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This Week in Content Marketing: Publisher Cuts Lead to Content Opportunities for Brands


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 CMI’s purchase of the U.K.-based Content Marketing Show and plans for redeploying it in a new format. Next, we ponder what’s really behind Verizon’s recent purchase of AOL and dissect why Spotify has decided to add videos and podcasts to its popular music service. Next, we turn our attention to two articles that claim to reveal the problems content marketers face – while offering no advice on how to solve them. Rants and raves include Purina’s stagnant puppy-care microsite and a fascinating perspective on customer experiences and content marketing. We wrap up the show with this week’s #ThisOldMarketing example from Fresh Fork Market Almanac.

This week’s show

(Recorded live May 25, 2015; Length: 1:01:00)

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1. Content marketing in the news

  • Last week for PNR listeners to get some love (3:25): We love our PNR listeners. That’s why we’re giving you an extra discount on Content Marketing World. Listen to the podcast to get the discount code, which will enable you to get up to $600 off the price of registration. But don’t wait, because this special PNR-only incentive expires on May 31, 2015.
  • CMI acquires Content Marketing Show (4:42): On May 21, 2015, CMI announced it has acquired the United Kingdom’s Content Marketing Show. The show was purchased from Rough Agenda, a Brighton, U.K.-based events company. Instead of producing an in-person event in London, CMI will turn the Content Marketing Show into a three-day virtual event focused exclusively on measuring the return on content marketing. It will be timed with a European audience in mind. Robert and I are very excited about this new event and especially its focus on measurement.
  • Verizon acquires AOL (8:05): Taking another significant step in building digital and video platforms to drive future growth, Verizon Communications Inc. will purchase AOL Inc. for $50 per share – an estimated total value of approximately $4.4 billion. Verizon gets some amazing media properties in the deal, including The Huffington Post, TechCrunch, and Engadget, to name a few. Robert and I ponder if this huge acquisition is really about advertising technology or if there’s something deeper that Verizon is after.
  • Spotify adds podcasts (17:33): In a move to position itself as an all-in-one digital jukebox, Spotify has announced that it will add podcasts and video to its popular audio streaming service, according to The Verge. Its video partners include heavy-hitter media properties like ABC, NBC, BBC, ESPN, MTV, and TED. Robert and I agree that this looks like a desperate attempt to become profitable. We’re also mystified by Spotify’s expansion into video, which doesn’t align with the audio-only experience Spotify users have come to expect.
  • Content marketers are overworked and underperforming (25:30): Are you feeling overworked, overwhelmed, and on the edge of a mental breakdown? You’re probably a content marketer, claims a new article on CIO. I especially have a problem with a figure attributed to BrightEdge that says marketers spent more than $135 billion creating digital marketing content. I did some research but was unable to find the original source of this questionable data. Despite this lack of context, it has been shared numerous times by blogs and media sites alike. Beware of accepting impressive-sounding data at face value! This article is paired with the next one, which also laments the problems content marketing supposedly faces.
  • How marketing content wastes money (33:40): A new report by Docurated claims 90% of the content marketing departments produce is never used by salespeople, reports CMSWire. Docurated’s 2015 State of Marketing Productivity Report shows that sales departments are often clueless about the high-value content that marketing creates, while marketing doesn’t appreciate the various situations in which salespeople typically find themselves. Robert and I agree that judging the effectiveness of a content marketing initiative by the percentage of content that’s consumed by the sales department doesn’t make any sense.

2. Sponsor (39:22)

  • This Old Marketing is sponsored by ConnectiveDX (formerly ISITE Design), an agency that helps organizations bring together the customer insight, design, and technology capabilities necessary to build delightful digital experiences. It’s offering a new report entitled Creating Connected Experiences that outlines seven essential digital experience competencies, shares relevant data and insights on the shifting digital landscape, delivers best practices for delivering digital experiences that differentiate, and provides tips and tools for mapping customer insight, vision, and content. Learn more at


3. Rants and raves (41:50)

  • Joe’s rant: Purina has launched a branded microsite called Puppyhood, which contains everything puppy owners need to know to care for their newborn dogs – from feeding and grooming to health and exercise. Conceptually, it’s a wonderful idea. But there’s only one problem: Most of the site’s content was uploaded about three months ago, and there has been no new content published to continue building relationships with its customers. Robert and I discuss a question that marketers often fail to ask: What happens if we’re successful? How will we maintain and grow this content initiative?
  • Robert’s rave: Robert loves a new article on TechCrunch by Tom Goodwin entitled The Battle is for the Customer Interface. In it, he describes how the biggest opportunities for profit and growth today are in providing software interfaces that enhance customer experiences. Examples include Airbnb, Uber, Instacart, and WhatsApp. Robert’s advice: Look at content not as marketing, but as a richer interface through which customers can experience your brand.

4. This Old Marketing example of the week (53:40)

  • Fresh Fork Market Almanac: Fresh Fork Market is a buying group for small farms in the Cleveland, Ohio area. It serves as a co-op to distribute food and meat from 100 family farms in northeastern Ohio to its subscriber customers. It publishes a print almanac – an annual coffee-table quality, 64-page magazine with high-quality photography and articles in an attractive layout. Editorial content includes farmer profiles, a calendar of food distribution dates and locations, tips for getting the most out of your share of the food distribution, recipes, and other practical, “how-to” advice. In a day and age when we’re all so focused on top-of-the-funnel lead generation, we’ve forgotten about the huge opportunities that are available to us in the areas of customer loyalty and retention. That makes it an excellent example of This Old Marketing.


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

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