Q&A with Robert Rose, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer at The Content Advisory

Robert Rose, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of The Content Advisory has worked with more than 500 companies, including 15 of the Fortune 100 and provided marketing advice and counsel for global brands such as Facebook, Capital One, Dell, Ernst & Young, Microsoft, Thomson Reuters, etc.

Robert is also an early-stage investor and advisor to a number of technology startups, apart from being a featured keynote speaker and workshop teacher at technology and marketing events around the world.

MEDIA 7: If we were talking a year from now celebrating what a great 12 months it’s been for you in this role, what would you have achieved?
ROBERT ROSE: 
We’re on a path to double the size of our business in the next 12 months. We’ve been quite blessed to work with some of the greatest brands on the planet, to help them sort out their content operations and strategy. So, a great year from us is continuing to work with more and more, and different, types of enterprises – while we increase our capacity to deliver the smartest content strategy and education.

M7: In what way is The Content Advisory transforming marketing practices and accelerating the strategic content marketing shift?
RR:
Given our experience, and the number of companies we’ve worked with over the last 7 years, we’ve got a unique perspective on what works in content marketing.  We’ve watched as Content Marketing has gone from this “nice-to-have” addition to demand generation and SEO, to a must-have, strategic function for adding overall value to the business. In other words, we’ve watched content marketing go from marketing tactic, to business strategy. The frameworks (which is really the output of our unique perspective) for setting a foundational operation model for content, along with how to create the teams, the governance and the measurement strategies are what set us apart for our clients’ success.


"Content Marketing has gone from this “nice-to-have” addition to demand generation and SEO, to a must-have, strategic function for adding overall value to the business."

M7: With more than 8 years of content marketing experience, what is the paradigm shift you see in content marketing practices today?
RR:
The biggest shift we see is how content is becoming a strategic business operation, in much the same way as accounting, legal, or R&D. “Content” used to be the thing that was everybody’s job, and nobody’s strategy. Today, because content is such a core output of any business, it has to be treated with the same strategic rigor as any other function in the business. As I’ve said before, we all perform levels of “accounting” in our business. We fill out expense sheets, turn in profit and loss reports, utilize budgets, etc… But we don’t do these things in just any way we like. We conform to a centralized approach to the function of accounting.  The same is true in content.  The companies that are succeeding with content have shifted their approach to the practice to make it a strategic function in the business.

M7: How does strategic consulting help businesses in building passionate, trustworthy audiences for their brands?
RR: 
Well it doesn’t to be honest. It’s very easy to get caught into the classic consulting trap of some kind of “magic button”. As we’re the first to say, we’re not here to tell your story – we’re just here to help you tell it a little better.  Our goal is to help marketing leaders understand the steps – the road map – to building these valuable audiences.  It will be up to them and their team to continually apply what we can instill to engage them, and keep them loyal over time.


"Great customer experiences, continually deliver value to consumers. At the heart of each of those experiences is content – it is what drives every experience."

M7: In what way does the strategic use of content create better customer experiences for any enterprise?
RR: 
The main value I would use is the word “trust���. Great customer experiences, continually deliver value to consumers. The first time I meet a customer I deliver a little bit of value. The second time, I deliver a little more value. The third time, a little more value.  Eventually, I’m delivering enough value through the experience that the customer wants to pay for what comes next and – if designed well – that next experience is the product/service I have in the market place. 
But at the heart of each of those experiences is content – it is what drives every experience. So, we must have a connected, central, and holistic manner of managing our communication within those experiences.  This is why a content strategy is so important.

M7: As a content strategy expert, what is the advice that you would like to give to present marketers for delivering effective content-driven experiences?
RR:
 Focus on the experience, not the asset.  No matter where you are on your journey, stop producing assets – and start producing a “center of gravity” of content.  You might call it a resource center, or a hub, or a blog, or a magazine, or an event, or whatever.  But stop producing random assets that are used only as bait for random marketing campaigns, and start producing content against an editorial theme that will connect together across a platform that builds an audience.  Now, that doesn’t mean that the assets that you create can’t be used to support random campaigns – but in order to produce multiple lines of value, the content must start working harder – and when you have a platform, the next piece you create will work harder for you because the previous one (that is connected in some way) exists.


"Focus on the experience, not the asset.  No matter where you are on your journey, stop producing assets – and start producing a “center of gravity” of content."

M7: When did you start working and what was it?
RR:
I started working in marketing in the mid 1990s in the television industry.  I worked for Showtime Networks in their marketing department.

