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 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 April 22, 2022

The One Thing Content Marketers Love and Hate More Than Writing [Rose-Colored Glasses]

Writing is a little like working out for me ­– I don’t love it, but I love having written.

I feel the same about technology. I don’t love enterprise content technology, but I enjoy having “technologied.” (Is that a thing?)

I know a lot of content marketers feel the same way ­­– about writing and content tech. The ambivalence content marketers feel toward technology arises because so many of us work with a tech stack that wasn’t designed for content’s specific needs.

As I (too often) find myself telling clients, “That marketing tool can do that. But it’s not built to do that.”Continue Reading

By robert-rose published April 15, 2022

For Better Content Marketing, Listen First, Create Last [Rose-Colored Glasses]

I write and talk a lot about creating content. But learning how to listen is just as (if not more) important.

Think about that last Zoom meeting you had. Your coworker was talking about the state of the business, the results from last quarter, or the proposed new project, and you had this internal dialogue going on as you nodded at the camera.

“Wow, that’s a lot of data she just laid out. Do I agree with it? Which statements should I respond to? Should I ask a question now? How about now? I’m ready with an answer. What should I say to sound smart? I wonder what time the dry cleaner closes.”

We hear, but we’re not listening.

Hearing is a simple physiological act. But listening involves taking in the meaning of the words and the implied communication in the silences in between.Continue Reading

By robert-rose published April 8, 2022

How To Manage Leaders Out of Your Content Approval Process [Rose-Colored Glasses]

You’ve heard the term “managing up.” But do you know what it means?

Some articles, like this one from The Wall Street Journal, say managing up is “all about making your boss’s job easier.” That sounds nice, but really? Is that what’s going on here?

Others, like this one from Harvard Business Review, define managing up as “being the most effective employee you can be, creating value for your boss and your company.”

Have any of these people ever tried to manage up? So many of these definitions start with the assumption that the boss is always right. You just need to find out what makes them tick to earn their trust – then all will be right in the world.Continue Reading

By robert-rose published April 1, 2022

How Strategic Content Planning Helps You Say Yes – and No [Rose-Colored Glasses]

What happened to strategic planning – once a core element of marketing operations?

You may be saying, “Strategic planning is still a core piece of what we do.”

Is it, though? Today’s “strategic planning” typically involves semi-annual or quarterly events consisting of “strategy making.” Managers and leaders get together (often starting with bagels and coffee) to listen to SWOT analyses, participate in brainstorming sessions, and listen to summaries of new ideas for the strategy.Continue Reading

By robert-rose published March 25, 2022

Which Matters More: Content Skills or Subject Matter Expertise? [Rose-Colored Glasses]

Whenever I hear someone use the term SME (pronounced “smee”) for subject matter expert, I imagine a Dr. Seuss-like character and accompanying verse:

On the 25th day of March, in the jungle of sales,
In the pall of the calls, the in of the bound,
He yelled, “Data! Information!” and other leadership sounds.
Then the SME stopped and turned slightly away.
He was out. Simply out. No more thoughts came his way.

Yes, the story of a thought leader who runs out of thoughts. I should write that.

But content teams typically face a slightly different problem. They struggle to decide who should express those thoughts.

Specifically, they wonder: “Should we bring in SMEs and teach them to write? Or should we hire writers and teach them the industry?”Continue Reading

By robert-rose published March 18, 2022

How To Stop Burying Your Content Signal In So Much Noise [Rose-Colored Glasses]

The world is very noisy right now.

Sure, a lot’s going on politically, epidemiologically, and societally. But that’s not exactly (or not only) what I mean.

In 2022, organizations put even more importance on creating digital content and content-driven experiences. Consider the recent conversation I had with a new media company in the gaming space. They want to figure out how to ramp up their article production (using an artificial intelligence solution) from 25 to more than 500 per week, or 30,000 posts every year.

You read those numbers correctly: 30,000 posts per year.

No wonder creating a content marketing strategy feels like shouting into a hurricane these days.Continue Reading

By robert-rose published March 16, 2022

How Content Marketing Fits Into Web 3.0 (You Might Be Surprised)

You can’t throw a rock these days and not hit a media site capitalizing on some primer on defining Web 3.0 (or Web3), NFTs, metaverses, and what it all means to marketers.Continue Reading

By robert-rose published March 11, 2022

Building a Content Strategy? Watch Out for That Second Step [Rose-Colored Glasses]

Which part of a tightrope walk takes the most courage?

Most people believe it’s the first step out on the rope. But the tightrope walker who narrates one of the short stories in the collection Vigilantes of Love says that’s not the case:

“The hardest was the step after the first. That’s where you gained or lost your balance. That’s where it becomes a walk or a fall. After the second step, there is no going back.”

The same holds when developing an innovative content strategy – the second step is the hardest.Continue Reading

By robert-rose published March 4, 2022

How To Create Blockbuster B2B Stories That Sell [Rose-Colored Glasses]

How many times have you heard advice on becoming a great storyteller?

And how many times have you wished that advice translated more easily to content marketing?

You’re not alone. I often get questions about how to transform marketing content into great stories.

Earlier this week, I talked with a team of content marketers who feel passionate about creating engaging content marketing for the medical device company where they work.

But they told me that they struggle to create compelling customer stories that include the details their product marketing colleagues request. The product team routinely sends four-slide decks filled with product features and technical specifications they want to see in the content.Continue Reading

By robert-rose published February 25, 2022

Your Content Analytics Are Meaningless Unless You Have This [Rose-Colored Glasses]

If we can measure it, it must be important. So, is our job to just determine how accurately we can get that number?

Not at all. If any measurement is to mean anything, the first task is to agree on what equals success. It’s one of the unspoken secrets in all of marketing measurement. Agreement on measurement is much more important than the accuracy of the measurement itself.Continue Reading