My Media Week: Clare Hill, Content Marketing Association

Clare Hill: managing director at the CMA
Clare Hill: managing director at the CMA

Clare Hill, managing director at the CMA, launches a report focused on effectiveness, spreads good pitch news and readies the International Content Marketing Awards, including the gruelling task of sampling menu options.


I get up at 7am and head for the hills – quite literally up and down across the fields to Chesham station. From there, the Met line takes me into Farringdon, from where it’s five minutes to our offices.

The week kicks off with the exciting task of informing four of our CMA agency members that they are through to final pitch stage for an exclusive client brief from recruitment company Reed Global.

Reed is a brand member of the CMA and is looking for a specialist content agency.

This also reminds me to catch up with the two CMA agencies who are at final pitch stage for a £1.5m+ brief from a travel client – a result of our agency intermediary service.

Today we’re also launching our latest industry report to coincide with the IPA’s Effectiveness Week. The Effective Measurement Report looks at the key issues for influencers in the content marketing industry, and focuses on the areas of spend that are most troublesome to account for: building growth in the long, rather than the short term; how to measure paid, owned, earned media; and multi-channel, multi-platform optimisation.

We have lots of contributions from across the CMA membership, including iProspect, MEC, ITN, Remarkable Content and King Content. What I love about this report – and our industry too – is the sheer diversity of opinion.


Today is all about discussing the 2017 outlook with my management team: Matt Adams, CEO of Havas Media; Andrew Hirsch, John Brown Media CEO; Clare Broadbent, CEO of Cedar; Sean King, CEO of Seven; and Vince Medeiros, MD of TCOLondon.

We meet every month to steer the CMA ship and after a couple of hours chatting through my strategy for next year we take ourselves off for drinks and dinner at The Modern Pantry in Clerkenwell.

Among more serious topics we discuss our best and worst pitches, proudest achievements and what can piece of tech we can’t live without (apart from phones). It’s a tough call between the BBC News app or Netflix and after sharing far too much I head home via Euston and am tucked up in bed by 10.30pm.


We host monthly Digital Breakfast events which are open to everyone and today’s is on native advertising – key trends and technologies.

We invite three industry speakers to present and we have around 50 attendees from brands, content specialists, media and creative agencies and brands. Our newest member, Future Fusion, is one of three experts to present.

Next up for November’s event is the rise of digital video, so as soon as this one ends we move onto finalising that agenda.

The rest of the day is taken up by emails and I get home just after 7pm to a surprise. My fella has ordered a Hello Fresh recipe box so we get involved in cooking chicken teriyaki. It turns out better than we expect.


We host regular complimentary lunches for our agency members and today’s will be held at the brilliant German Gymnasium in Kings Cross. About 20 senior players from the likes of MEC, MediaCom, ITN, John Brown Media, Havas Media, Time Inc. and Sky Media come.  

These events are always great. There’s no agenda, just the opportunity to network with peers, and we’ve seen several of our members form strategic partnerships as a result of these lunches.

We debate Mark Ritson’s latest column, Is Content Marketing a Load of Bollocks?, and agree a collective response. Matt Davies, joint MD of MEC Wavemaker summarises it like this, ‘‘Content Marketing isn’t a load of bollocks, it’s the dog’s bollocks’’.

We finish up around 3.30pm and head back to the office to check on the initial reaction to our Effective Measurement Report. It’s going down a storm. In just a few days we’ve had over 400 views – more than we even hoped in less than four days – of which about a tenth are big-name brands. Others, including press and broadcasters, are also on the list.

A good day all round so the CMA team and I have a quick drink to celebrate before we head home.


I spend the morning allocating award categories to about 30 CMOs and marketing directors judging the final stage of The International Content Marketing Awards, which we host at The Roundhouse on 22 November.

We have a stellar list of judges, including from EE, BBC, AXA, Huawei, Bloomberg, Snapchat, Asda and Barclays – it will be a busy judging period as over 100 agencies from 21 countries have been nominated.

Making sure we match judges’ experience to categories, ensure there are no conflicts and get the right mix on the tables is a messy job.

I’m glad when it is done so that the whole of the CMA team can head off to our annual MasterChef-style food tasting event, the objective of which is to eat three different dishes of starter, main and desert – all in the name of helping us to decide what menu we will be serving up for dinner on the big Awards night.

We eat far too much and all agree that it was a very important exercise that now requires some serious exercise. It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it.

Saturday is my friend’s birthday so a group of us head to Bronte on the Strand. It’s fabulous in a Great Gatsby way.

Sunday was a day for fresh air – specifically kite-flying with my fella on Dunstable Downs. It’s the first time I’ve done it for 30 years, and I remember why it’s so hard.


Age: 43
Favourite media: TV
My biggest inspiration: my friend Cath
Dream job: CMO for mr&
Not a lot of people know this about me... I enjoy chopping wood and have got a small collection of axes.

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