ABOUT THE CONTENT ADVISORY

Content is everything the business creates in order to communicate. In today’s world, the way we communicate is the only thing that separates us from the next: The next click, the next competitor, the next answer. But mastering content is not simply a creative, business process, or technological challenge. It is both emotional and logical. It is a cultural transformation. It is a fundamental shift in the way we create, collaborate, and collect insight on every communication.

TCA – The Content Advisory is a consulting and training company; blending the art and science of intelligent content to help today’s modern business communication’s strategy.

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Key findings from a Q4 survey of over 170 B2B marketing, sales, revenue, growth, demand gen and campaign execution leaders include: 63% say marketing must own and optimize a company’s revenue-generation engine 64% say their lead gen and engagement strategy underperforms 78% of highly evolved marketers are satisfied with their accelerated pipeline, compared to only 15% of lesser evolved marketers “In today’s competitive data-driven environment, marketers should no longer be satisfied with paltry returns on their sizable lead-gen and ABM investments,” the report notes. “It’s time to turn the tables on inefficient, ineffective, and outdated practices for anticipating, adapting, and responding to customer needs and opportunities.” “Marketers must climb the evolutionary ladder and leave behind outmoded and dated practices,” notes CMO Council executive director, Donovan Neale-May. “Using AI-derived, intention-based buyer data and advanced sales intelligence are among the ways growth marketers bring more precision, predictability, and performance to B2B account marketing investments.” The CMO Council’s research revealed the top five skill sets contributing to improved ABM-driven business outcomes: Better segmentation and precision targeting of buyers and influencers On-demand customer business intelligence and personal buyer insights Tighter integration of demand gen, channel, direct sales, and support teams Greater utilization of tools and data sources for richer prospect profiling Proactive and timely pre-sales follow up and cultivation strategies The CMO Council has uncovered widening gaps in performance between highly evolved marketers and lesser evolved marketers. Gaps are occurring in four core capabilities: lead scoring, account-based marketing, accelerated pipeline, and intention-based marketing. This report tiers factors that make up a model for better identification, engagement and conversion. The model coincides with the CMO Council and WM America’s thought leadership initiative to advance lead revenue science practices through a certified Lead Evaluation and Assurance Process, or LEAP model. “Marketers will need to take a few LEAPs of faith in the coming months, because sticking to the status quo is just not practical or possible anymore. As data becomes more critical than ever before, CMOs need to extend their visions for innovation and forward-thinking strategies,” according to Lee Salem, WM America’s Vice President of Sales. Methodology The report is based on a survey of over 170 heads of B2B marketing, sales, revenue, growth, demand gen and campaign execution in Q4 2023. It also included content from in-depth interviews with executives from Netline, Autodesk, T-Mobile, NTT, ABM Consortium, TechTarget, IBM, B2B Marketing, Reachdesk, Momentum ITSMA, and Xometry. About the CMO Council The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council is dedicated to high-level knowledge exchange, thought leadership and personal relationship building among senior corporate marketing leaders and brand decision-makers across a wide-range of global industries. The CMO Council’s 16,000+ members control more than $1 trillion in aggregated annual marketing expenditures and run complex, distributed marketing and sales operations worldwide. In total, the CMO Council and its strategic interest communities include over 65,000 global marketing and sales executives in over 110 countries covering multiple industries, segments and markets. Regional chapters and advisory boards are active in the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa. The Council’s strategic interest groups include the Customer Experience Board, Digital Marketing Performance Center, Brand Inspiration Center, Marketing Supply Chain Institute, GeoBranding Center, and the Coalition to Leverage and Optimize Sales Effectiveness (CLOSE). To learn more, visit https://www.cmocouncil.org. About WM America WM America is a leading B2B marketing company specializing in targeted in-market demand generation. The intent database at WMA tracks the intent behavior of over 75 million business professionals globally, 24X7. The database is segmented into 3,300 categories. WMA keeps around-the-clock track of buying signals from each category in this database. Based on this extremely strong foundation of data points, the company delivers precisely targeted prospects for focused marketing. Accurate keyword search enables deriving of active content consumption and opt-in content downloads. 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The Content Advisory

The Content Advisory

Content is everything the business creates in order to communicate. In today’s world, the way we communicate is the only thing that separates us from the next: The next click, the next competitor, the next answer. TCA – The Content Advisory is a consulting and training company; blending the art and ...

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