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 follow him on Twitter @Robert_Rose.

By robert-rose published July 1, 2022

Look Through These 4 Windows To Right Your Content Marketing Ship

“This ship is just so hard to turn.”

That phrase might sound familiar. I often hear it from clients, usually regarding some suggested change to existing processes. People lament the difficulty of doing something new because it requires changing or stopping something old.

Institutional momentum resists stopping (or changing). That’s true even when the answer to the question “Why not just stop doing the old thing?” is “I don’t know.”

Sometimes, you don’t know that you know.Continue Reading

By robert-rose published June 24, 2022

Is Purpose-Led Marketing a Growth Killer? [Rose-Colored Glasses]

Are brands sacrificing company growth by trying too hard to do good in the world?

Marc Pritchard, chief brand officer at Procter & Gamble (P&G), raised that question at the recent VivaTech conference.

An article in the Drum last week reported some of Marc’s comments, including this: “Some companies are over-leveraging purpose marketing at the expense of brand growth.”

As evidence, the article points to an open letter from a Unilever investor who said the company had become “obsessed with publicly displaying sustainability credentials at the expense of focusing on the fundamentals of the business.”

But Marc’s full remarks contain more nuance (the entire 20-minute talk is worth a watch). He made clear that P&G sees growth (meaning business growth) and good (meaning doing good things in the world) as a “virtuous circle.” They balance each other.

I agree.Continue Reading

By robert-rose published June 17, 2022

What Most Companies Get Wrong About Content Strategy (And How To Fix It) [Rose-Colored Glasses]

Author David Foster Wallace addressed the 2005 graduating class at Kenyon College with a speech that would become one of his most-read works.

In it, he told this parable:

There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, “Morning, boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, “What the hell is water?”

The point of the story, he explained, is that “the most obvious, important realities are often the ones that are hardest to see and talk about.”Continue Reading

By robert-rose published June 10, 2022

Why You Should Press Pause on Your Content Strategy [Rose-Colored Glasses]

June is the perfect time to reflect on your content and marketing strategy. What’s working? What isn’t? What needs to change going into the next season? What should we double down on?

But before you do. Take a deep breath. Pause.

Reflecting on anything in 2022 feels particularly challenging. COVID-19? Everybody’s got it. Global conflict? Almost as bad as can be. The economy? Slowing. Inflation? Rising. Ugly politics and unpopular decisions? Inevitable.Continue Reading

By robert-rose published June 3, 2022

Why ‘Know Your Why’ Isn’t Such Great Content Marketing Advice [Rose-Colored Glasses]

So many articles tout the advice to “know your why” that the phrase is now a marketing cliché. And, yup, this article will talk about that adage.

But there’s a twist. I think that advice steers content marketers wrong.

The idea of finding the “why” behind what you do caught on almost a dozen years ago due to Simon Sinek’s book (and accompanying Ted Talk) Start With Why.

From a marketing and brand lens, Sinek’s idea was simple: He claimed, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” Therefore, he suggested, brands should start their positioning with their why.Continue Reading

By robert-rose published May 27, 2022

Do You Really Need To Measure Your Content’s Impact on Brand Value? [Rose-Colored Glasses]

Once upon a time, I had a marketing boss who would ask me about our efforts at brand building: What were the results? What value did they add to the business?

My answer was always the same: “good things.”

In our 2022 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends research, we find 80% of marketers say “creating brand awareness” is the goal they achieved using content marketing. Interestingly, “building credibility and trust” is number two with 75%, “educating audiences” follows at 70%, and “building loyalty with existing clients/customers” is 60%.Continue Reading

By robert-rose published May 20, 2022

Are You Overselling the Power of Data? [Rose-Colored Glasses]

My old boss, the CEO of a former employer, was one of the best salespeople I’ve ever known.

He could work a room, listening and knowing just the right thing to say to keep interest piqued and drive value in the conversation. Just as importantly, he knew exactly (and I mean exactly) when to end the meeting and walk out the door. It’s just like show business, “leave them wanting more.”Continue Reading

By robert-rose published May 13, 2022

3 Reasons To Make Personalization More Personal [Rose-Colored Glasses]

Should you try to personalize your content? Is it even possible?

Much of the content advice you’ll read says yes (while acknowledging how hard it is to do).

But a recent article in Marketing Week proclaimed personalization unachievable.

The authors cite two reasons to give up on personalization. The first is that real personalization is impossible because it assumes you have perfect data on every customer. The second “fatal flaw” (as they call it) is that personalization doesn’t work even if you have perfect data on everyone.Continue Reading

By robert-rose published May 12, 2022

The Empowered Business Buyer Is a Myth [New Demand Generation Research]

One of my favorite scenes in a movie is from Men In Black. Jay, played by Will Smith, is a new “man in black” and has just dealt with his first aliens. He asks his boss Kay, played by Tommy Lee Jones, why they don’t just tell the world that aliens exist. Kay says humans simply couldn’t handle it. Then, he adds this:

Fifteen hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was flat, and 15 minutes ago, you knew that humans were alone on this planet. Imagine what you’ll ‘know’ tomorrow.

He perfectly encapsulates that even though we humans can intellectually comprehend something new, it’s often difficult for us to take it in and make rational changes.
Continue Reading

By robert-rose published May 6, 2022

To Date or Not To Date? That’s the Wrong Content Question [Rose-Colored Glasses]

Wanna start a fight among content marketers? Ask four content marketers whether blog posts should include the date of publication.

You’ll probably get five or more opinions. Yes, you read that right – at least one of the people you ask will likely have at least two opinions.

There are good arguments on both sides. I see the point made by those who say that you can’t correctly cite any content that isn’t dated. And I understand the argument that says including the date will eventually make your content seem old, even if it’s “evergreen.”Continue Reading

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