Thursday, August 8, 2019

An Open Letter to Cleveland Marketing Professionals

Dear Cleveland Marketers,

I know many of you. I’m sure there are many I don’t. Either way, I hope you’re all having a successful 2019 so far. I’m writing to you to talk about a topic that is near and dear to my heart: Content Marketing World. Joe Pulizzi, founder of Content Marketing Institute, started this premier marketing conference in Cleveland in 2011. Now in its ninth year, the one thing that surprises me is how few Cleveland marketers I see there. Don’t get me wrong. There are many who are as passionate as I am, but nowhere near the number who should be taking advantage of this incredible resource in our hometown. Quite honestly, I don’t get it and I need to say something. If you’re going this year, or have gone and can’t make it this year even though you want to, no need for you to continue reading. You already get it. But for the rest of you…please read on.

Let me start by saying I’m not a Content Marketing Institute employee. I’m just a local marketer who believes in content marketing as the right marketing approach. I’m lucky enough to be friends with many CMI employees and a very active member of the #CMWorld community. But, that said, this letter comes from me. Not as a conduit for CMI or any other organization. Just me. A Cleveland marketer who appreciates what we have at our fingertips.

There are lots of marketing conferences. Lots of marketing organizations who create events. But how many are as respected as Content Marketing World? It’s so highly regarded that Cleveland is the International Content Marketing Capital of the World! Simply put, it’s special. I’ve talked to attendees from all over the world who tell me.

I want to make sure that Content Marketing World remains in Cleveland for years to come. That’s where you come in. I want to see as many Cleveland marketers there to show off what a strong marketing city we are. It’s great that attendees get to see the city and recognize it for hosting this event. They also need to see how strong of a local marketing community we have and how we support this event and each other.

I’m sure many of you who haven’t gone have reasons but allow me to address some of them:

Not Familiar with Content Marketing World

Unless you’re new to Cleveland, I find this one hard to believe. As I mentioned, this is its 9th year. You had to at least have heard a mention, seen a sign, stumbled across an ad, something! The city literally turns orange from August through the first week of September.

My Boss/Company Won’t Send Me (or is sending someone else)

I understand this one all too well. My company isn’t sending me this year either. I missed the first two years before the company I worked for at the time finally sent me. I’ve been hooked ever since. In fact, this is the 4th time my company isn’t sending me so I’ve paid my own way each of those times. I understand that not everyone can do that, but I find so much value every year that the investment is worth it.

If that’s not an option for you, do you need to better prove the value to your boss? Content Marketing Institute helps with that. They provide helpful hints to help justify the cost and benefits of attending, including a letter you can download and personalize.

Don’t forget to point out to your boss that they’ll save the cost of travel and hotel which can be significant. (Note: I stay in a hotel so that I can immerse myself in it and take advantage of all networking opportunities.)

If your company is sending someone else, show them the ridiculous amount of sessions and speakers. They could send more than one employee and cover a wider range of topics and needs you may have.
Also, try inviting your boss. I’m willing to bet their experience will make it easier to earmark the budget for future years!

For the bosses: This is a marketing resource you should be budgeting for and utilizing. I’d be happy to talk to you more about the value and benefits of the event and why you and your employees need to attend. Feel free to email me at

I’m Already Going to Another Marketing Conference

I understand this as well, but please consider it next year. I’ve been to other shows and, as I mentioned above, CMW is special. The accessibility to the speakers and other experts is incredible. The #CMWorld community is unlike any other in our warmth, fun and authentic friendliness. Every year is like a giant reunion and the more, the merrier!

The level of expertise of all the speakers is top-notch, and you don’t feel like they’re trying to sell you something (…ahem, HubSpot and Salesforce). The sessions are meant to help you learn how to solve problems and further your marketing knowledge (and career!).

My Company Doesn’t Do Content Marketing

First of all, why not? Have you tried and didn’t have success? There could be a number of reasons for that from the level of commitment from the company to lack of a documented content marketing strategy. Or, do you not think you need it for your product/service/industry? As people get continually inundated with ads and marketing messages, an effective content strategy can help you break through the clutter and drive more sales.

Whatever the case may be, Content Marketing World offers ~30 marketing tracks for all levels of marketing experience. I’m sure there are sessions that would benefit your company’s marketing strategy.

Cleveland Is the Content Marketing Capital of the World

There’s been such a buzz around Cleveland for the past several years. Content Marketing World has been one of the biggest drivers of that buzz for the last nine years. How many cities would love to host it? How many marketers would love to have 4000 of the biggest experts descend on their cities? We have it. It’s here. Every year. We need to make sure we keep it here. Be proud of Cleveland’s content marketing stature and come support it. Experience what you’ve missed. I guarantee you’ll find it exceeds your expectations.

That’s All Well and Good, But…

Ok, some of you still need convincing. The best I can do is tell you what I’ve gotten out of Content Marketing World over the years. Check out my recaps from years past:

Final Pitch

Ok, here’s the close because if you don’t get it by now, I’m not sure what else I can do. Well, maybe one thing…throw you a discount! You knew it was coming. Get $100 off your registration when you use code JEREMY100.

Content Marketing World is coming up fast! We’re less than a month away. Hurry up and register now. I want to see you there. And, I want to hear from you after the event. Tell me if I was right! Even if I wasn’t, I want to know where I steered you wrong. Thanks for reading and if you do go, email me at and let’s meet up in person.


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