The slick, sexy appeal of the 1960s’ Mad Men aside, there’s long been a snootiness amongst UK creatives around a lack of class in US advertising.

The bold, in yer face, MEGA SALE style of Bob’s Mattress Warehouse has, perhaps unfairly, created a perception that our friends across the Atlantic aren’t quite on a par with our own nuanced, cultural creativity.

But when it comes to content marketing this perception undoubtedly flips. Our US cousins, it would seem, are at least several strategic blocks ahead of us.

Newsroom policies are second nature. There’s a Chief Content Officer entrenched in most larger corporates. An entire industry dedicated to good content. Awards. Industry bodies. Razzle dazzle events with spangly headline speakers… (we’d like some tickets to Cleveland if anyone would like to sponsor us…)

So what are we Brits waiting for? It’s not that we don’t know what we should be doing. Or that we don’t have the capacity or resources to have a bloody good go.

Could it be confidence?

Confidence that in 2015 content marketing is b2b marketing? That it is possible to prove ROI to a nervous board? That the content ideas we have, actually have the legs to excite our audiences and run for some time..?

There are of course, some notable active participants in the UK – not least our own Advisory Board member Ian Rhodes, who is a regular contributor to US content marketing conferences and widely known over there.

So what does he think is stopping us?

“B2B Marketing in the US has made strides, we (in the UK) are still taking baby steps. We have the same technology and the same opportunities available to us. We’re just, as individuals, naturally more cautious. We’re pontificating and waiting to see the movement of our competitors instead of leading the race to connect with our audience. In every industry out there something has to give. Somebody has to take the lead.”

Shouldn’t we then, be a little more American? Channel our inner Bob with his mattresses? Trial new techniques; test new technologies; say something remarkable?

If 15 years in the PR industry taught me anything, it’s that it’s better to stand up and say something colourful and controversial, than in essence, say nothing at all.

So think about the colour in your content calendar.

Does it offer something new? Does it stick to the same tried and tested corporate messages? Or does it face full-on the concerns and issues your customers and prospects talk to you about behind closed doors? (The ones that matter the most…)

Err on the side of controversy over offence and remember Seth Godin’s evergreen advice:

“Being noticed is not the same as being remarkable. Running down the street naked will get you noticed, but it won’t accomplish much.”

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