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This Week in Content Marketing: Why It’s Impossible to Scale Native Advertising

Episode55-01 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 talk about the finalized deal between the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and the Business Marketing Association (BMA), and then quickly dive into Scripted’s newfound venture capital money. In addition, we talk about the huge increase in native advertising spending and discuss the difference between native advertising and advertorials. After going through some 2015 CMO predictions, Robert rants about invective marketing and I rave about a hyper-localized Christmas book. We wrap up the show with a #ThisOldMarketing example from Arla Foods.

This week’s show

(Recorded live on December 1, 2014; Length: 54:37)

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1. Content Marketing in the News

  • BMA and ANA together … (6:00): The ANA and the BMA have announced that their boards of directors unanimously approved plans for BMA to become a division of ANA as of November 30, 2014. I remain concerned that BMA will be completely subsumed into ANA and may disappear forever. ANA says it will put additional resources into BMA to strengthen it. Let’s hope so.
  • Scripted Takes $9 Million (9:07):, the leading content and writer marketplace, has secured $9 million in venture capital funding, led by Storm Ventures. Two existing investors, Crosslink Capital and Redpoint Ventures, also participated in the round. They intend to use this capital to expand their stable of writers and improve their technology. Robert and I discuss why the pace of mergers and acquisitions could increase in 2015, and how content marketing is likely to fit into the picture.
  • Native Advertising to Jump Despite Marketer Reservations (14:40): A new eMarketer study predicts that marketers will spend $4.3 billion on native advertising in 2015, a 34% increase from this year. That number is expected to reach $8.8 billion by 2018. However, some brands remain concerned that native is hard to scale. I think these numbers are low; Robert predicts we’ll see an uptick in brands creating their own media properties, and he explains why. Nenad Senic, the European editor of CCO magazine, believes native advertising and advertorials are identical; Robert and I discuss what makes them slightly different.
  • 2015 Predictions for CMOs and Digital Marketing (27:40): This article from Forbes aligns and summarizes a number of predictions for CMOs and digital marketing. One statistic, quoted from Gartner’s CMO Spend Report, jumped out at Robert and me: “Marketers are managing a P&L and generating revenue from digital advertising, digital commerce, and sale of data.” We know the trend is headed in that direction, but only a handful of companies are doing it today. We need to take a closer look at this report to determine the accuracy of its claims.

2. Sponsor (36:54)

  • This Old Marketing is sponsored by Emma – email marketing for the modern brand, featuring mobile-responsive templates, social integration tools, and concierge services. Emma is promoting a new report entitled Automation Demystified: A Modern Marketer’s Guide to Email Automation. You’ll learn how to create undeniable value for subscribers, welcome new subscribers without creating new content, and boost conversions with timely sends based on life cycle milestones. You can register for it at

guide-to-automation-emma image (4)

3. Rants and Raves (43:12)

  • Robert’s Rant: Dan Matthews, in a recent Forbes column, shines a light on the growing practice of “invective marketing” – being a controversial jerk to attract attention and, ultimately, profit. Trying to become famous by being a troll is the worst advice ever, Robert proclaims.
  • Joe’s Rave: I recently came across two books entitled Santa is Coming to Cleveland and Santa is Coming to Ohio at a bookstore. Each version had content that was customized to its location. I investigated further and learned that the author, Steve Smallman, has created over a hundred localized versions of this book. It’s an awesome example of hyper-local marketing.

4. This Old Marketing Example of the Week (47:15)

  • Arla Foods: Arla is a cooperative owned by 12,500 farmers and is the largest producer of dairy products in Scandinavia. It has been doing content marketing for over 40 years using a unique medium: The side panels of milk cartons. This initiative started out with safety tips for families and evolved to include recipes and short stories for children. During the last few years, this marvelous collection of content has been repurposed into a recipe website, recipe books for parents, as well as storybooks, and a website for children which contains interactive versions of the milk-carton stories. All of this content reflects the cooperative’s ethos of dairy as a healthy, organic, local product.



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