In this series of articles we go backstage with a marketing rockstar, we sit at their feet while they share with us what made them rockstars, what excites them and what we might learn on our journey to marketing rockstardom.
Robert Rose is a certified rockstar. Not just because he’s a content marketing celebrity that gets us all groupie-eyed over here (and such a nice fella he’d never admit that), but chat to him for a bit and you’ll learn that as a musician, he’s had more than a brush with being the real thing.
Robert is the Chief Trouble Maker at The Content Advisory, the professional services arm of The Content Marketing Institute, guiding his clients to create innovative creative and technical content marketing strategies. An internet pioneer, and early evangelist of the craft of content marketing, Robert has a track record of helping brands and businesses develop successful Web and content marketing strategies is a keynote speaker and is the author or co-author of several leading books on the topic.
If you claim to do content marketing and don’t rock out to this dude’s tune, I call bullshit.
What would be top of your rider for your next marketing gig?
The #1 rider item for me is a “long term marketing investment vision.” Marketing strategies are evolving from the legacy, campaign-centric view of faster, iterative projects to a more 24-7 365 “always-on” mentality. Within that, marketers must start to optimise customer experiences (digital or otherwise) that are managed and evolve much more like products than they do projects. So, this means that even though we can measure them immediately, their overall contribution may not come until after they’ve been developed for some time. It simply takes time and patience to develop an optimised, and valuable content-driven experience. And, so, if I could wave my magic rockstar guitar and get any rider I wanted, I’d want to force some CEOs to have the patience for a long-term marketing investment.
What or who are your marketing influencers?
Oh there are many, and certainly the classics – Peter Drucker, Theodore Levitt, Philip Kotler are in my ‘supergroup’ of rockstars. But additionally, I’m inspired by thinkers such as Rita Gunther McGrath, Youngme Moon, Clayton Christensen, and Don Schultz.
If I was Spotify, what would I play for you first thing Monday morning to get you going?
Oh, well I’m a 70s and 80s kid – so I love a little David Bowie, Heroes – or Tears for Fears (anything from Songs From The Big Chair), and then for a pure rock out – it has to be Led Zeppelin.
The curtain pulls back, you step out on the stage of your new marketing gig – what do you open with?
That minimum viability and hustle can be overrated. We will take our time and do fewer, more interesting, and creative things instead of a million mediocre things. We will fail from time to time, but we will fail together as a team. And, perhaps most importantly, that our focus is to deliver value first to our customers, before we extract value from them.
The audience are dancing in the aisles, they love that track, what keeps the house jumping? What is your advice for sustained marketing success?
It’s the wonderful song of the ongoing delivery of value. In other words, if you can establish customer experiences that just keep giving and giving value, then your customers will not only buy your product, but they will share their experience, and they’ll always have you in their top consideration set. Your product or service may be what differentiates today – but the only thing that can evolve your competitive advantage and keep you moving from arena to arena, is the way you communicate value. It’s the only thing about your business that’s not able to be duplicated.
You are playing a huge stadium; how do you know the audience can hear your tune?
Well, as a marketer, I like revenue and cost of the revenue as the two main measurements. I want revenue to be going up, and the cost of the revenue to be in alignment (not minimised).
If there was a billboard chart for marketing trends, what would be your number 1?
On the B2B side, Account Based Marketing (ABM) is ‘top of the pops’ right now. This new technique is coming on strong, and really helping to align the reasons why many B2B organizations are turning more to content marketing, and other targeted messaging technologies.
On the B2C side, it’s all about video, paid social, and personalised messaging across channels.
So, overall, the biggest technology trend (that very few are writing about) is the impending merger (or integration) between ad tech stacks and martech stacks. Access to customer data in order to provide more targeted and relevant messaging is clearly what the kids are dancing to these days.
What’s the marketing song you are tired of hearing?
Programmatic Advertising. Basically, anything where the algorithm is taking over the presentation of valuable, content-driven, customer experiences and making our content creation process automated. So, whether it’s on the traditional banner ad side, or even the emergent native platform side, the whole idea of ‘programmatic’, I think is one for the oldies charts.
What’s got you rocking today?
Well, as you might expect, it’s the power of owned media – content. I think the emerging, integrated models of brands taking on owned media as an integrated business strategy is truly what keeps me rocking! I think you’re going to see more and more brands build, acquire and integrate owned media in order to have direct access to audiences.
If there was a marketing hall of fame, who would you induct?
You don’t have enough space. As a student of the practice, I have so many. In addition to all those that I mentioned above, I’d add in Seth Godin, Don Peppers, Martha Rogers, Al Ries, Jack Trout, Doc Searls, and David Ogilvy. And I could go on and on…
Any final words before you drop the mike?
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