Podcast Episode

Modern Day Marketer: The 3 Axioms of Content Marketing with Tommy Walker of The Content Studio

Brett McGrath

December 14, 2023

Modern Day Marketer: The 3 Axioms of Content Marketing with Tommy Walker of The Content Studio

Welcome back to Modern Day Marketer! In this episode, we have the pleasure of diving into the final Modern Day Marketer conversation of 2023. Today, we will be exploring the three axioms of content marketing with the brilliant Tommy Walker, founder at The Content Studio. Tommy is a seasoned expert in the field, having worked with Fortune 500 companies and leading marketing professionals. His insights and experiences are sure to provide valuable lessons for all content marketers.

The Importance of a Good Content Marketing Program

To kick off the conversation, I ask Tommy to define what makes a good content marketing program. Tommy draws upon his background in acting and storytelling to explain the concept of a character's wants and needs. He highlights that a character's wants are specific goals that drive the plot forward, while their needs are universal and drive the character arc. Applying this to content marketing, Tommy emphasizes the importance of addressing both the wants and needs of the reader. By understanding what the reader wants and needs, content marketers can create a program that resonates and provides value.

Steps to Understand the Wants and Needs of Your Audience

Tommy emphasizes the significance of research in understanding the wants and needs of the audience. He suggests conducting conversations with the target audience to gain insights and listen for their needs. Additionally, Tommy advises analyzing direct competitors, search competitors, industry adjacent sources, and influencers to understand how they address these wants and needs. By reading between the lines and observing the conversations happening in the industry, content marketers can gain a deeper understanding of what their audience is looking for.

Creating Structure and Purpose in Your Content Marketing

To create a successful content marketing program, Tommy emphasizes the importance of having a content code. This code serves as a manifesto that guides the content creation process. It includes principles such as doing research, avoiding condescension, and building off the reader's existing knowledge. Tommy also highlights the significance of creating a character arc in the content program. By structuring the content in a way that flows from one piece to another, content marketers can provide a complete knowledge base to the reader. This approach builds trust and keeps the reader coming back for more.

The Role of a Good Premise in Content Marketing

A good premise is crucial in content marketing as it helps captivate the audience. Tommy explains that a premise is a communication of what the content is about and what it offers. He provides examples from popular culture, such as the premise of "The Real World," to illustrate how a clear and compelling premise can engage the audience. By crafting a premise that resonates with the audience, content marketers can guide the creation of content that aligns with their needs and wants.

Content as Social Currency: Building Trust and Credibility

Tommy introduces the concept of content as a form of social currency. He explains that when people share content, they are communicating their tastes and values. Content marketers should consider what their content says about the reader when it is shared with others. By creating content that aligns with the reader's values and interests, content marketers can build trust and credibility. Tommy suggests tailoring content for different audiences and social contexts to maximize its impact.

Decisions Are Made in Slack: Leveraging Hidden Channels of Influence

Tommy asserts that decisions are made in channels that cannot be easily measured, such as Slack. He emphasizes the importance of trusting content marketers' expertise and their ability to resonate with audiences. While metrics like direct traffic and engagement can provide some supporting evidence, Tommy encourages content marketers to focus on the impact their content has on the audience. By creating content that resonates and sparks conversations, content marketers can position themselves in the consideration set when decisions are made.


In conclusion, the conversation with Tommy Walker sheds light on the power of a good premise in captivating the audience in content marketing. By understanding the wants and needs of the audience, creating a structured content program, and leveraging content as social currency, content marketers can build trust, credibility, and engagement. The insights shared by Tommy provide valuable lessons for content marketers to create impactful and resonant content. As we wrap up the final Modern Day Marketer conversation of 2023, we look forward to more insightful discussions in 2024.

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