content as a content architect at Kapost.

We talked about the stories in (and behind) their book and much more.

Here’s a snippet from our chat with Zoe:

“One of the biggest mistakes we can make if we’re in the game of content is to think that everything begins and ends with the content team … One of the biggest first steps to take to get to scale is to help stakeholders see that ultimately content – and through content customer experience ­– is really everybody’s problem.”

Big mistake? Thinking everything begins and ends with the #content team, according to @Kapost’s Zoe Randolph via @cmicontent. #WeeklyWrap Share on X

Listen in to our conversation about content operations and navigating business silos, then get more of the story:

One content marketing idea you can use (29:30)

This week I highly recommend an article that speaks to the theme: 3 Strategies to Connect With Your Audience (Hint: Start With Mutual Truths). In it, Dennis Shiao recaps a great Content Marketing World session by Liz High, vice president of customer experience at Metia Group, that explains how to find the brand’s truth, the customer’s truth, and the truth.

3 sides in #contentmarketing – the brand’s, the customer’s, and the truth via Liz High @metia. @cmicontent #WeeklyWrap Share on X

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 when I’ll pull more wisdom that’s long in the, ahem, truth. I’ll dare you to explore one news item that I’ve fought truth and nail to bring to you. And we’ll pop up a content marketing tip that includes at least one kernel of truth. And it’ll all be delivered in a little less time than it takes to recline your airplane seat.

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