In this week’s episode, Robert and I discuss the latest example of venture capital firms’ growing interest in content marketing technology – a major round of funding for ScribbleLive. Next, we take a closer look at Apple’s plans to enable ad blocking on its popular iOS devices. Is it part of a bigger ad battle among Apple, Google, and Facebook, or is Apple simply trying to provide a better user experience? Google’s powerful new ad targeting tool also gets a closer look. In addition, we ponder the implications of Facebook’s launch of 360-degree videos and its innovative Signal tool for journalists. Rants and raves include rising salaries for digital marketers, PewDiePie’s remarkably successful brand, and the brilliant “Cocainenomics.” We wrap up the show with this week’s #ThisOldMarketing example from The House of Mewar (India).
This week’s show
(Recorded live September 28, 2015; Length: 58:10)
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1. Content marketing in the news
- ScribbleLive raises 35 million in expansion-round funding (4:19): ScribbleLive, a platform that enables brands and media companies to deliver timely, relevant, and rich engaging content in real time, has raised $35 million in expansion-round funding. Venture interest in content marketing technology platforms continues to be strong; Robert predicts what is likely to happen next year as some of the earliest VC-backed content marketing technology providers reach the end of their five-year funding rounds.
- What the ad blocking controversy REALLY means (8:10): Three articles, grouped together, give us multiple perspectives on Apple’s plans to enable ad blocking on its popular iOS mobile devices. This article from The Verge claims that this move by Apple is an “attempt to fully drive the knife into Google’s revenue platform,” which includes DoubleClick for Publishers and DoubleClick Ad Exchange (AdX), the world’s largest web ad exchange. An article from Vox says Apple’s ad blocking move is much ado about nothing; meanwhile, Digiday describes a new service from Google that will enable better ad targeting, to compete with Facebook. Robert and I agree that Apple’s motivation isn’t as nefarious as the author of The Verge article assumes. We predict what types of marketing will benefit from its move to block ads, and we agree that Google’s new ad targeting tool will be a powerful one for marketers.
- Facebook launches 360-degree videos (27:39): Facebook has finally unveiled its 360-degree videos to the public after teasing them for months, Digiday reports. Users can drag their cursors around while the video is playing, letting them “look around” the scene. The videos were created using technology from Oculus, a virtual reality company Facebook acquired last year. Robert thinks this is simply an earned media play, designed to get attention in the media. This article is paired with another one from Facebook.
- Facebook launches Signal, a way for journalists to gather news without Twitter (31:44): Several weeks ago, Facebook launched Signal, a desktop tool that enables journalists to surface and curate relevant trends, photos, videos, and posts from Facebook and Instagram for use in their storytelling and reporting. Robert tried the tool and was very impressed with what he saw. He and I believe the availability of this tool potentially threatens Twitter and the developers of news curation services, and we explain why.
2. Sponsor (35:25)
- Number Crunch: How a Content Marketing Platform Saves Time and Money: Time is work is money. How much time can a content marketing platform really save you? These hard numbers from our sponsor, Brandpoint, crunch out quite the story. http://bit.ly/brandpointhub
3. Rants and raves (38:15)
- Robert’s raves: Robert loves new research from Robert Half, which shows that starting salaries for creative and marketing professionals are projected to increase an average of 3.8% in 2016. Demand is outpacing supply for top creative talent, which is driving the salary increases – good news for content marketers! Robert’s second rave is an opinion piece from The Observer, which states that “advertising doesn’t have to irritate, intrude, lie, cheat, and generally suck.” He especially loves the author’s statement that the real value in media is not in data, but in building trusted relationships.
- Joe’s raves: Swedish gamer Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg has launched a new video game called PewDiePie: Legend of the Brofist. In only two days, it has reached the top spot on the iTunes App Store’s list of the most popular paid apps. Kjellberg is also launching a book. He’s the perfect example of a person who has cultivated a brand and a huge audience and is now monetizing it in different ways.
My other rave is for Cocainenomics, a brilliant look at the business side of the cocaine trade, featuring all the reporting, graphics, photos, and video you’d expect from an elaborate interactive piece from a major publication. It’s actually a high-quality native ad for the new Netflix series, Narcos. Kudos to both WSJ Custom Studios and Netflix for producing this brilliant website.
4. This Old Marketing example of the week (48:22)
- The House of Mewar: The House of Mewar is an Indian company that owns historic resort hotels and heritage locations for tourism, and provides destination travel packages to its customers. Formed in 734 A.D., this family-owned business is the longest-serving, unbroken custodianship in the world. Its mission statement has been unchanged for more than 1,400 years: Serve your community, your guru and your god, protect and grow your community, and then pass on these responsibilities to the next generation. One of its more recent products is an instruction manual that shares its best practices for corporate continuity. Robert shares three fascinating examples from its operating mantra. The House of Mewar, one of the oldest businesses in the world, is a wonderful example of nurturing your business for the long term. That makes it a remarkable example of #ThisOldMarketing.
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