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This Week in Content Marketing: Why is Marketing Still Subservient to Sales?


PNR: This Old Marketing with Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose can be found on both iTunes and Stitcher.

In this episode, Robert and I discuss why an innovative hybrid ad that integrates existing content from The New York Times with Google Maps isn’t really native advertising. Next, we explore the evolving roles of marketing and sales and debate what it’s going to take to bring them closer together. We also ponder what’s behind the decision to end consumer sales of Google Glass, and talk about Facebook’s launch of Work, a collaboration tool for enterprises (which we’ve dubbed “FaceWork”). Rants and raves include Newcastle’s crowdsourced Super Bowl ad and an opinion piece that clears up the confusion surrounding the term “native advertising.” This week’s #ThisOldMarketing example: WestJet’s inspiring Above & Beyond website.

This week’s show

(Recorded live on January 19, 2015; Length: 59:56)

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1. Content Marketing in the News

  • Google’s New Ad, Powered by Content from The New York Times (3:47): The New York Times’ popular weekly travel column “36 Hours,” which offers suggestions on ways to spend a day-and-a-half in a given city, was recently enhanced with a Google Maps  integration. Sponsored by Google, this interactive application enables visitors to not only read about a city’s most famous attractions, but to locate them, too. While it’s a cool feature, Robert and I disagree with Digiday’s description of it as native advertising, and we discuss what it really is.
  • How Content Marketing Is Bringing Together Sales and Marketing Teams (10:36): A new post on’s blog makes a compelling case for sales and marketing teams to learn to work together more closely — a case that Robert and I have been championing for years. We discuss some ways companies can start to think more holistically about marketing and sales, rather than viewing marketing as an internal agency that fulfills sales material requests but has no strategic role in the organization.
  • Google Ends Its Glass Pains After Dismal Debut (24:02): Google is shelving Google Glass because of poor consumer sales, reports The company plans to redesign the much-maligned wearable and turn it into something the public might actually use. I think Google has benefitted from gathering a lot of data from the Glass project, which will be useful in developing the next-generation product, while Robert believes it’s an example of Google’s total inability to tell and evolve a story. And if you are wondering what else the future might hold, why not ask a fortune teller, like the author of the Dead Tree Blog did?
  • Facebook Tries to “Work” It (36:14): Facebook has announced the launch of Work, which will reportedly enable businesses to create self-contained social networks exclusively for employees. Facebook says this group feature will help teams to collaborate more effectively. However, Robert and I doubt that it will be successful, given Facebook’s reputation for playing fast and loose with user privacy and enterprise concerns about protecting sensitive information.

2. Our Sponsor (42:46)

  • This Old Marketing is sponsored by Acrolinx. The Acrolinx platform helps the world’s most recognized brands create content that is more engaging, more readable and more enjoyable. (Most people don’t even know software like this exists.) Its new eBook, Speak with One Voice, answers critical questions about how you can make your content stand out and how to create a unique advantage in the content economy. You can register for it at


3. Rants and Raves (44:42)

  • Joe’s Rave: I love this opinion piece from Publishing Executive, in which Contently VP of Content Sam Slaughter calls native advertising an interesting revenue stream but contends that it is not a new business model. I agree with the assertion that it’s not a pathway to growth for publishing companies, leading Robert and me to discuss the confusion surrounding the term “native advertising” and who really owns it.
  • Robert’s Rave: Newcastle Brown Ale is crowdsourcing its 2015 Super Bowl ad, inviting other advertisers to have their brands mentioned in its spot, AdAge reports. Participants in the “Band of Brands” ad include Boost Mobile, Beanitos, Sharper Image, Armstrong Floor, and McClure’s Pickles. Robert loves this creative approach to going to market.

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

  • WestJet: Canadian airline WestJet operates the Above & Beyond website, on which it shares the stories of Canadians who make a difference in the lives of everyone they meet. These inspiring stories are told in the form of 5- to 6-minute videos. One of them, about a young man named Josh who had a unique way of dealing with his father’s passing, has gone viral, with over 2.5 million views. It’s an awesome example of a brand creating value outside of the product or service it provides.


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

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