For more on this topic check out our content marketing periodic table or download the Digital Content Strategy Best Practice Guide.

Making ‘boring’ businesses interesting

Valeria Maltoni:

“Your writing doesn’t have to be boring just because it’s for other businesses. Businesses have people who read stuff.”

David Ogilvy:

“The more informative your advertising, the more persuasive it will be.”

CS Lewis:

“If you simply try to tell the truth without caring twopence how often it has been told before, you will nine times out of ten become original without ever having noticed it.”

Tom Fishburne:

“The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing.”

Gerry Mcgovern:

“There is one mistake people make that pretty much ensures they will not be able to create killer web content… and it is this: writing for the ego, not the reader; writing from the organisation’s perspective, not the customer’s.”

Jay Baer:

“All companies would be better off if they stopped trying to be amazing, and just focused on being useful.”

Gustave Flaubert:

“Anything becomes interesting if you look at it long enough.”

Storytelling and creativity

Joe Chernov, Hubspot:

“Your top-of-the-funnel content must be intellectually divorced from your product but emotionally wed to it.”

Maya Angelou:

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”

Orson Scott Card:

“Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any.”

Albert Einstein 

“Creativity is intelligence having fun.”

Ann Handley:

“Make the customer the hero of your story.”

Seth Godin:

“Marketing is no long about the stuff that you make but the stories you tell.” 

Measurement and engagement

Albert Einstein:

“Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted.”

Lee Odden, TopRank Marketing:

“Content is the reason search began in the first place.”

Chris Baggott:

“Not viewing your email marketing as content is a mistake.”

Planning and strategy

Ross Simmonds:

“Content marketing is a long-term relationship. It’s not a one-night stand.”

Mark Twain:

“It usually takes me more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.”

Dan Ward:

“Brief unto others as you would have them brief unto you.”

William Faulkner:

“The work never matches the dream of perfection the artist has to start with.”

Ernest Hemingway:

“Prose is architecture, not interior decoration.”

Joe Pulizzi:

“Before you create any more ‘great content’, figure out how you are going to market it first.”

Mac Mcintosh:

“Rather than striving for perfection by getting ready to get started to get going, strive to get your marketing out to prospective customers, aiming for continuous improvement instead.”

Arjun Basu:

“Without strategy, content is just stuff, and the world has enough stuff.”

Rachel Lovinger, Razorfish:

“Content strategy is to copywriting as information architecture is to design.”

Kristina Halvorson & Melissa Rach

“You can redesign a homepage. You can buy a new CMS. But unless you treat your content with strategic consideration, you can’t fix your website. […] It’s a pain point everyone shares and content strategy offers relief.”

Sarah Cancilla:

“Apply content strategy to your content strategy. Frame each recommendation and each success within the context of the larger content strategy, even if the request was tactical in nature. And do it in a way that will appeal to your audience.”

The agonies of creation

CJ Cherryh:

“It is perfectly okay to write garbage – as long as you edit brilliantly.”

Andrea del Sarto:

“Less is more.”


“Well begun is half done.”

Ernest Hemingway:

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

Sidney Sheldon:

“A blank piece of paper is God’s way of telling us how hard it to be God.”

Douglas Adams:

“I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”

Stakeholders and signoff

Grant M Bright:

“The tallest oak in the forest was once just a little nut that held its ground.”

Catherine Toole:

“We meet plenty of desperate marketing professionals haunted by their inability to get the good stuff live as they fight the combined dark forces of legal compliance, jargon-spouting subject-matter experts, and senior managers who’ll ‘know what I want when I see it’.

Take heart: You have more power to change this than you think.”

And finally…

Will Harris:

“Holidays are, for marketers more than most, a chance to get away and reset the trammelled preconceptions and habits that denude our originality of thought and action. 

So be disciplined. Switch it off, get away from it all, and stop reading Marketing on your holiday…”