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This Week in Content Marketing: The Sad Future Reality of Brands Battling for Advertising


PNR: 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 weigh in on the debate between online and TV-based content advertising – which isn’t really a battle at all. We agree with Facebook’s decision to roll out its new Live video program only to celebrities and ponder an Uber-like model that agencies of the near future may adopt to meet the evolving needs of their clients. Rants and raves include a new web documentary video series sponsored by MillerCoors that highlights artisanal products and their creators, plus an opinion piece that gets content marketing all wrong. We wrap up the show with a #ThisOldMarketing example of the week from Arch Shaw.

This week’s show

(Recorded live August 9, 2015; Length: 1:04:01)

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1. Content marketing in the news

  • Why the biggest debate in advertising is irrelevant (4:58): For the last five years, advertising has hosted an ever-louder and more vicious fight: TV versus digital spend, according to Tom Goodwin, a senior VP at Havas Media. But this is an argument that shows a distinct lack of imagination about the near future. He believes TV content will always be loved, no matter how it’s distributed. Robert and I agree that the fundamental question is this: How do we reach our target audience as they become fragmented across a growing number of channels? It’s a complex question marketers must address.
  • Introducing Facebook Live (16:28): Facebook announced its own live video streaming service this week, The Next Web reports. But unlike Periscope or Meerkat, only celebrities can use this one, as it’s restricted to people with verified Pages – which gives them access to an exclusive Mentions app. Robert and I like this approach, because it’s a great way to beta test and improve Live. We discuss what differentiates it from other live video services, and debate what the next steps will be in Live’s expansion.
  • The Uber of agencies: Why marketers want to ride with a new kind of shop (25:37): The agency model of the future might just look like Uber, according to this article from Ad Age, which interviews senior-level marketing executives from several major brands. Rather than trying to own the capability to do everything itself, the agency of the future may be able to formulate strategy on behalf of its clients, but then tap into networks of outside content creators, technology platforms, and other vendors on demand to handle execution. Robert and I agree that this plays to major brands’ desire to simplify their complex agency relationships.

2. Sponsor (41:07)

  • This Old Marketing is sponsored by Emma, email marketing for the modern brand. Emma is a provider of best-in-class software and services that help organizations of all sizes get more from their email marketing. In Emma’s new Modern Marketer’s Field Guide, you’ll learn how to identify (and use) the right marketing tools to craft emails that truly stand out in the inbox and create a personal experience for every subscriber. Download the guide now at


3. Rants and raves (43:06)

  • Robert’s rave: Robert is delighted by a new web documentary video series that highlights artisans who are preserving traditional ways of making things, produced by Woven Digital and sponsored by MillerCoors’ Banquet brand. Videos include master penman Jake Weidmann and Jon Wegener’s handcrafted alaia surfboards. These videos are fantastic examples of storytelling, and have generated millions of views on both the UPROXX website and Coors Banquet Facebook pages. You can view the entire series of five videos here.

RECOMMENDED FOR YOU: Get tips for every initiative content marketers are working on, including Start Smart, Scale Up, and Stand Out With Video
  • Joe’s rant: An opinion piece by Ryan Griffin on Marketing Magazine Australia that is critical of content marketing has got me seeing red this week. He calls it a “pyramid scheme,” a source of “quick riches and business outcomes,” and a load of manure (he uses a more descriptive term, which I won’t repeat here). Unfortunately, he doesn’t have an accurate understanding of what content marketing is. It’s not a quick fix; its goal is to build an audience whose members know, like, and trust us – which can then be monetized once we have developed a relationship with them.

4. This Old Marketing example of the week (56:17)

  • Arch Shaw: Arch Shaw was a pioneer in proposing a systematic approach to the study of marketing. In addition to being a successful Chicago businessman and early content marketer, he was also a frequent lecturer and writer on business practices, and was the first editor of Harvard Business Review. In 1899, he and a business partner founded the Shaw-Walker Company, which manufactured office equipment and sold office supplies. To help market the business and its products, he founded a magazine called System that illustrated best practices in business and contained business news of the day. It became so popular that he spun off a second magazine from it called The Magazine of Business, which contained only business news. Both publications were instrumental in helping him grow his business in the Chicago area. The magazines were sold to McGraw-Hill in 1928, The Magazine of Business was renamed The Business Week, and eventually the giant publisher rebranded it as BusinessWeek. Over 100 years later, it is still published under the name Bloomberg Businessweek. It’s a wonderful example of This Old Marketing and the way in which the magazines’ content evolved over time is fascinating.


Can’t get enough of Joe and Robert? Register today for Content Marketing World 2015 this September to catch them in action. Use code CMI100 to save $100.

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