Why CMI is Breaking the Content Marketing World Rules in 2020

Why CMI is Breaking the Content Marketing Rules in 2020


The year 2020 has seen many marketing events canceled, postponed or gone virtual due to COVID-19. And Content Marketing World, the largest event for content marketers held in person each fall is going 100% virtual as well.

My guest on this episode of the Modern Marketing Engine is Cathy McPhillips, VP of Marketing at the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), the organizer of Content Marketing World, which is one of my favorite marketing events (I have never missed one since its inception), by the way.

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Cathy oversees all marketing efforts for CMI, their events, their Chief Content Officer magazine (now digital only), their research, CMI University and all other CMI properties and happenings. Her goal is to grow the CMI community and audience online and offline. Pre-CMI, Cathy has 20+ years of experience in marketing, including agency life, B2C, national restaurant and nonprofit marketing, and her own marketing consulting business. She’s currently also a board member for The Orange Effect Foundation.

Listen to my conversation with Cathy to learn about the exciting plans for this year’s Content Marketing World virtual event.

Discover why @CMIContent is breaking the rules of #ContentMarketing in 2020 in this episode of the @MMEnginepodcast with @bernieborges and @cmcphillips. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Content Marketing World 10th Anniversary

Content Marketing World is CMI’s flagship event and although many marketers like me were looking forward to attending the 10th anniversary event live and in person, we all understand the need for this year’s event to go virtual.

However, this won’t be your typical online event. Cathy explains how the CMI team didn’t design a virtual version of the annual in-person Content Marketing World, because mimicking the live event is not feasible. Instead they are focusing on the tracks that make sense for virtual delivery and the speakers who embrace virtual speaking.

This year’s theme is “Break the Rules.”

As marketers we all have documented content strategies, such as frameworks, templates and calendars that we are following — which are great of course. But, the CMI team asks, what if we step out of the comfort zone, be creative and break the rules to do something new?

If we want to differentiate ourselves and our organizations, we must break the rules. That’s what the speakers at Content Marketing World will be talking about, bringing some great case studies. In fact, I have the privilege of delivering a session on Account-Based Podcasting (ABP), a term I use for using podcast content for lead generation at target accounts.

So, what’s different about this year’s event?

Cathy says the CMI team wanted to create an epic experience for attendees but also avoid Zoom fatigue and the heavy load that comes from working from home and juggling a million things. So they reached out to their loyal community and asked them what they wanted for this virtual edition of Content Marketing World.

Additionally, the CMI team studied hundreds of virtual events to see what they liked and disliked, not only in marketing but also in other industries to avoid limiting their creative thinking.

Did you know that #CMWorld will be 100% virtual in 2020 and it’s going to be epic? Learn what the @CMIContent team has in store for this event in this episode of the @MMEnginepodcast with @bernieborges and @cmcphillips. Click To Tweet

Here’s a quick overview of what they came up with and what you can expect from the 10th Content Marketing World.

  • Community activities before the event and sneak peeks of some talks to warm up the attendees.
  • Extra sessions in November and December to follow up on what will be taught during the event in October.
  • Access to speakers to ask questions.
  • Online discussions within small groups before and after sessions.
  • Events spread across several days.
  • Workshops and forums available as video on demand.
  • Main conference over four days – October 13 to 16, 2020
  • Live keynotes.
  • Virtual happy hours and entertainment.

Cathy says they have also created a strategy for attendees and sponsors to connect virtually. Registrants will answer a few questions about their company and their needs, and then will be matched with exhibitors who match their interests in the “Solutions Hub.”

“I want attendees to know which sessions to attend and which sponsors to visit, craving time with sponsors,” Cathy says.

The goal of the Content Marketing World team is that attendees leave with the ability to create epic content experiences for their customers and stakeholders. Speaking from personal experience, CMW has achieved this goal for nine consecutive years. I’m confident they’ll do it again in 2020.

Don’t miss this episode to learn more about the most epic event for content marketers and why you must attend. Hope to see you there!

You can save $100 when you register with the code: BORGES100

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Featured on This Content Marketing World Episode

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:10]  About the Content Marketing Institute
  • [4:21]  Content Marketing World’s 10th Anniversary
  • [11:30] Why this is NOT the virtual version of CMW
  • [20:40] What CMI learned from studying other virtual events

Resources & People Mentioned

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