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Optimarketing for Content Marketers [Book Review]


Optimarketing? What does that mean? Robert Rosenthal, author of OPTIMARKETING: Marketing Optimization to Electrify Your Business coined the term in 2003 to illustrate the concept of optimizing key contributors to marketing outcomes. His book was written as a series of short essays, describing and addressing some of the most talked about marketing topics.

Robert Rosenthal has held plenty of marketing roles over his career, most notably leading a content marketing agency that has developed record-breaking campaigns for marketers and won over 50 awards. Robert has worked with many clients, run countless marketing tests, and most importantly, trademarked Optimarketing.™

So what makes a great optimarketer? Rosenthal offers up advice for marketers on how to effectively optimize products or services. After reading his book, I’ve been able to adapt much of his guidance to the content marketing space. As such, I’ve composed a short list of key takeaways and reasons why I think this is a great read for content marketers.

  • Write content to a human being, not a business. The best writers are the ones who are able to tell a story; they focus on writing to an individual rather than to a group. As an Optimarketer, move away from the “me, me, me” mentality and focus on pleasing the customer with content they want to read. Optimarketers will find that the easier content is to consume, the more likely it is to engage your audience, and ultimately drive leads and conversions.
  • Test, test, test. Rosenthal states that, “Through testing, Optimarketers often operate at a 90% or better confidence level, with a small limit of error.”  One piece of advice he suggests when testing: Test out different forms of content via owned, earned, and paid media to figure out what works best, and you will see an increase in qualified leads. Whether you’re a small business or a large business, conducting tests will inevitably deliver better results.
  • Optimize value for every customer segment in the sales funnel. One of Rosenthal’s main points throughout the book is that Optimarketers should always be able to convey their sales message. He claims that this can be done through content and key messaging, as each conversion will automatically start the next activity. Splitting up offers throughout the sales funnel will allow prospects to more likely turn into opportunities.  In addition, it is important to target content towards all levels of the funnel to better nurture leads through the buying process. These are just a few of the tips he offers on how to effectively enable sales.

Optimarketing is packed with 200 pages of sage advice on how to not only optimize marketing across your organization, but also optimize your own skills and outlook as a marketer.  However, with all of this great advice, it is hard to decide where to begin. Rosenthal never tells readers how to start the journey towards becoming an Optimarketer or how to prioritize the tips.

It may seem as though there are a lot of variables involved in defining the perfect optimarketer, yet Rosenthal’s book does manage to drive home one major point: if we are going to be successful marketers we need to try and make every marketing effort exceptional in some way, shape, or form. Without this, we will fall behind in the increasingly competitive marketing space.


I had the opportunity to speak with Robert Rosenthal about his new book recently.  Here’s what he had to say:

What inspired you to write this book?

Around 20 years ago, our marketing agency began combining interesting campaign concepts with textbook response marketing techniques. Results began going up. That kicked off an interest in optimizing every important contributor to outcomes, including organizational and cultural factors. In 2003, we trademarked a term for it: Optimarketing. Last year, when I couldn’t find a book on end-to-end marketing optimization, I decided to write it.

What was the biggest difficulty you had when writing this book?

I began working in marketing as a college undergraduate, so I had quite a bit to share, and couldn’t think of everything at once. I found myself continually adding content and rewriting the book. My wife kept asking, “When are ya gonna be done with the damn thing?”

What is one common mistake marketers make?

Very few operate with a “swing for the fences” mentality. Our industry seems to have more than its share of singles hitters. Big opportunities are out there for marketers with ambition, courage, and skill.

What is the greatest piece of marketing advice you have been given?

Whenever possible, through testing, rely on facts, instead of speculation, opinions, and biases.

You talk a lot about what Optimarketers need to be, but what is the most important trait in your mind?


What is the most underrated tool in marketing and why should people start using it?

Content is right up there. Few people are optimizing it. In many cases, it’s capable of transforming marketing performance.

You speak about how important it is to test your marketing. What is one tip or trick marketers can use to run reliable tests?

Make sure your tests matter by testing big stuff and running projectable experiments. Remember, insignificant changes tend to result in insignificant change.

Where do you think the future of content marketing is headed?

Far more businesses will, to a significant degree, consider themselves publishers. Many more will learn how to make a unique contribution as content curators. Marketers have barely scratched the surface.


OPTIMARKETING: Marketing Optimization to Electrify Your Business, by Robert Rosenthal, was released on May 12, 2014, and can be purchased on

To size up how your content marketing compares to the rest of the herd, download the Content Marketing Tactics Planner eBook for more information on best practices used by leading content marketers.


Karina Ripps

Karina Ripps is the Marketing Operations Specialist at Curata. She earned a B.S. in Information Design and Corporate Communications at Bentley University in Waltham, MA.

Curata Content Analytics

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