Lee Odden

A Prerequisite for Content Marketing Success – Book Review: Managing Content Marketing

Managing Content Marketing

Managing Content Marketing by Robert Rose & Joe Pulizzi

There are certain books that I find myself recommending to folks on our team and to people I meet at conferences over and over again. These are books I purchase multiple copies of (I give them away and they also seem to disappear).

One book in particular that fits this situation is Managing Content Marketing: The Real-World Guide for Creating Passionate Subscribers to Your Brand by Robert Rose and Joe Pulizzi.

Sure, Robert and Joe are two of the smartest and nicest people I know, but this book really does deserve to be required reading for any organization investing in content to grow their business.

Here’s why:

Simply getting good at creating more content isn’t a strategy. It’s not scalable in a qualitative way nor is it particularly accountable to your customers or your brand. Creating content without building better connections with customers, growing community and inspiring more “subscribers” to your brand is like filling a bucket of sand with a hole in the bottom.

It’s meaningful (not mechanical), scalable and continuously optimized content that wins hearts, minds and wallets on the search and social web.

Without a customer-centric content marketing strategy and plan for organizational structure, responsibilities, process and measurement – investing in content marketing is pure speculation. Managing Content Marketing provides the framework for developing a strategy and the processes needed to be successful at growing community and revenue.

What you can expect to get from this book:

  • Build a business case for content marketing  – Before you build a business case for content marketing, build a case for innovation in your organization. Get answers to: What’s the need for content marketing and how big is it? What’s the business model for content and what is your differentiating value? What are the risks? ROI is an objective once you put the business case in action, not the business case itself.
  • Develop a content marketing strategy – Putting your business case in action means defining brand objectives, customer segments mapped to the buying journey and the content plan that pulls it all together.
  • Create a consistent, engaging and customer centric story  – As I like to say, Facts Tell, Stories Sell, and it’s essential for effective content marketing to tell stories that matter to your specific customer segments in a way that is meaningful for reaching brand objectives.
  • Match the right marketing channels with your message and audience  – Determining the right channels depends on 7 key considerations: situational analysis, channel objectives, the plan for how you’ll be telling your story, metrics, personas, content management process and editorial calendar.
  • Develop an internal and external content marketing workflow  –  Process, tools, logistics, operational considerations and a model that pulls it all together are essential for scalable, meaningful content marketing.
  • Measure and report the results of your content marketing investment  – Measuring the “what” is as important as the “why” with content marketing. A solid framework for measurement will help identify the right measurement approach for your situation. By using an Analytics Pyramid with your content marketing efforts, you’ll be able to provide an array of metrics and insight for your organization, whether it’s awareness, brand engagement, growth in revenue or all of the above.

Managing Content Marketing is under 200 pages making it an easy reference tool that is sure to get dog eared. In addition to the practical and instructional advice, there are case studies and examples to be found throughout the book – a testament to Robert and Joe “walking the talk” about storytelling in content marketing.

Other books in this category that complement MCM really well include: Content Rules by Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman, Content Marketing by Rebecca Lieb, Youtility by Jay Baer, The New Rules of Marketing and PR (4th Edition) by David Meerman Scott and of course, Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media and Content Marketing.

Soon Joe will be releasing yet another book, Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break through the Clutter, & Win More Customers by Marketing Less, so be sure to get it pre-ordered.

Once you consume this and related books, I highly recommend that you check out the Content Marketing World conference coming up in September. Make no mistake: whether you’re working overall digital, interactive, social media, PR, or search marketing – content makes the marketing world go ’round.

Content Marketing World is the largest and most significant event focused specifically on content marketing – chock full of advice from major brand practitioners including Coca-Cola, Hershey, Cisco, Intel, SAP, Kelly Services and many others. I will be there with at least 3 of my team soaking up unique knowledge, best practices and first class networking.  In fact, TopRank is hosting the entire social media and socia/search track with great speakers ranging from Copyblogger’s Brian Clark to content marketer of the year in 2012. Joe Chernov of Kinvey. I hope to see you there as well.

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. Avatar Sheetal Sharma says

    Yet another insightful post Lee! Thanks a lot for sharing this, i really agree with your point simply being good at creating cntent is not enough, unless your conent can incraese your customers, it is meaningless to invest in a strategy.

  2. Lee…I’m truly honored. What a wonderful review. Having Managing Content Marketing next to Optimize is priceless. See you soon my friend!