I am aware that much has been written about this topic in various parts of the world. So here I am sharing my thoughts based on my experience in running a boutique content & inbound marketing agency.
We spent our first year and a half building our consultancy practice, I was spending time in learning as much as I can and applying the knowledge for our clients around the “practice of content first marketing” and how it impacts their marketing in the digital age.
This led me to meet and collaborate with a talented group of journalists, editors, creative directors, video producers, published authors, media specialists, photographers, brand & communication experts, and technologists from all over the world. The experience so far has left me only richer.
We worked on a variety of projects, some of the interesting ones required us to build a brand newsroom for a sporting event, content partnerships with media companies including native advertising, a visual marketing campaign to launch a new product for a niche beverage brand, and recently launch an employee advocacy program for a B2B Technology company.
One thing became clear early.
New models and trends, powered by digital technology, like second screen, time shifting, lean forward vs. lean back media, the power to switch off or on at any time, the rise of social graph, information at the speed of light, limited or no attention span is turning the marketing & advertising industry on its head.
In order for a marketer to succeed in this changing world still dominated by disruption as compared to active people participation we needed new and different ways of thinking and the changing talent requirements to get it done. The “medium is the message” just got much more complex to say the least.
What does all this mean?
For starters, this has far reaching implication for any marketer, be it brands, governments, influencers & experts, or media owners to communicate effectively in this deluge of choices that people have today.
According to me, its about managing the democratization of information, the opportunity to deliver a message, limitless connectivity options, and the power to find answers like never before, yet provide value & context.
In this world of endless choices and avenues to get to them, i believe something will always be true about the human nature—
“We all want to meet, speak, and learn from someone or somebody who has wisdom, intelligence, knowledge, expertise, compassion, creativity, the focus and perseverance to convert an idea into reality.”
The icing on the cake would be if this someone or somebody are great storytellers.
This means that a marketer today is someone who has the ability to understand their own strengths & weaknesses, craft unique stories with a differentiated perspective, provide value in form of education & information, and has the ability to connect with people at the right place & time, through the most relevant medium. And repeat it all over again. Not an easy task by any stretch of imagination!
Enter the Unicorn Marketer — Part Artist. Part Scientist.
Pardot (a company acquired by Salesforce), a leading marketing technology and automation company, came up with the above graphic back in 2013 and still rings true today.
According to me, this avatar of a modern marketer is one half of the equation, which we refer to internally as the “inbound modern marketer”.
Rand Fishkin from Moz, has a version of the modern marketer that I really like as well, because it takes a deeper dive into the specialized skill set as you can see below.
The other half of the modern marketer is the content marketer, or as we like to call them “chief content marketer”.
This role of a content marketer by the talented team at Curata, a leading content curation platform, is much more in line with our thinking of a “chief content marketer”
Sure, there can be a significant overlap between the “inbound modern marketer” & “chief content marketer” and there always is. It’s about a balancing act between the core competencies that the person brings to the table and their willingness to expand into related areas of specialization.
In the real world, we have constantly struggled to identify the right talent for these two roles as they continue to blur given the demands of marketing today.
The person’s ability to successfully navigate between the right and left brain, their passion, interests, and willingness to explore new areas will ultimately determine what each one brings to the table. For themselves and us.
I would love the opportunity to hear from all of you to learn and expand my understanding and would be excited speaking with you — may be our next “chief content marketer”!