Two years ago, when looking to move back into corporate life after several years as an entrepreneur, one thing was very clear – my passion for content marketing was not an opportunity in Asia Pacific. It wasn’t on any business radars then and when I spoke about it, it was either unknown or perceived as a “nice to have.” It’s no longer the same.
Today, if you do a job search on LinkedIn – using the words content marketing – more than 160 opportunities pop up. A search for “content” finds 300+ roles. The world has changed and Asia is picking up speed.
In my previous blog “The Content Marketing Coup D’etat”, I wrote about how rapidly it’s changing – in fact, it felt like everything literally happened overnight. And when you look at the available work, I think we can agree we’ve moved to a tipping point in Asia. The problem with tipping points, however, is confusion, and the noise around content marketing has definitely hit a crescendo, but that’s always the case when something is “new.”
What is content marketing? Quite simply, it’s about flipping traditional marketing on its head. We no longer focus on what we want to tell our customers (‘isn’t our product great’), and instead share a rich resource of information and knowledge (not just our own) with a single goal of helping them be successful. By doing this, we’re delighting our customers and building their loyalty to our brand, which means they buy from us.
Moving onto emotional intelligence. This is something else that has changed in job descriptions, with the addition of Emotional Intelligence (or EQ) in the ‘skills required’ section. EQ is absolutely fundamental to many roles, but to finally see it being acknowledged as a required skill is definitely something that makes my heart sing. Maybe we’ll see some humanness coming back into business?
In regards to content marketing specifically, EQ is absolutely fundamental. Pure IQ does not cut it – although having the smarts continues to be important. I believe the people who will shine in this field are those who have an intuitive feel for what information and resources resonate with the “customer” – be it employees, partners, customers, or constituents. And this counts as much for B2B as it does for B2C.
It really doesn’t matter who the audience is. What does matter is having the deep insight into what will make the audience feel and act. That requires strong EQ.
People who can put themselves in the shoes of the “customer” and provide a valuable resource that delivers knowledge focused on making their customer’s personal and professional life better, will be the winners here. But you’ve got to have high EQ to understand how to feed that need. You’ve also got to understand that it’s not about what your company has to offer, but about delivering a whole ecosystem of thought leadership that maps to what is relevant to your audience, which ultimately should map back to your business.
Brand new professions are coming to life in this digital economy, and content marketing strategist, trainer, creator, etc… is finally getting its day in the sun. I just want to encourage those hiring for these roles seek people with extremely high IQs AND EQs to ensure content marketing flourishes in this region.
Then again, perhaps EQ is overrated as Adam Grant, Influencer, Wharton professor and author of ‘GIVE AND TAKE’ suggests in this post? But you know, I’d take a person with high EQ AND IQ over just IQ any day – in my line of work at least.
What do you think?