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This Week in Content Marketing: The Key to Stop Native Advertising? Embrace It


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 discuss what Facebook’s latest changes to its news feed mean to marketers and reflect on the heaps of money being invested in marketing technology today. We also discuss a thought-provoking article about the future of native advertising and ponder the results of new research that suggests that most B2B content is barely above par. Rants and raves include the media’s handling of the Sony scandal and problematic speaker submissions for Content Marketing World. We wrap up the show with a #ThisOldMarketing example from HubSpot’s purchase of Agency Post.

This week’s show

(Recorded live on December 15, 2014; Length: 1:00:01)

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1. CMI Announcements

  • CMI Purchases Full Rights to Content Marketing Awards (4:52): CMI has purchased the full rights to the Content Marketing Awards from McMurry/TMG. The Content Marketing Awards were launched in 2004 as the Magnum Opus Awards. Since 2011, they’ve been conducted jointly by the Content Marketing Institute and McMurry/TMG. In 2013, the awards program was renamed and rebranded to the Content Marketing Awards to match the changing industry.
  • CMI Launches Content Inc. (5:43): Content Inc. is CMI’s newest platform, focused on the unique needs of entrepreneurs. The idea behind it is simple – that small businesses should launch with a content-first mission rather than a product-first mentality. The first phase of Content Inc. is a twice-weekly podcast of the same name, hosted by me.

2. Content Marketing in the News

  • Facebook Changes – Making The Case For Brand Investment In Owned Media (7:08): Forbes contributor Daniel Newman makes the case that Facebook’s latest move to restrict overly commercial posts from users timelines is a sign that brands need to focus on building their owned media and their own audience. This is something Robert and I have been saying for some time on this podcast. We discuss what’s needed for brands to succeed on this social media channel – yes, it is still possible.
  • TrackMaven Raises $14 Million for Marketing Monitoring Services (14:57): Marketing technology firm TrackMaven recently raised $8 million in new financing from investors. TrackMaven provides marketers with ways to track marketing content published by a company’s competitors across any content channel. Continuing with the theme of venture funding in the marketing space, check out the post below.
  • Marketing Technology: $6.2 Billion in the Last Quarter (14:57): VentureBeat reports that there have been almost $6.2 billion in venture funding deals for marketing technology start-ups in just the last three months. That includes $768.3 million in new funding for early-, middle- and late-stage start-ups, and almost $5.4 billion in acquisitions. Robert and I have predicted a rise in venture funding and acquisition in the world of content marketing, but even we’re surprised at how hot it has become. We also speculate on what’s likely to happen to agencies in 2015.
  • One Way to Stop Native Advertising Is To Embrace It (20:47): This fascinating article from takes readers on a journey, starting with the author’s set of preconceived notions about native advertising, and how that changes after he interviews two people at Contently. Robert and I agree that the goal of native advertising is to provide audiences with exceptionally useful content, not to blend in with the website’s editorial content. We also concur with the article’s assessment that native advertising is likely to plateau and then diminish in 2015, and we explain why.
  • B2B Content Fails to Engage Users (31:52): This Ad Age article summarizes the findings of a recent study by Forrester, in which the consulting firm assessed the content of 30 B2B websites to determine how well they engage customers, based on 10 criteria. Only four companies got a passing grade. Robert and I have several problems with this research, starting with the exceptionally small sample size. We also acknowledge that creating customer-focused content isn’t easy for B2B companies, but it can be done.

3. Sponsor (37:48)

  • This Old Marketing is sponsored by Acrolinx, which builds enterprise linguistic analytics software that helps brands intelligently translate and manage their content in multiple languages. Acrolinx is promoting a new eBook called Speak with One Voice: How to Gain Competitive Advantage in the Content Era. It answers questions such as, how can you make your content stand out? And, how should companies align their marketing and technical content so they speak with one voice to their prospects and customers? This eBook answers these questions, shares best practices for creating great content, and points you to technology that can help streamline the process and make it more efficient. You can register for it at

Acrolinx-eBook-speak-with-one-voice (1)

4. Rants and Raves (39:36)

  • Joe’s Rant: I recently finished reviewing over 400 speaker submissions for Content Marketing World. In these forms, we ask for a video link so we can assess whether or not a person can speak in front of a group. A surprising number of submissions left this part of the form blank. Even worse, at least 10 submissions included links to videos that required a registration to view them. I share the criteria I use to evaluate companies and agencies for speaking roles at CMW.
  • Robert’s Rant/Rave: Robert loves screenwriter and playwright Andrew Sorkin’s opinion piece in The New York Times in which he shames the media for publishing leaked information from the recent cyber-attack on Sony Pictures because it’s supposedly “newsworthy.” The Hollywood community should be criticizing the media’s handling of this issue, but no one has stepped forward to do so. Robert shares a case where this has already happened to a content marketer, and the lessons we can learn from it.

5. This Old Marketing Example of the Week (52:40)

  • HubSpot’s Agency Post Purchase: Robert and I have been saying for some time that brands seeking to cultivate an audience should consider purchasing an existing niche media property to help them get there faster. Through a comment on James Dillon’s recent CMI article, Build it? Buying Niche Media May be Better, I learned of a recent case where HubSpot did exactly that. Its excellent blog had a strong following among marketers and salespeople, but not agencies. To solve this problem, it purchased the Agency Post blog and recast it as the agency section of its blog. This is a brilliant strategy that marketers of any size can take advantage of. I recommend that you include “build vs. buy” as part of your organization’s internal content strategy discussions.

PNR_57 Agency-Post-Screenshot

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

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