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Talking Content Marketing – With Robert Rose

Robert Rose interview. The ID Group


Talking Content Marketing welcomes with open arms to the stage, author, speaker and Chief Strategist Of The Content Marketing Institute, Robert Rose.

Robert help’s marketers become storytellers.  He works with companies (usually larger organizations) to help them operationalize the approach of content marketing via advising companies directly and in the workshops conducted through the Content Marketing Institute.

What Do You Stand For?

Well other than the obvious (my country’s national anthem and ladies before sitting down to dinner) I’d have to, professionally, say it’s that the stories that we tell are the only differentiator we have left. I’ve seen great products die in the midst of poor stories, and mediocre products thrive in the opposite. If we are ever to stand out in crowded markets, we must get good at telling stories.

Is creating content about us all learning to become journalists or more about being creative whether that is through writing, video, podcasts?

More of the latter, though it doesn’t exclude the former. Journalism certainly has an important piece within the approach of content marketing – and there’s much to be gained by the approach.  Journalism is but one way (however important in the strategy) of telling a story.

Ann Handley quoted in an interview that the ‘best content tells a true story well.’ Is this the crux to differentiate ourselves from the industry competition?

In short yes – and Ann has it right.  My only “enhancement” to that might be to say that it doesn’t always have to be factually true.  There are great examples of differentiating content marketing where the story isn’t factually true – but it’s real (meaning true to the brand).  For example, there’s a great example of Coca Cola’s “security camera” video – which told a wonderful story and was a great piece.  Was all the security footage “actual”?  It doesn’t matter – because it was real.  The emotion was real.  So, as a viewer I’m brought into the story regardless of whether or not it’s actually “true”.

Is content marketing a case of marketing being re-marketed ie. building our own audiences, more ways to have a conversation, new platforms, not wholly reliant on traditional media models, stories told over a host of channels?

Well it’s all of the above I suppose; because there are subtle differences to what you list there.  It is, ultimately, about the power of us aggregating our own audience and delivering value to it.  I think one of the biggest changes is that with content marketing it’s no longer about marketing *describing* the value of the product or service – it’s about marketing *becoming the value* that extends beyond the product or service.

Do marketers need to change from a campaign mindset to a 365 day delivery?

Yes. Yes and Yes, Yes, Yes!  This is one of the biggest changes that I end up helping marketing organizations make.  The transformation from the traditional, command and control, hierarchical, campaign-focused structure and into the 24/7/365 constantly changing approach is one of the biggest shifts in the operation of the way we go to market these days.

Are we becoming too distracted by social media where the old world still has it’s role but is being neglected ie. print, targeted DM, good old PR

Yes – well put.  What’s the great Paul Simon lyric: “every generation throws a hero up the pop charts”.  Social Media is the current media darling in the same way that the Website was, and email was, and direct mail was, and television and so on and so on….


I’m starting to see a shift here for sure – especially with the backlash against Facebook advertising – and the “noise” being generated.  But most of the time, organizations struggle with Social Media (and frankly digital more broadly) not because they are neglecting “old world” models – but because they are applying “old world models” on the new one. It’s not unlike when television entered, and basically the initial approach was to just “film” radio shows.

Is it better to be considered as an ‘expert’ an ‘authority’ or an ‘influencer’?

Oh goodness gracious, I’m not even sure those words have a lot of meaning anymore. I suppose my favourite of those three (and I the one I strive for) is “authority” – because of the “author” or “actor” (from the Latin) meaning the originator of an idea.


Massive thanks to Robert for his time. Why not get to know him a bit more and make sure you check out his weekly podcast with Joe Pulizzi (This Old Marketing). A podcast that stands on its own when it comes to delving into the world of content marketing.

Robert Rose On Twitter: click here

About Robert: click here

Robert on Content Marketing Institute:  click here

This Old Marketing Podcast: click here

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