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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