In this week’s episode, Robert and I debate whether B2B content marketing is a failure, and discuss why the FTC may enact regulations regarding native advertising. We also discuss the exploding landscape of marketing technology solutions and why Twitter’s planned expansion into video is going to be huge. Rants and raves include a super smart post about measurement from Medium’s Ev Williams and the evocative new “signs” campaign from McDonald’s. We wrap up the show with a #ThisOldMarketing example: Merck Manuals.
This week’s show
(Recorded live on January 15, 2015; Length: 59:08)
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1. Content Marketing in the News
- Is B2B Content Marketing a Failure? (5:34): Michael Idinopulos, writing in the PeopleLinx blog, makes a compelling case for the idea that content as a lead generation tool is highly overrated. Instead, marketers should focus on using content to enable the sales process, which he calls “content selling.” Robert and I share some common concerns with this article, which views content marketing through a very narrow lens. We recommend one part of the sales funnel where B2B marketers can start with content marketing to demonstrate an impact.
- Marketing Tech Landscape for 2015 – It Has Doubled in Size (15:34): Scott Brinker from the Chief Marketing Technologist blog has just released the latest version of his Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic, which has doubled in size since 2014. It now contains over 1,800 vendors across over 40 categories. Brinker’s conclusion about this meteoric growth: “Marketing has exploded from an ancillary function to the Grand Central Station of customer experience.” Robert and I discuss what this implies for marketers, including the need to staff up on marketing technologists.
- What Happens if the FTC Provides Native Advertising Guidance? (25:31): The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) predicts that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will provide guidance for native advertising during 2015. Often, when the FTC issues guidance on an area of advertising, it’s a sign that they may plan to regulate it in the near future. Robert and I believe this is an enormous gray area that will be very hard to regulate. The lesson for marketers? Get good at native advertising and disclosure so the FTC doesn’t have to get involved.
- Firing Dick Costolo from Twitter Would be a Mistake (32:53): Angel investor and entrepreneur Jason Calacanis predicts that Twitter’s soon-to-be-released native video capability will be a game-changer and will drive huge user growth. That’s why investors who are critical of Twitter CEO Dick Costolo should back off, he warns. Robert and I agree that Calacanis’ predictions are spot on and envision how native video on this popular social media channel could revolutionize not only content marketing but also real-time customer support.
2. Sponsor (40:08)
- This Old Marketing is sponsored by Acrolinx. The Acrolinx platform helps the world’s most recognized brands create more engaging, more readable and more enjoyable content. (Most people don’t even know software like this exists.) Their new eBook called Speak with One Voice answers critical questions about how you can make your content stand out and how to create a unique advantage in the content economy. You can register for it at http://bit.ly/pnr-acrolinx2.
3. Rants and Raves (42:00)
- Robert’s Rave: Robert absolutely loves this column by Ev Williams, founder of Twitter and CEO of Medium, which provides a clear, concise primer on measuring the impact of content and which metrics matter most. What happens on the platform is much more relevant than the number of users on the platform, he says. Robert talks about how marketers should select and use numbers to demonstrate success.
- Joe’s Rave: I loved a new 1-minute McDonald’s ad that aired for the first time during the NFL playoff game on Sunday, which shows signs that franchisees for McDonald’s have posted outside their stores. Many were very emotional in nature, such as “Pray for our Veterans,” “Boston Strong,” and “Remember 9-11.” The ad includes a link to a Tumblr page where viewers can read the heartwarming stories behind the signs.
4. This Old Marketing Example of the Week (51:31)
- The Merck Manual: Before the internet, one popular resource doctors used to diagnose and treat illnesses was The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy. First published in 1899 and now in its 19th edition, it is one of the most compact and complete medical reference books for doctors, medical students, and healthcare professionals. It addresses the mechanism and cause, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of over 2,000 diseases and disorders. Whenever the manual mentions medications, Merck products are formatted in all caps. It has been expanded into web and mobile versions, numerous special editions that include symptoms, home health, and veterinary care, and it has been translated into 16 languages. This is an outstanding example of content that is so good – independent of Merck’s products – that it has become a must-have resource.
For a full list of PNR archives, go to the main This Old Marketing page.