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This Week in Content Marketing: Is Google’s Subscription Gift to Publishers a Trojan Horse?


PNR: This Old Marketing with Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose can be found on both iTunes and Stitcher. If you enjoy our show, we would love it if you would rate it or post a review on iTunes.

In this week’s episode

This week, Robert ponders spurts of success. In the news, we discuss Google’s olive branch to publishers (and why it may not mean what we think it means), Amazon’s blitz on the advertising business, and Blue Apron’s decision to double-down on podcasting. Our rants and raves include Lloyds Bank’s big bet on content marketing and Amazon’s cautionary tale on business models; then we close the show with an example of the week on The Points Guy.

Download this week’s PNR: This Old Marketing podcast

Show details

  • (00:01): An advertising blast from the past: “Westinghouse’s single-dial controls.”
  • (00:40): Robert muses on this week’s theme: Are you succeeding in spurts?   
  • (06:05): Welcome to Episode 204: Recorded live on October 9, 2017 (Running time: 1:04:16)
  • (09:17): Special offer for Content Marketing World video on demand – You may have missed the show, but don’t miss out on all the insights. Videos of 100+ sessions from Content Marketing World 2017 will be available for a limited time through our video on demand portal. Register for access, and use the coupon code CMIFRIENDS100 to save $100.
  • (10:13): Content Marketing Master Classes – Our multi-city tour is returning for another round of in-depth content marketing training. Starting on November 6, we’ll be making stops in Boston; New York; Washington, D.C.; Seattle; San Francisco; Chicago; Atlanta; and Austin, Texas. Robert and I would love to see you there, so register today.

content-marketing-institute-master-class-schedule (1)

Content love from our sponsor: Ahrefs (12:03)

Ahrefs is a powerful SEO tool set that has many amazing tools for content marketers who’re looking to grow their traffic from Google. With Ahrefs tools you can easily find out what people are searching for in Google, so you can create content around the most popular search queries. You can also discover content that got the most shares or earned the most backlinks, so you can piggyback from it and get the same results. And finally, you can easily research your competitors and find out which content brings them the most traffic from Google. Here’s an exclusive opportunity for PNR podcast listeners: Any listener who tweets using #ThisOldMarketing between the dates of September 30 through October 28 will be entered into a drawing to win an annual Ahrefs account plus a signed copy of Joe and Robert’s new book, Killing Marketing. One randomly selected participant will be drawn each week; four winners in total.


The quick hits – Notable news and trends

  • (13:25): Google tells publishers, “We come in peace.” (Source: The Wall Street Journal)
  • (20:25): How Amazon is readying its blitz on the ad industry. (Source: Digiday)
  • (31:03): “Fearless Girl” firm State Street settles discrimination suit. (Source: Mashable)

The deep dive – Industry analysis

  • (34:40): Blue Apron launches a new branded podcast, Why We Eat What We Eat. (Source: Fast Company)

Content love from our show sponsor: SnapApp (39:51)

Today’s buying committees are diverse: Millennials are already taking their seats among Generation X and Baby Boomers at the buying table, making navigating the already complicated buying environment even harder, thanks to their different preferences. Though this shift might seem minor, it greatly impacts how marketing teams operate, sales teams engage, and how purchase decisions are ultimately made.

SnapApp and Heinz Marketing recently conducted research to answer the question: How do different generations like to buy? Their report, “The Millennials Are Here! How Generational Differences Impact B2B Buying Committees Today” looks at the differences between the rising Millennial buyer, their Generation X and Baby Boomer counterparts, and how B2B marketing and sales strategies can address the gaps between them. Read the report.


Rants and raves

  • (43:51): Robert’s rave: Robert issues a rare bit of praise for The Drum, for its insightful coverage of Lloyds Banking Group’s announcement that it is shifting away from product marketing to focus on how-to content. The decision came as a direct result of the company’s work to prepare for compliance with the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), which will go into effect in Europe in May 2018. As Robert has repeatedly said, delivering marketing content that is valuable to the customer is an obvious alternative to firms like Lloyds having to scrap their marketing programs altogether. 
  • (47:30): Joe’s commentary No. 1: I consider this Seth Godin blog post to be perfectly timed, as I’ve noticed lately just how many people walk around with their heads buried in social media – and how the constant distraction seems to be fueling a general decrease in their happiness. I urge anyone who feels that their social media consumption is decreasing their satisfaction with life to follow Seth’s simple solution: Walk away (even if it’s just for a little while).
  • (51:32): Joe’s commentary No. 2: As discussed in this article from The Street, Amazon is poised to announce very soon whether it will move into the pharmaceutical sales business. The rumors alone are sending ripples through Wall Street, and have companies like Walgreens and CVS scrambling to prepare for the potential impact this unexpected disruption might have on their businesses. The lesson here is that, regardless of the industry you are in, it’s a good idea to do a content audit and full competitive analysis, so that when new competitors emerge, it won’t catch you unaware.

This Old Marketing example of the week

(54:54): The Points Guy: Though he’s been a subscriber for a while, a wonderful article in Tearsheet tipped Robert off to the story of how The Points Guy (TPG) became the finance industry’s best content marketing channel. The blog was started by a former Morgan Stanley recruiter who was flying all over the country, looking for new talent, and wanted to share some tips he learned on how other travelers could optimize their use of frequent flyer memberships and other points-based rewards cards. After achieving initial success, TPG then started expanding into other content programs that could educate banks on how to better communicate the value that they offer to their customers. The founder eventually sold the TPG platform to Bankrate – a financial services comparison site. And here’s where the story takes a fascinating, Killing Marketing-esque turn: In July 2017, Bankrate was acquired by a data, advertising, and creative services agency called Red Ventures, which specializes in home finance and healthcare services. Red Ventures was already known for its amazing access to content platforms through distribution; and now that it has direct access to Bankrate’s content and data platform (including TPG), it is able to offer a complete suite of audience data and media services. It’s an amazing This Old Marketing example of how to create a direct relationship with audiences while monetizing your content platform to support your business.

the points guy

Image source

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

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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