By Joe Pulizzi published January 18, 2014

Will Native Advertising Ultimately Become the Norm?

pnr-this old marketing logoPNR: This Old Marketing with Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose can be found on both iTunes and Stitcher.

In this week’s edition, Robert and I talk about what the future of content will look like when a trillion devices start talking to each other. I also explore the latest news on native advertising and the insane growth projected for this technique in 2014, while Robert discusses his thoughts on how marketers are overcomplicating technology. And in this week’s This Old Marketing example, we salute the integrated content strategy of a heroic American brand: G.I. Joe.

This week’s show

Download this week’s PNR This Old Marketing podcast.

Show overview

1. Content Marketing in the News

  • The Internet of Things: Famed producer, author, and owner of the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Dodgers, Peter Guber announced he’s launching a new agency, based on “made media,” or the communication between manufactured things.  It’s an interesting concept — made even more interesting in light of Google’s purchase of Nest for $3.2 billion dollars (Contributing article: LinkedIn).
  • Is Native Advertising the New Paywall… and Is It Here to Stay?: We discuss native advertising (yet again), this time focusing on whether or not it is poised to become the rule in advertising (especially for mobile) rather than the exception. This comes on the heels of The New York Times‘ move into native (which I contend isn’t really native advertising), and recent reports that 60 percent (you read that right) of Facebook’s advertising revenues in 2013 came from native advertising (Contributing article: The Guardian).
  • Digital Marketing Is Too Complicated: We comment on the recent landscape infographic by Scott Brinker, depicting the entirety of the marketing services landscape.  Unfortunately, content marketers by the dozens are running toward technology solutions to address their challenges, when the majority of them still lack any sort of content marketing strategy. Uh oh! (Contributing article: CMSWire).

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2. Rants & Raves

  • Robert’s Raves: Robert draws comparisons between content marketing and the insights shared by Seth Godin in his recent blog post, How to Draw an Owl.
  • Joe’s Raves: I discuss The New York Times best seller, Divergent (soon to be a hit movie), by Veronica Roth, and share my remarks on how the placement of chapters at the end teases the next book in the series.

3. This Old Marketing Example of the Week

  • Robert shares the story of G.I. Joe, and the strategy behind how the comic book came to sell more action figures, through some interesting integrations with television.

Image via Wikipedia

If you enjoyed this podcast, Robert and I would appreciate if you could post your review on iTunes. For a full list of the PNR archives, go to the main This Old Marketing page.

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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

  • Cooperatize

    I agree with Robert’s analogy between the privacy concern with the debate about native advertising. There is definitely a dichotomy between what consumers and the media “say” about native ads versus their actual actions and experience with native ads. As a marketer, your job is to get the right audience to reach your message, and if native ads deliver a 20% CTR versus 0.5% for display ads keeping costs constant, you won’t care (as Robert mentioned) about the rest of the publication.

    In terms of Joe’s reference to The Guardian article, it’s interesting how uncomfortable people are to this new movement since native ads and advertorials have been around since the start of advertising. This shows that no matter what generation we work in, marketers and publishers will always see this ad unit as controversial and exciting.

    We are a platform on Mr. Brinker’s info graphic ( and we specialize in helping brands get featured on thousands of blogs through sponsored posts. Next week we will be hosting an event called The Resurgence of the Advertorial in NYC:

    Email us at if you’re interested in coming and we can hook you up with a free pass.

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks so much for checking out the show…we’ll check it out!

  • Doug Kessler

    Another great show. Adam is way ahead of you, Joe — hire his ass (high school is over-rated).

    You touched on everything that makes me nervous about native advertising (and the fact that much of it is old-school advertorials in new clothes).

    More rants, fewer raves! You’re both too nice.

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Hey Doug…you’ll love my rant on the next podcast. I should have it produced by Tuesday.

  • Dave Link

    Great episode, guys! Definitely agree with you on your breakdown of the NYT foray into native advertising. Also love how you acknowledge that there really has to be a human element when creating content for native placement. I’ve seen far too many businesses that think simply throwing a banner ad into the news feed = native advertising.

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks Dave…appreciate the support. Yeah, that NYT native thing…it’s not really native.

  • Studio One

    The native debate centers around two topics. One is what we mean when we say native, the other is the ethical gray line created by the possibility that something might not be perceived as advertising even though it is in fact advertising. Which do you think?