By Joe Pulizzi published November 30, 2013

Native Advertising and the Debate on Content Marketing as Journalism

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This week’s show:

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Show overview

1. Content Marketing in the News

  • Dreamforce 2013: Joe and Robert banter about Dreamforce and what the growth of the event means to content marketing. According to Robert, is missing one crucial element in its software cloud pie — a web content management system. Will that be the next pickup for Salesforce? (Contributing article: CNN)
  • Is It All Just Marketing?: David Meerman Scott’s recent post covers how, today, inbound marketing, content marketing, social media marketing, and brand journalism are all just marketing. Yes, this is all a bit of “inside baseball,” but Joe and Robert both feel there are important distinctions for the industry. (Contributing article: Web Ink Now)
  • Native Advertising Spending on the Rise: eMarketer revises its numbers upward for the native advertising industry. A side conversation ensues about whether native advertising is actually good or bad for publishers. As a marketer, Robert says he doesn’t care how it ultimately gets characterized, but he still wants to take advantage of this “rent-to-own” strategy while he can. (Contributing article: FierceCMO)
  • Content Marketing as Journalism, and Where That Ends: Ooh… this was a good one. Both Joe and Robert take the hard line and disagree with Chris Seper’s most recent LinkedIn post about content marketing and brand journalism. (Contributing articles: Here’s Chris Seper’s post; and Joe published a follow-up post on LinkedIn, as well.)

2. Rants & Raves

  • Robert’s Rant and Rave: Robert discusses his recent meetings with two enterprise marketing teams. One understands its buying cycle and was ready for a content marketing approach. The other had no understanding of where its customers’ pain points lie… so it’s hard to identify where content can serve as the cure.
  • Joe’s Rant: Joe rants about his latest one-star review for Epic Content Marketing, and how he didn’t exactly handle the situation like a pro. Robert gives his guidance. Check out the full one-star review in all its glory here (along with Joe’s unfortunate response).

3. This Old Marketing Example of the Week

  • WLS (World’s Largest Store) Radio was launched on April 9, 1924 by Sears. Broadcasting several hours a day, the station adopts the slogan, “Bringing the World to the Farm.” Sears made the decision to develop its own radio station and programming as a replacement to buying airtime on other stations. The goal: to sell more radios. Sears believed that if it could develop better radio programming, more people would buy radios. We think it worked. (Contributing article: The History of WLS Radio)

world's largest store-old radio illustration

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Author: Joe Pulizzi

Joe Pulizzi is the Founder of Content Marketing Institute, a UBM company, the leading education and training organization for content marketing, which includes the largest in-person content marketing event in the world, Content Marketing World. Joe is the winner of the 2014 John Caldwell Lifetime Achievement Award from the Content Council. Joe’s the author of five books, including his latest, Killing Marketing. His third book, Epic Content Marketing was named one of “Five Must Read Business Books of 2013” by Fortune Magazine. If you ever see Joe in person, he’ll be wearing orange. Follow him on Twitter @JoePulizzi.

Other posts by Joe Pulizzi

  • ronellsmith


    I can empathize with you regarding the enterprise marketing team’s lack of understanding of their customers’ pain points. I say all the time that one of the most disheartening parts of being a consultant for three years was talking to company owners and management types who confused an understanding of business with an understanding of their business.

    Now, with content marketing being so hot, everyone wants to throw content at the problem. But they lack clear understanding of the problem or the best means of remedying it.

    Thanks for sharing your insight.


    I love the response to the 1 Star review. It shows your passion. It could be, however, that people like this reader–many of whom read everything you publish–are looking for something new, that they have not read, when you publish a book. That’s not realistic, in most instances, but it’s often the culprit at work.

    Have a great weekend, guys.


    • Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks Ronell…truly appreciate your take and thanks for listening.

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  • betseyobee

    I wanted so much to enjoy this — but nearly 3 minutes of chat before you hit your main topic? You lost me. Your close friends and die-hard fans might have enjoyed that but I don’t have time. Think it over before you record again.

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Hi Betsey…we are trying to make it a bit more personal. Sorry it didn’t interest you.

  • Spook SEO

    I do think that journalism is one of the professions that do not
    consider your emotions. As much as possible, act neutral on the issues that you
    are presenting. Rants and rages are acceptable but only if you make time for
    them in the conclusion or anywhere in the opinion’s area.