The Wind & The Sun, arguing over who is stronger, decide to settle their dispute based on which can compel a passing traveler to remove his coat. The harder the wind blows, the more the traveler clutches his jacket tightly. The sun, meanwhile, must simply shine gently until the warm traveler is compelled to remove his coat of his own accord. -Paraphrased from Aesop’s Fables
If you are a marketer breathlessly trying to convince your C-suite of the need for content marketing, you likely identify with the wind’s role in the fable above.
Developing recommendations that point aggressively to content being created by competitors – or urging your C-suite to not fall any further behind – may have the unintended effect of causing more traditionally minded executives to hold more tightly onto tactics to which they are accustomed.
But what if you reversed your argument – focusing not on how the competitors are sharing information – but on how the executives you are trying to convince are absorbing information?
According to a recent survey from SiriusDecisions, covered in this article by Tom Pisello of Content Marketing Institute, targeted digital content marketing is the ideal entry point into the lives of busy executives. It stands to reason that if your C-suite depends on you selling prospects sitting atop the same type of organizational hierarchy, the same type of tactics will likely provide the most benefit.
Of course, before you put all of your stock into the lessons shared by a fable, remember this: in real life, the wind helps carry the heat of the sun across the earth. What this means for you as a budding content marketer is that you will need a powerful force to carry your message home. And this force will be best represented by samples of the content you are proposing (i.e. sample 90 day content plans, sample blog posts, etc.)
When proposing something new to your C-suite, remember, sticking to traditional tactics will be a very customary response. Like the sun, you must compel someone past the feelings underlying this response. And like the wind – you must be bold enough to carry your message home. Sync your timing just right – and your company will be content marketing faster than you can read a fable.