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This Week in Content Marketing: Why the New Golden Age of Marketing Is Now


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

In this week’s episode, Joe and Robert discuss an excellent new McKinsey report on trends in marketing, which sounds eerily similar to Robert’s upcoming book. Also in the news this week is the growth of content promotion and SEO, a major Australian publisher that is taking an intelligent approach to content marketing and Kraft’s and Meredith’s bold move to bring native content to email. Rants and raves include an entertaining new video that features President Barack Obama and Barneys’ savvy move into print magazine publishing. We wrap up the show with a #ThisOldMarketing example from the Eastern Color Printing Co. and the start of the comic book industry.

This week’s show

(Recorded live on February 16, 2015; Length: 58:12)

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1. Content Marketing in the News

  • McKinsey Says We’re at the Dawn of Marketing’s New Golden Age (4:02): A new report from McKinsey makes a compelling case for marketing’s resurgence, outlines a number of mega-trends that will influence its growth, and encourages CEOs to update their thinking. Coincidentally, the tone and content of this article sound similar to Robert’s new book. He and I agree that the assessment that marketing is now critical to all parts of the business is spot-on.
  • Content Marketing Revives Agency SEO Efforts and Revenues (12:14): What good is digital content if no one can find it? That’s a question driving growth at agencies as marketers rediscover search engine optimization’s role in making or breaking a campaign and selling product, AdAge reports. Robert and I aren’t sure if this represents actual growth, or a redefinition of agency SEO services to include content promotion. We agree it’s also partly due to the large number of options available for paid promotion and native advertising that are available to marketers today.
  • APN Chief Michael Miller’s Play for Content Marketing (21:12): Major Australian publishing company APN has announced the launch of Emotive, a new spin-off that will tap into the fast-growing global market for native advertising and content marketing. I think Emotive will be successful because it is being treated as a separate operation, with its own sales force. It should still be able to leverage a lot of the infrastructure and contacts of APN – the best of both worlds (subscription-only article).
  • Kraft and Meredith Team Up on Native Ads in Email (33:24): Meredith Corp. has been moving quickly in its embrace of native advertising. Now, the publishing giant is bringing native to email, with Kraft Foods as its flagship advertiser, according to Marketing Land. Using a tool called LiveIntent, Kraft is able to target sponsored recipes into its emails, customized to the interests of each consumer. Robert thinks this brilliant data-driven approach is the future of native advertising. I believe the upside potential for agencies operating within publishing companies is huge, and I explain why.

2. Sponsor (40:12)

  • This Old Marketing is sponsored by Marketo, which sells marketing automation software solutions. To help you accomplish your content marketing goals, Marketo is offering a workbook called the Content Marketing Tactical Plan. Download it, fill it in to develop your strategies, and start creating a content machine that truly maps to your goals. It includes staffing guidelines, content planning charts, editorial calendar templates, promotion objectives and tactics, and key content metrics. You can learn more at


3. Rants and Raves (42:37)

  • Robert’s Rave: Last week, BuzzFeed published a video that showed what President Barack Obama does when no one is looking – including mugging in front of a mirror and taking smartphone pictures with a selfie stick. Robert loves this approach because it provides an engaging and entertaining story that doesn’t hit us over the head trying to sell us something. It’s actually a subtle reminder to sign up for Obamacare before an upcoming application deadline.


  • Joe’s Rant: I really like this Digiday article, which says advertisers are upbeat about The New York Times’ digital transformation. It has stuck to some very stringent guidelines for native content, which helps it protect its valuable brand. However, an executive from Edelman is quoted as saying The New York Times is being too strict and limiting opportunities for native content. I explain why his opinion is totally off-base.
  • Joe’s Rave: High-end clothing retailer, Barneys, has run an excellent blog called The Window for many years. This week, it’s launching a print magazine with the same name targeted to its highest-spending customers. This new publication will curate its most popular blog articles, based on engagement data the company has been collecting for years. This is an excellent example of repurposing existing content.

4. This Old Marketing Example of the Week (51:15)

  • The Eastern Color Printing Co.: The Eastern Color Printing Co. was founded in the late 1920s and started out printing newspaper comics. The company is most notable for its production of Funnies on Parade and Famous Funnies, two publications which gave birth to the American comic book industry. In 1933, this commercial printer reinvented the comic-book format when it determined that comics could be a successful medium for advertising. Gulf Oil and Shell Oil sponsored comic books in the 1930s and 1940s that were distributed at gas stations. In the spring of 1933, Eastern printed one million copies of the first modern-format comic book, the 32-page Funnies on Parade, as a promotion for Procter & Gamble. These are excellent early examples of content marketing.


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

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