Ep. 49 | Building Your Audience as a Marketing Strategy

In this Rethink Marketing episode, Act-On CMO Michelle Huff chats with Robert Rose about his new book Killing Marketing and why he thinks building an audience should be the cornerstone of your marketing strategy.

Robert is the Chief Strategy Adviser for the Content Marketing Institute, consulting more than 500 companies around the world, including Microsoft, Dell, Hewlett Packard, UPS and more. He recently co-authored Killing Marketing with his friend and colleague Joe Pulizzi. The two also host the popular This Old Marketing podcast that is published each Monday.

In their conversation, Michelle and Robert review what is content marketing, discuss the new book Killing Marketing, and what it means to building an audience so that marketing becomes a revenue center for a company.

Killing Marketing begins with one big question. Is how we’ve been doing marketing for decades getting in the way of how we should market today and in the future? Robert and Joe believe so. They contend that marketing can be more than just getting marketing qualified leads, and supporting product or service messaging. They believe marketing is best positioned to build an audience for a brand. And with an engaged audience, marketing can become a revenue center for a company.

“When I was growing up in marketing, we were taught the four Ps: product, place, price and promotion. It was drilled into my head. And those are still valid and still as valid as they were when they first came out,” Robert said. “The idea however is that when we’re creating content for content marketing purposes, we’re creating content that’s valuable independent of the product or service that we’re describing. So as marketers we were classically trained to describe the value of the product or service we were putting into the marketing plays.”

“And so we would write promotional copy, we would write ad copy, and reasons to believe, and value propositions, and features, and benefits. And we did that, and we know how to do that, and we’re very skilled at it. That is a skill that is still valuable today as we look at traditional marketing and advertising practices,” Robert said. “The muscle that we haven’t gotten to exercise very often in business is this idea of creating value with content, actually telling a story that is valuable, and engaging, entertaining, informative and educational, independent of the product that it actually supports. And telling a story, and delivering education, and delivering value through content is really the — it has been the purview of the artist, the journalist, the educator, the poet.

“And those skills, which many marketers have because they grew up creating wonderful writing, or video, or artwork, or whatever they do, but they haven’t gotten to exercise that muscle very often in the business because they’re really spent figuring out the features and benefits. And that new skill is one that really changes the makeup of the marketing department, and it changes the makeup of what we do as marketers, and what we get to do as marketers. It’s really a core component of our new skill set.

Enjoy the conversation, and we hope you can get one or two takeaways that you can bring to your business.