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Content Marketing World Impresses Once Again

Content Marketing World (CMW) 2017 brought thousands of marketers from around the world to Cleveland once again for a packed schedule. CMW offered sessions given by executives from Fortune 500 companies and leading content marketing companies who provided the latest in best practices, trends and advancements in digital marketing.

This year’s theme was A World of Stories. The presenters structured their sessions to tell stories of real life experiences, which resonated well with audiences.

Many of the stories centered on large companies, which was insightful, but I heard from a few attendees that it would be good if the show could offer stories from smaller companies that would better reflect their situations.

The session highlights I found most noteworthy were:

  • What Exactly Does a Truly Global Editorial Calendar Look Like, with Stan Miller from Rockwell Automation. Stan not only provided a view of his monthly editorial calendar, he
  • also provided the attendees with a view of the global workflow that he and his team follow and the challenges and solutions they have found along the way to create a mature content program.
  • Implementing a Global Influencer Program at a Large B2B Enterprise, with Amisha Gandhi from SAP. Amisha showed her path to creating a successful influencer program at SAP and how her taking the risk to do so has had a strong ROI for the SAP bottom line. She explained her thought process behind decisions, a few of the hurdles she faced and the road to ultimately succeeding so much that a new position was created for her to lead an ongoing influencer program at her company. I would not be surprised to see a book come from such an interesting journey she took.
  • Be the Exception: How Brilliant Marketers Find and Follow What Makes Their Stories Different in a World Full of Average Content, with Jay Acunzo from Unthinkable. Jay provided one of the day one keynotes. He was given this honor because he was voted the best session presenter last year at the show. His keynote proved he was quite worthy of the honor. His keynote set the stage for the rest of the show and its initial energy. Jay provided a few case studies that were quite interesting and inspiring, such as how a small New York state coffee company owner sought advice from multiple experts to save his local coffee business. Each expert gave the same recommendation to change the coffee bean he was roasting, but upon considering his actual customers’ needs, he chose to go with his gut and changed his business focus, while staying with the bean he had been using. In a short time, he built a thriving e-commerce business. He made a case that following traditional best practices and expert advice is not always the best route to take. Going against the traditional ideas, you may find new avenues for success.

I met a lot of great people at the show and look forward to returning to Cleveland for the next CMW to learn the latest developments, trends and stories from the content marketing industry.