Top 3 learnings from the MD of the CMA

June 11th, 2019

Back in 2015 and Claudia Winkleman was hosting, I was sitting at the Roundhouse, practising my losing face as the Best Use of Data & Insight Award was announced … the next thing I know I was walking up on the stage, fist pumping the air (embarrassing I know) as I had just won! Needless to say, I was absolutely delighted and after 2/3 days of recovering from the legendary CMA Award hangover, I was feeling somewhat enthused about my job, my team, my brand and the agencies that I was working with.

After winning said award, I started looking for ways in which I could improve on the work and strategy whilst aligning the marketing strategy to the wider business. I was looking to create and improve and what I noted was quite simply the challenges still come at you… understanding a changing audience, how to attract and retain them whilst retaining brand integrity was and remains bloody difficult.

The challenge with b2b marketing is that whilst you think it should be easier because the audience is smaller, the intensity and knowledge of your subject matter (your brand) needs to be greater; if you can’t explain what you are doing, why you are doing it and why people should trust you then you will be up against it. For me, the best learning was that b2b marketing, done well, requires a cohesive approach with everyone working together, owning their channels and delivering to a well-crafted plan that puts the audience first. You must answer their needs before trying to sell your own!

My top three learnings

1.  If you haven’t already orchestrated an agency Summit then I urge you to do so, bring all your players together so that they and everyone else understands their roles; a clearly defined measurement plan and reporting structure helps the hierarchy of the decision making process and will support your performance.

2.  Openness: How can I brief what it is that we need to achieve if I didn’t clearly understand the numbers or the opportunity? Stats, measurement and bringing in other internal teams to make sure that all lines of communication could be measured or tracked is integral to content being placed at the heart of the business.

3. Face2Face: When you can, ask questions of industry experts. As a natural born extravert, I don’t find it daunting to put my hand up and ask a question at the end of an event but I am aware that many people do struggle but don’t forget facilitators and social platforms also provide a decent home for the DM messages facility to be used! The world of Content Marketing is constantly evolving, my personal belief is that it’s not a solo activity, so go old school and integrate  F2F (Face2Face) into your strategy, I highly recommend it.

Catherine Maskell, MD, The Content Marketing Association

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