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This Week in Content Marketing: Survey Finds Spending on Content to Outpace Advertising


PNR: This Old Marketing with Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose can be found on both iTunes and Stitcher.

In this pre-Content Marketing World episode of #ThisOldMarketing, Robert and I discuss NewsCred’s new $42 million dollar round of investment and outline the challenges it’s likely to face as it aims to become an integrated content platform. Next, we explain why Google’s launch of native ads inside Gmail could potentially be a very good thing – if marketers use it well – and, we ponder which of the 10 commandments of content marketing are worth following. Next, we take a closer look at the rumor that Apple may launch original programming and potential business models to make it happen. Finally, we analyze a new survey that claims content development will top 2016 marketing budgets. Rants and raves include an “ode to Joe” and why publishers must change their business models now – or go the way of the dinosaurs. We wrap up the show with a #ThisOldMarketing example of the week from Weight Watchers.

This week’s show

(Recorded live September 4, 2015; Length: 1:01:08)

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1. Content marketing in the news

  • NewsCred raises $42 million and sets its sights beyond content marketing (4:06): NewsCred has announced it has raised $42 million in equity funding to help it expand beyond content marketing. It plans to expand its cloud-based platform to integrate the functions of planning and managing content and to provide a marketplace to help marketers find the content they need. Robert and I discuss the challenges of integrating content creation, optimization, and delivery across all channels. Will NewsCred be the first to reach this Holy Grail?
  • Google launches new native ad format in Gmail (13:52): Google has rolled out a new ad format in Gmail to all advertisers. A few years ago, Google launched a new kind of native ad in Gmail that sat at the top of the inbox and mostly looked like a regular email. Advertisers can now buy these new Gmail ads directly from AdWords. Robert and I agree it’s a promising new platform where marketers can tell compelling stories targeted to very specific audiences, needs, and behaviors – but only if they use it well (it’s likely many won’t).
  • The 10 commandments of content marketing (18:52): Digital analyst Brian Solis recently published the 10 commandments of content marketing, as he puts it, “to shake the mediocrity out of the marketing ecosystem.” Robert and I liked the overall sentiment of his post, but we both noticed that several of the commandments didn’t quite align with their descriptions or contradicted each other.
  • Apple eyes move into original programming (27:16): Apple is exploring the potential of producing original entertainment content, according to this article from Variety. In recent weeks, Apple representatives have met with a number of Hollywood execs to assess their interest in helping the company develop original shows. Is Apple targeting Netflix, as this article suggests, or are they setting their sights on something bigger? Robert and I agree it’s the latter, but we differ in our assessments of the technology giant’s ambitions. We discuss a number of intriguing possibilities.
  • How CMOs are spending across the customer buying cycle (35:22): More than half of marketers plan to boost marketing budgets and content is making up the biggest piece of the pie, according to a new study by IBM and the CMO Club. Content development will make up the largest portion of the marketing budget (13.3%), followed by traditional advertising (11.5%), the study predicts. Robert and I are encouraged by the results of this study, but there’s a reason we’re both concerned by the growth of content budgets, too.

2. Sponsor (39:07)

  • This Old Marketing is sponsored by StudioD, a division of Demand Media. In The Content Marketing Files: Lessons Learned from the Last Decade, you’ll learn the ins and outs of content strategy, creation, and distribution. You’ll find over a decade of data and thought leader tips to help you nail your strategy, track ROI, and publish content that resonates with your target audiences. Download this guide now at


3. Rants and raves (40:44)

  • Robert’s rave: Robert waxes philosophical on the first time he met me in person at the first Content Marketing World event in 2011. He recalls its meteoric growth and the amazing community of practitioners it has spawned. From fascinating speakers and networking with incredibly smart practitioners to entertainment and fun, it’s been an amazing ride for Robert, full of memorable experiences. He and I continue to be amazed that we get to do this for a living.
  • Joe’s rant: I’m concerned that publishers are making a big mistake by hanging on to their old ad-supported business models for too long. I recently paged through an industry-leading trade magazine which contained only 21 pages of editorial content and 55 pages of ads. At the same time, its annual event is floundering as its readers tire of the constant barrage of ads. Another example: Rumors are circulating that the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) may sue the makers of ad blocking software (I wonder if they remember how this strategy played out in the music industry a decade ago?). Why not innovate instead? If your publication is supported by advertising, now is the time to change your business model!

4. This Old Marketing example of the week (53:44)

  • Weight Watchers: Weight Watchers magazine was founded in 1968. It was a collaboration between Al Lippert, the chairman of Weight Watchers at the time, and Marty Simmons, who later founded the National Lampoon magazine. It was one of the first consumer magazines to be circulated via newsstands and supermarkets. It started with 75,000 subscribers; by the early 1990s it had over 4.5 million subscribers, almost 90% of them women – a very focused demographic. Weight Watchers magazine served its target audience well, focusing on weight-loss tips, physician-approved recipes, and ideas for living a healthier lifestyle. After languishing for a number of years, it was relaunched at the beginning of 2015 with a new look and a refreshed editorial direction. It’s an amazing example of a magazine that has not only driven a brand, but also a topic or approach and has spawned a whole family of products. It’s an awesome example of #ThisOldMarketing.


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

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