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 catch up with Robert on his popular podcast - The Weekly Wrap. Follow him on Twitter @Robert_Rose.

By robert-rose published April 3, 2018

An Alternative Approach to Developing Content Marketing Personas


Audiences are not just buyers.

Let me explain.

As we’ve outlined, one of the key elements of the approach of content marketing is that it cannot simply be a replacement for our direct marketing efforts. If we are ever to truly succeed with a content marketing strategy, we must provide for the capability to drive multiple lines of value for the business. Audiences enable this capability. Thus, the content platforms we create have one distinct goal: They must build an ever-growing, addressable, trusted audience.

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By robert-rose published February 23, 2018

The Business Story Argument: A Working Framework to Pressure Test Your Story



It’s got a bit of a buzz these days doesn’t it?

It seems every technology provider, agency, and consultant promises to help you tell a better story. But what does “telling a better story” even mean?

To tell a better story, do marketers need to be edgier and differentiate themselves to an audience numb to everything except the completely outrageous? Maybe. But that ultimately seems like a zero-sum game. How many more over-the-top content ideas do you produce before you jump the proverbial shark? Is BuzzFeed, with all its cat-video and which-Game-of-Thrones-character-are-you-quiz “trending buzz,” a huge success? Or, is it failing to differentiate?

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By robert-rose published January 12, 2018

How Content Marketing Can Save Your Digital Marketing Strategy


In a television series, this would be the beginning of the episode where we bring you up to speed on early character development moments you may have missed.

If you’ve tuned into the Content Marketing Institute for any length of time, you are no doubt familiar with the importance we place on the idea of developing a documented, strategic plan. Each year in our research, we find that a cohesive, documented strategy is one thing that separates successful vs. unsuccessful content marketers.

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By robert-rose published November 29, 2017

Looking for Content Strategy Buy-In? Don’t Rely on the Same Old Arguments


There have been more posts than I can count about how to make a compelling case for a content marketing strategy. I’ve written some of them and read any number of them on this site and others. If you search on Google for “business case for content marketing strategy” (yes, in quotes), you’ll get more than 10 million results.

Examining the business case for strategic content marketing brings up value-focused terms such as “optimized brand engagement,” “better leads,” “higher shopping cart value,” “lower churn,” or even “direct revenue.” In other words, in prioritizing marketing activities, we make the case that content marketing has the potential for more value.

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By robert-rose published November 3, 2017

Audience Strategist: The New, Critical Role on Your Content Team


Ready for a new job? No, I don’t mean that. Unless of course I do – but then that’s a different conversation for different beverages. I mean are you ready for a new role in addition to the one you have now?

Our content marketing research this year illustrates that one of the key differentiators of those who are succeeding with content as a strategic function of their marketing is the focus on building audiences. Some 90% of those who consider their content marketing “successful” cite building an audience as their main focus. This is a notable jump from the previous year’s 60%.

What these businesses are discovering is that looking at content only as a campaign or as a replacement for other marketing assets is a flawed approach. When content is only seen as a means of feeding direct marketing campaigns, there is only one directly attributable value – a replacement for the advertisement, brochure, or other creative marketing asset. And, guess what? Content often is more expensive than those other options. It’s harder. And, it takes longer. So, it’s frustrating.

The successful businesses have discovered that content marketing must provide more than one type of value to be worth the investment. It must provide integrated value across multiple areas in the business.

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By robert-rose published August 18, 2017

The Audience Valuation Engine: A New Model for Calculating the Value Per Subscriber


I am struck by the notion that we have spent the last few years talking about how content marketing, as an approach, focuses on one thing: building a loyal, subscribed audience that we can monetize over time.

Many of us at CMI have written about how audiences are an asset, and that their value can be the true return on investment (ROI) that we seek.

If audiences are the asset – how should we value them?

I have spent the last two years trying to answer this question and develop a reusable and foundational model for our beloved approach. I will share the details of this new model and our audience valuation engine at Content Marketing World. But, I’d like to share the high level of this framework with you now.

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By robert-rose published August 2, 2017

The Democratization of Distrust Is Our Biggest Opportunity

democratization-distrust-opportunityDoesn’t it seem like attention is getting a lot of, well, attention?

Every day you see new strategies to increase the attention we receive from our audiences and buyers. You have “attention marketing,” a term describing a business model built around the hyper growth of social media. There is the “attention economy,” which elevates the ability to gather attention as “one of the most important currencies of the 21st century.” And, of course, we’ve talked about attention incessantly at CMI to build a business case for content marketing. Make no mistake; attention as a concept has our attention.Continue Reading

By robert-rose published July 20, 2017

The Age of the Wisdom Worker Is (Still) Just Ahead

age-of-wisdom-worker-aheadAlmost 60 years ago, Peter Drucker coined the term “knowledge workers,” saying that a new generation of professionals and their productivity would become “the most valuable assets of a 21st-century institution, whether business or non-business.” Unlike the previous century’s most valuable assets – production equipment – this century’s assets would be human, he said. Institutions would value knowledge workers not for their ability to run equipment but for their ability to analyze information and apply their expertise.

Twelve years ago, in his book A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future, Daniel Pink discussed the evolution of the age of the knowledge worker. He said tomorrow’s professionals would need to become adept at storytelling, a skill that requires “high concept” aptitudes. They would need “the capacity to detect patterns and opportunities, to create artistic and emotional beauty, to craft a satisfying narrative, and to combine seemingly unrelated ideas into something new … to stretch beyond the quotidian in pursuit of purpose and meaning.”Continue Reading

By robert-rose published October 27, 2016

The 2017 Content Marketing Framework: 5 Building Blocks for Profitable, Scalable Operations


At Content Marketing World this year, I met the CMO of a mid-sized B2B company. During our discussion about the event (and how great it was), he said, “Robert, you know the thing that I’m missing is how we’re ever going to draw a line from content marketing to top-line revenue. If I can’t do that,” he said, “then I’m not sure we actually should do content marketing.”

My response was that it’s absolutely possible to draw a line to revenue. However, if your only goal is to increase top-line revenue more efficiently with content marketing (i.e., a cheaper investment) than through traditional advertising, you’re missing out on the greater benefits content marketing can offer.Continue Reading

By robert-rose published March 6, 2016

Clarifying the Noise: The Content Marketing Spectrum [Exclusive Video]


I can’t help but think about this lyric these days:

“As I walked on
Through troubled times
My spirit gets so downhearted sometimes
So where are the strong
And who are the trusted?
And where is the harmony?
Sweet harmony.

’Cause each time I feel it slippin’g away, just makes me wanna cry.
What’s so funny ’bout peace love and understanding? Ohhhh
What’s so funny ’bout peace love and understanding?”

– Nick Lowe’s (What’s So Funny A’Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding made famous by singer Elvis Costello Continue Reading