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Conversations with Robert Rose, a Content Marketing visionary and a storyteller

As chief trouble maker at Big Blue Moose and a storyteller, Robert Rose is an expert in content marketing strategy for digital media and social media channels. Robert has helped large companies such as AT&T, Fairchild Semiconductor, KPMG, Dwight Yoakam, Nickelodeon, and NBC and Nissan tell their story.



AE:> Thank you for joining me today. We would love to get some insight from you and hear your opinions on Learning Gamification, Content Marketing and Social Media.

RR:> Thank you for having me. I’m glad to do it.

AE:> I enjoyed attending Content Marketing World a few weeks ago.  I especially enjoyed the lunch where you coordinated the Technology Cage Match between several different vendors where they had to work to convince and explain to Charlie Sheen what they did. That was classic!

RR:> Yeah, thanks for that. It was fun to do. We really learned a lot this year. Next year, we will probably change the process a bit and if people want to participate in the Technology Cage Match, they will have to go through some level of vetting.


AE:> This cage match was like a game. “Are you a gamer?” and if you are, “What type of games do you like to play?”

RR:> I am definitely a gamer. I grew up being a much bigger gamer than I, sadly, have time for these days. But, I still do make a bit of time for it. I would say that these days, I split what little gaming time I have between Madden, I’m an Xbox guy, so been playing Madden since about 2002.

AE:> That is my game choice, too.

RR:> That is my one vice. I also play a little Call Of Duty. I look at some of the other games, like Call Of Duty and other games like it, as escapes, almost like novels. I don’t really do any of the online game play or battles or anything like that.  I just tend to look at games like Call Of Duty as a novel where I would spend about 20 hours on them and then I’m done, but Madden I get sucked into.

Then, the other one I like to do. I’m a huge classic video game fan. So when, for instance, I’m on an airplane and I have my iPad or LapTop and I’m trying to kill time its games like Galaga or Space Invaders. You know how now they have these suites of games you can get on your iPad? I have all of them.


AE:> How have you seen the corporate world adopt and use Game mechanics to change behavior i.e. Gamification?

RR:> I see a lot of it coming up through community building. So, as brands are starting to build more community oriented sites, whether its customer service or some sort of content marketing related community, they’re trying to put these Gamification cycles to incentivise people to participate.

I think Badgeville, for example, is a really interesting model for a lot of content marketing programs. However, where I notice Gamification most often is internally. I’m seeing a lot more internal Gamification than I am seeing in external situation, i.e. customer driven Gamification. For example, getting internal people to work more together on collaborative exercises than using it for external, customer facing projects.

If I had to sum it up in a headline, it would be: People/businesses are just now really starting to explore this stuff and they don’t really have a good handle on it yet.


AE:> How do you use Social Media personally, especially Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn?

RR:> Those are the three that I use heavily. I don’t use Pinterest. The only other one I would add, which is now part of LinkedIn, is SlideShare. I’m an avid user of SlideShare.

Facebook is my conversational platform. Facebook is where you learn about me as Robert Rose. That’s where I’ll put really cool stuff that I love, like great music or a really cool website that I found that has nothing to do with Marketing. It’s where I post a picture of my lunch or where I am on vacation. I used to be much more strict about who I let into my Facebook, but now I’m much more open about that. There are many professional contacts there now.

Twitter for me is “busting through the subway”. Twitter for me is “hey, this is interesting”, “hey look at this”. It’s very much about me saying “look how smart I am”…”this is fun”. Follow me because you’ll get interesting content.

And then LinkedIn is all about developing my professional network. LinkedIn for me is about connections professionally, so actually I have very few personal friends on LinkedIn. Almost all of my connections on LinkedIn are professional in nature. I’m a pretty heavy LinkedIn user and I use it quite a bit for networking. Connecting with people to get together and connecting with people I meet at conferences.


AE:> What kind of messaging strategy and frequency do you see as best practice for each social channel for B2B?

RR:> Right, so I’ll kind of answer that in a couple of different ways. First, when I look at the different social channels, there is a messaging strategy there. But I don’t necessarily want the brand thinking about it from a messaging strategy standpoint, if that makes sense. It’s more of a conversation platform than anything else, especially since we are talking more about the engagement that occurs on these sites and not the advertising portion.

I tend to agree with Jay Baer when he talks about Facebook being much more effective for the lower aspects of the funnel. In other words, as a customer service channel not as a sales channel. From a Facebook perspective, it strikes me that the engagement with customers and mostly creating loyalty and brand advocacy is what I see most often being successful. I don’t want to say it’s never good for lead generation because someone will point me to 14 different things that show how Facebook was used to generate leads, but I would say as a best practice, and I will throw in a note here. It’s my motto for clients, which is to start at best practices, not end at best practices.  So, it starts at best practices, ends with testing and see if it’s valid for your particular situation.

Twitter can be used for both lead generation and customer service, because it’s so easy to set up distinct channels for all the different areas of interest that you handle.


AE:> Yes! That is our experience too. How do you learn?

RR:> Two ways. I read a lot. I read as much as I possibly can to get opinions from other experts that I feel really know what they are talking about. Then, I keep that in my head and I make lots of notes. A lot of my books are dog eared and highlighted with key points brought out and all of that kind of stuff.

And then, really, I’m an experiential guy. I learn so much by actually just sitting and talking with people about what’s really going on, instead of the theoretical what’s going on. Basically, I listen. I try to really understand what is actually going on with their business. I try to make sure I am able to teach it. If I can teach it to someone else, then I have learned that particular skill. I think if you can go into something and break it and then fix it, that is the true test of whether or not you have learned that new skill.

AE:> That’s exactly why we have PAKRA’s offering. People learn by reading, observing, comprehend, experience and practice and then teach/coach someone.


AE:> Last question: what is your favorite thing about Content Marketing World?

RR:> The thing that I enjoy the most about the conference is Joe Pulizzi's focus on having fun. Too often at these business conferences, the fun has been sucked out of it. I’ve found that if you don’t go into a business conference with some sort of enthusiasm, you don’t learn anything. I actually think you learn more if you have fun. We should be in business to have fun. We should be in life to have fun. That’s the thing I like about it most.


AE:> I truly appreciate you taking the time out of your schedule to chat with me today.  Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

RR:> Happy to do it. Absolutely a pleasure.


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