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Why We Shouldn’t Drop the Phrase “Content Marketing”

pnr-this old marketing logoPNR: This Old Marketing with Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose can be found on both iTunes and Stitcher.

Robert and I discuss South by Southwest’s identity crisis, and chat about the latest media trend of “Travoltifying” everything. In addition, we learn that print is back, yet again, and rant about people who rant about the phrase “content marketing” before tackling our #thisoldmarketing Example of the Week: Energy University.

This week’s show

(Recorded live on March 11, 2014; Length: 58:32)

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Show overview

1. Content Marketing in the News

  • SXSW Is Now About Marketing, Not Tech (2:00): Signs point to Austin, Texas’s annual South by Southwest (SXSW) conference focusing less on tech and more on marketing innovation. Has SXSW jumped the shark, or is it simply reflecting the evolving face of business (contributing article: AdAge)?
  • Should Brands Be “Travoltifying” Their Content? (6:00): The popular meme that plays off John Travolta’s mispronunciation gaffe at The Academy Awards has proven that jumping on the trend of gamified content can be good for the media — but what’s the play for brands (contributing article: The New York Times)?


  • Red Brings German Philosophy to Marketing (11:32): Red, the German agency built on anthropology, has taken brands like LEGO and Samsung to new heights by doing something novel: focusing on things that are meaningful, rather than simply interesting or newsworthy (contributing article: BusinessWeek).
  • There’s Opportunity in Print (19:39): Print is making waves with a number of niche, vertical publishers. Print is definitely not dead, but are there also opportunities for non-media companies? Robert and I say, “heck, yeah!” (contributing article: The New York Post).
  • These Things Are Not Content Marketing (27:35): Robert rebukes an article about what content marketing is — and is not — while I think it hits pretty close to the mark. You make the call (contributing article: Business 2 Community).
  • The Next Phase of Content Marketing Is… (35:45): While we are certainly seeing an evolution in content marketing, Robert and I discuss the validity of an article’s assertion that these changes can be categorized into particular, definitive phases (contributing article: Search Engine Watch).

2. Rants & Raves (45:41)

  • Joe and Robert’s Shared Rant: This week, Robert and I both rant on the same topic: a Chuck Richard piece (which we are unable to gain direct access to) entitled, Can We All Just Agree to Drop the Phrase “Content Marketing”? Together, we make a compelling case on how the term correctly characterizes our industry, and why it should remain in place — until something better is found.

3. This Old Marketing Example of the Week (54:03)

  • Schneider Electric’s Energy University: Energy University is a free, online education resource that provides vendor-neutral courses and other information that helps organizations improve their energy efficiency. Energy University currently has over 350,000 active users, and more than 800 courses are taken every day.

In addition to serving as a helpful resource, Energy University also generates millions in lead opportunities globally, as courses are translated into over 13 languages. Moreover, these leads are often unique to Schneider’s database.

energy university-rotary compressor

To view a full case study on Energy University, click here. Schneider Electric will be presenting this case study at Content Marketing World 2014 in September.

Here’s where Joe and Robert will be in the next few weeks:

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

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