There’s no shortage of demand for content marketing. You balance countless demands every day at work. As an industry, content marketing has seen a surge in demand. And, of course, we’ve all led or supported some type of demand gen campaign.
Navigating competing demands can be a real challenge. That’s why we made “demand” the topic of Managing Editor LIVE’s 2022 Fall Summit, where we explored all the facets of content marketing demand.
We gathered a panel of top content marketers for a free-wheeling panel discussion about what it means to be in demand. Check out some of the highlights from our conversation with Bennett Sung, Clare Morin, Julie Kuepers and Misty Albrecht.
Taking a Chance on a Good Idea
Working in high-compliance industries complicates content marketing because content is subject to internal compliance reviews. And the compliance team is beholden to its own very specific set of demands.
Despite working in the highly regulated insurance industry, Unum content marketing manager Clare Morin feels that she has more freedom to be creative than ever before. “I have never felt more free and experimental and innovative than I currently do in this 175-year-old insurance company that’s fast becoming kind of a tech innovator,” she says.
Clare attributes this to the company’s robust compliance and legal teams. They put the guardrails in place and double-check all of the content team’s work, which gives her more freedom to be experimental.
Misty Albrecht, vice president and director of corporate communications at b1BANK, approaches creativity from a place of caution in the highly regulated financial sector. “I feel like you have to know what’s in the box before you can work outside the box,” Misty said, “and know what’s required versus what’s recommended.” Knowing your limitations is an important first step to creating innovative, engaging content.
Over the years, Bennett Sung has handled a different set of demands serving as a fractional CMO for several HR tech startups. He says that, in the startup world, there’s lots of competing demands because early-stage companies have so many different marketing tracks they have to take.
Building a personal brand for the founders helps the company connect with investors, but at the same time, startup marketing teams are also building out the company’s brand. All of that, Bennett said, requires content marketers to step back and “figure out and navigate what risks we want to take.”
SEO marketing strategist Julie Kuepers remarked that balancing competing demands comes down to priorities. “Based on what our organizational goals are,” she said, “which one do I hop on first, and what is a prioritization of the rest of the tasks or projects?” With a firm grasp on what’s important, you can experiment with new ways to drive interest while navigating complex demands.
When Demand Goes Awry
When it comes to demand, though, you can have too much of a good thing, Bennett said. That’s something he experienced as head of marketing for a recruiting automation software company. He recalled a time when his marketing team’s demand gen campaign was so successful that it generated more interest from analysts and potential customers than the business was prepared to handle.
“It took almost a year and a half to get to that point of being too much in demand,” Bennett said. “The question then becomes, ‘Are we organizationally ready?’” The rest of the company wasn’t prepared for the influx of interest, it turned out, leading to over-hiring and eventual layoffs. This is a common problem for startups that want to create a big splash but aren’t equipped to deal with the consequences.
Investing in the brand, Bennett said, is more important than investing in a single campaign.
Heed Your Own Demands
One of the greatest demands we experience as content marketers is demands on our time, which, if we aren’t careful, can lead to overwork and burnout. It’s OK to not be able to do everything at once. And every once in a while, you need to listen to the demands of your body and mental and emotional well-being.
Clare leans on meditation to help her deal with stress, which gives her a chance to check the stories she tells herself and helps her remain more grounded.
Having good boundaries is important, too. You have to be able to departmentalize work and home life. “This is my work life, and this is where my home life is,” Misty said. “What are those goals that I have for each? … It’s knowing what balls can drop and bounce back up — and what can’t.”
It’s helpful to have perspective and remember that, even though it can seem like it sometimes, not everything is life or death. “Put it into context, put it into perspective,” Julie said, “and go have some coffee.”