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This Week in Content Marketing: Like It or Not, Advertising Is Booming

advertising-booming-podcast-coverPNR: This Old Marketing with Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose can be found on both iTunes and Stitcher.

In this week’s episode, Robert and I discuss one author’s slightly skewed definition of content marketing and debate what it really is. We also share a video where two agency executives urge marketers to stay calm in the wake of Google’s mobile-friendly search update, and we share our thoughts on what marketers should do to prepare. We also ponder if all social media is really just advertising and how publishers can benefit from revenue stacks. Rants and raves include Mad Men  and the wildly exaggerated (again) death of publishing. We wrap up the show with a #ThisOldMarketing  example from Robert Half.

This week’s show

(Recorded live April 6, 2015; Length: 1:00:10)

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1. Content marketing in the news

  • Marketing is not about content (4:03): Bryan Del Monte, founder of Clickafy Media Group, offers his definition of content marketing in this AdWeek opinion column. I take issue with his idea that it only helps to solve the challenge of customer acquisition. Further, Del Monte claims content marketing is not about creating and distributing valuable, relevant content. If that was the case, musicians and artists would be content marketers, he says. Exactly, says Robert. He points out that the most successful artists realize that exceptional content helps them market their products and services.
  • Don’t change your mobile plans for Google (12:51): Google’s planned rollout of a new mobile-friendly search engine update has website owners in a panic. In a helpful video, two executives from Distilled caution that it’s not that big of a deal. Robert and I agree, and we explain why. This video also highlights two valuable Google Developer resources that can help you optimize your website: The mobile-friendly test and the PageSpeed Insights tool.

  • There is no more social media, just advertising (19:33): Mike Proulx, in a recent AdAge opinion column, says the ideal world of two-way brand-consumer communication envisioned by The Cluetrain Manifesto  never materialized. In its place is advertising. In order to get any reach on social channels, you must pay to amplify your messages, he says. A companion article from Forbes says online ads look a lot like TV commercials lately. Advertising is booming today, but Robert and I think that’s just fine. We predict significant growth in the use of paid media to promote content that’s part of brand experiences and in video content, and we explain what will drive these trends.

2. Sponsor (40:19)

  • This Old Marketing  is sponsored by Widen Enterprises, a digital technology company that specializes in digital asset management. Widen is offering Great Visual Storytelling Takes a Village, a new white paper authored by CMI’s Robert Rose. Today, rich media experiences are paving the future of content marketing. This timely report explains how the four C’s – Collaborate, Customize, Communicate, and Connect – can help your business streamline the management of its digital assets so you can scale your content marketing initiatives. You can download this report at

widen-visual-storytelling-white-paper3. Rants and raves (44:26)

  • Robert’s rave: Robert loves this New York Times article that describes how the Mad Men  cable TV series has done a remarkable job of chronicling the history of the advertising industry. All of the concepts that influence how we think about advertising and marketing today are baked into its content, he explains. Mad Men  features real clients and real campaigns and does a great job of telling the stories behind a number of successful brands. Robert says it’s an awesome show for anyone who is a student of history and a marketer.
  • Joe’s rant: My rant this week is focused on an iMedia Connection article entitled How Advertising Killed Publishing, written by the enigmatic Sean X. This ridiculous column chronicles the steady downward slide away from editorial purity and toward the pit of shameless paid promotion. He even claims that advertising is “the cause of modern society’s collapse.” Mr. X’s solution? Micro-payments. Seriously? I recommend a mindset that enables us to look more broadly at all opportunities in advertising and publishing.

4. This Old Marketing example of the week (54:04)

  • Robert Half: Founded in 1948, Robert Half is the first business to provide specialized staffing services for accounting and finance professionals. It is now the world’s largest professional placement firm, with more than 400 locations worldwide and over $4 billion in sales. Robert Half has had a core focus on content for decades. Its highly regarded Salary Guide  is so authoritative that the U.S. Department of Labor uses it as a source for its own research on hiring trends. The company has also published books on getting hired and managing people. Robert Half is an outstanding example of thought leadership through the consistent production of content.

Robert-Half-Salary-GuideImage source

For a full list of PNR archives, go to the main This Old Marketing page.

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