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This Week in Content Marketing: Inbound Versus Content Marketing

pnr logoPNR: 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 speculate on why HubSpot has stirred up an age-old debate on the differences between inbound and content marketing, take issue with an article that laments the rise of corporate journalism and how it’s starting to compete with traditional news reporting, and reveal why Marriott’s decision to launch a content marketing studio is likely to be a big success. Our rants and raves cover a spammy sponsored post on Facebook that featured Lebron James and a brilliant bit of emotional storytelling from the innovators at GE. We wrap up the show with a rockin’ #ThisOldMarketing example: Guitar Center TV. 

 This week’s show

(Recorded live on September 29, 2014; Length: 53:23)

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 1. Content marketing in the news

  • Distinguishing Content Marketing From Inbound Marketing (3:21): According to research conducted by HubSpot, marketers and sales professionals consider content marketing to be a subset of inbound marketing, where high-quality content fuels inbound success. In an article that explores the differences between the two strategies, author Joe Chernov cautions that marketers should think in terms of an “and” relationship, not “or.” Both are critical to success. In a related article, HubSpot’s former Content Team Senior Manager, Jay Acunzo, says it doesn’t matter what we call it — the bottom line is that it’s marketing. Robert and I disagree with HubSpot’s conclusion and speculate on what could be driving its move to redefine both inbound and content marketing.
  • Preparing for the Corporate Journalism Wave (20:29): This article from Quartz explores the pros and cons of the rise of corporate journalism — and how it’s starting to compete with traditional news reporting. I have some serious concerns about the way the author throws around terms like branded content and native advertising, without understanding what they mean. Robert agrees, and believes the author makes a huge mistake by focusing on only one segment of journalism.
  • Marriott Launches Content Marketing Studio (30:43): According to Adweek, Marriott International is launching a global creative and content marketing studio to handle internal work for its portfolio of 18 travel-related brands. Aiming to become the world’s largest producer of travel-related content, Marriott is spending a substantial amount of money to bring in top-notch talent and create web and TV shows as part of its strategy. Robert and I discuss the opportunities and challenges Marriott is likely to face — including one big advantage that should help it succeed.

2. Sponsor (39:37)

  • 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 service called One Great Idea. Send them a link to your email marketing campaign, and they’ll send you one totally doable tip for better results next time. You can register for it at


 3. Rants and raves (41:27)

  • Joe’s Rant: I recently saw this sponsored post featuring basketball star Lebron James in my Facebook feed and was immediately intrigued, so I clicked on it. It turned out to be a spammy piece of content for a dietary supplement. How did this article get missed by Facebook’s ad review process? It just goes to show that scaling up a human review process for sponsored content can be challenging for a huge site like Facebook.Lebron-James
  • Robert’s Rave: GE is now running an ad that portrays an idea as a big, hairy monster — and most people shun it because it’s scary. This makes the creature very sad. In contrast, GE welcomes it and transforms it into something beautiful. FastCo Create reviews it here. This brilliant 1-minute spot demonstrates, in a memorable way, that the company welcomes recent graduates and their ideas to help drive growth. It’s an awesome piece of emotionally driven brand storytelling.

 4. This Old Marketing example of the week (48:55)

  • Guitar Center TV: At last month’s Content Marketing Awards, Guitar Center received the top honor from CMI for its Guitar Center TV channel on YouTube, as well as another award for the greatest subscriber growth — an average of 2,600 new people per week. Guitar Center’s team produces several new videos per day and places them in one of 10 playlists within its YouTube channel — which covers everything from jam sessions with famous guitarists and artist Q&A sessions, to “drum-off” competitions and singer-songwriter contests. It’s an excellent example of what can be done in video content marketing.

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

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