Map Around Your Rocks

The Rocks In The Way


Have you ever had to navigate around rocks blocking your way? Most content marketers do at some point. 

I recently worked with a senior director of marketing at a large software company that’s new to content marketing. He was trying to figure out the best way to roll out an entirely new (to them) way of generating more-engaged leads. 

He’d spent a few frustrating months socializing the proposed changes throughout his company. In every meeting with his stakeholders, a new rock appeared in his way. 

When he proposed a new flow of content to various external channels, the sales team said, “But what about this other problem?” 

When he proposed a business case for a content marketing platform to the head of brand marketing, she said she’s not sure senior leadership understands what content marketing is. 

When he talked to product marketing about optimizing their content, they said their content is already amazing. 

His confidence (and his presentation) started to suffer. He changed his presentation based on the feedback he’d gotten. But when he met with the same groups again, he got the same result. 

I looked at his presentation – and the challenge began to take shape. The arguments he made were all about filling a gap the teams didn’t believe they had.

The sales team didn’t feel the content flow was a problem. The head of brand marketing didn’t see the senior leadership’s lack of understanding of content marketing as a priority. And the product marketing team didn’t feel their content needed improvement. \\

His whole presentation screamed, “Don’t you get it? You have a problem I can fix!” 

Then we had a breakthrough.

My client realized he could see how his vision would benefit the stakeholders, but the stakeholders couldn’t. 

What did he do to change his approach? First, he created a list of all the objections he’d heard and all the additional ones he could imagine. Then he wrote down the positive future that he saw coming out of each one. 

In other words, he wrote down a vision for what would exist when all the rocks were gone. 

Using this map, he built new business cases. His content marketing presentations still encountered rocks, but he addressed each of those frustrations. His pitch became personal to the listeners. It enticed people. 

Want to win your case for a content program? 

Show your colleagues not only how it will help the business succeed, but also how it will help them succeed. The gifts they give back to you – enthusiasm for and commitment to change – will keep on giving.

It’s your story. Tell it well.


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