Marketing to marketers can be a difficult task. Now imagine you are directing content marketing efforts for marketers about content marketing. That is the responsibility of Cathy McPhillips, Marketing Director for the Content Marketing Institute. On this show, we learn how Cathy got into marketing and what it looks like to be part of the marketing team at CMI. We also discuss what goes into the marketing efforts for Chief Content Officer, the CMI print magazine and what we can look forward to this year at Content Marketing World.
For the threes, I ask Cathy what are three lessons she has learned while marketing the Chief Content Officer magazine. Here is her response:
- Customers like to hold a print copy so look beyond digital.
- Address all aspects of the target reader, not just the stuff that interest you.
- Promote everything you are doing on multiple channels.
I ended up going to Ohio University in Athens, Ohio and majored in Journalism with a specialization in Marketing. I had this professor named Cassandra Reese who was just phenomenal and she had come off of a couple decades working in Kraft as a Media Planner and said, "This is something that you'd be really good at." "There's analytics to use your math side and there's creativity to use your art side." I kind of followed in her footsteps. It took me to two agencies in Cleveland where I was doing Media Planning.
Way back then, our goal for media was how much tv can we be on in a given year? As the years have progressed, it's how much tv can we be off and how can we really reach our target audience one on one? I had 15 years of doing my own consulting and then I met Joe on Twitter and now I'm doing marketing for him.
I hired a Community Manager recently, Mo Waggoner, and he's been amazing. That's been nice to get that social size, having someone else help me with that. I was spending so much time running our community that picking ... to do all that keeping up with all the pieces of CMI. Now, I have some time to focus on that.
Right now, we're working on a big project where we're looking at Google Analytics to determine which of our hosts are converting the best, which not only helps us grow our business but also gives our readers what they want. It tells us which topics we should be promoting with some Ad dollars. Which topics we should continue because it's resonating well with our community and just watching our page to see what people are sharing, what people are talking about. We actually recently just did a four-page capabilities brochure that we sent out to some people that may not know about CMI. It kind of really helped our whole team look at it and say, "Oh, okay so we have a Content Marketing section, a Content Strategy Section, we have a new tool for entrepreneurs and then for business leaders." That's kind of helped us kind of fine-tune what we're doing on our end as well which has been really nice.
Marketing, Mo and I, we both work with the Editorial Team, the Sales Team, the Design Team and the marketing concept is all pieces parts of everything, which is fun.
When you were talking about how it feels and getting that in the mail, I have been with Joe Pulizzi a couple times when the box of magazines arrive at his desk. He opens it and he just stands there and holds it. It's like such a great feeling. I know that from my perspective, I'm a pretty typical Marketer, that we're on our computers, I'm on my computer sometimes 12 hours a day. Just to actually want to read something, I can't go on my Ipad or on my phone to read magazines. I love getting the hard copy and sitting down and shutting everything else down and reading that. There is something to be said for how you feel of having something.
To answer your question, my role is to make sure people are getting the information on the magazine, knowing how to subscribe, knowing that it's even out there and then getting it to them the way they want to receive it. If people are traveling, maybe electronic is what's best for them but if they do want to get it in their hands, then knowing there is a print option available.
Then, from an Editorial standpoint, my role in that is pretty small. There's a huge Editorial team that handles it but I can go to them and say, "Hey, on Twitter this week, people have really been talking about this topic and is this something that we'd ever think about covering?" Or working with Cover Influencers to go to Claire, who is our Editor and say, "Here is some people who I think might be really great contributors that you may not have seen because you've been really honed in on writing some articles for the next issue." Then, we have this Executive Forum event every Spring which brings together 50 plus leaders, CCO level and there about who get together and we listen to them and we say, "What do you want to hear and what's important to you and what are you struggling with?" We take a lot of those topics and we get them back to the magazine staff who can then address some of those issues.
What do you think the biggest impact has been for CCO on CMI and how do you measure success? If I'm looking at a print option, I can see that these measurements might take me over that hill that is the fear behind getting into something to print.
That's been great for us. For impact it's had on CMI from a marketing standpoint, from a business standpoint, it's really given us a lot of information on our readers because with audit statements and subscription forms, people are telling us all about themselves. They're much more willing to do something in that environment to receive a magazine than they would say for to download a white paper or to ... which is still great for us but with the magazine, people are just willing to share more. All that data has made it really beneficial for us to know what's right about, know how to segment things, know how to go to some of our vendors and partners and go, "Here's some information on our data base." We're not divulging names necessarily, but say, "Here's who's coming to CMI." "Here's why he's a valued COO." Data, data, data. It's just been really good for us since we have the magazine as that tool to tell us more about our audience.
One, I addressed this earlier but online magazines are really convenient many folks like holding a physical magazine. We really focus a lot on getting print in people's hand. While electronic may be a more efficient model for us, the print has been really successful. It's been more successful. Here's an analogy. Similar to dressing for the job you want to have, I remember back in the day, I was trying to get promoted, I wanted to move up so I dressed for that job.
We've kind of made the magazine we're writing for the folks who not only have the CCO title but are poised to step into that role. We're giving them some tools from an Editorial standpoint that will help elevate them. Additionally, the Editorial gets to address other sides of the CCO job title such as time management and workflow and not always about Content Marketing just so it's an all-encompassing magazine and something that applies to them in different areas of their role.
The third thing I've learned the most is I just continue to promote everything that we're doing in the magazine because I see our content every single day. I read it every single day and I get tired of it. Just because someone's getting our magazine means they've had time to read it yet. Magazines have much longer shelf life than a blog post. Cutting up the content within the magazine, quick taping an article from the magazine, and posting it as a blog post. Redirecting that traffic back to the website. Just reusing it and that is something that Joe has said over and over again is, "Don't just write one piece of content and be done with it." How can you use it? How can you put it into a podcast? How can you put it into his book? Many of the pieces from his book are things he's written over the years throughout the blogs, things he's said in some of his presentations and things just being able to reuse everything we've done in the magazine in other ways.