In this week’s episode, Robert and I discuss a very funny South Park episode about sponsored content and native advertising that gets a lot of things right. Next, we react to Yahoo’s clumsy attempt to get users of its email service to turn off their ad blockers, and we take issue with a blog post that claims content marketing is about to “fade to black.” Finally, Google Plus gets a makeover, but should marketers invest time there? It depends. Rants and raves include Alibaba’s savvy plan to buy a media company and Seth Godin on the challenges of persuasion. We wrap up the show with a #ThisOldMarketing example of the week from The Chicken Whisperer.
This week’s show
(Recorded live November 29, 2015; Length: 1:02:45)
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1. Content marketing in the news
- South Park hysterically satirized ad blocking and sponsored content (6:08): South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone hilariously took on several of the issues advertisers have been grappling with lately in a recent episode of the hit Comedy Central series, including sponsored content and native advertising. The show implies that it’s impossible for us to avoid ads because they have evolved and have become smarter than humans. I loved it because its take on native advertising and sponsored content is spot-on.
- Yahoo! restricts ad blocking software for some email users (8:51): Dozens of people took to web forums and social media to complain that they were blocked from their Yahoo email unless they turned off their ad blocking software, reports The New York Times. Yahoo responded to the brouhaha by issuing a statement saying it was conducting some tests for a small number of email users. Robert believes this was a clumsy way to test this approach. I’m disappointed that Yahoo always myopically turns to advertising, instead of experimenting with other ways to generate revenue.
- Watching the content marketing trend fade to black (18:35): Content isn’t going anywhere, but the content marketing trend may be disappearing much quicker than we think, warns blogger Geoff Livingston. I predicted at Content Marketing World that we would start to see blog posts proclaiming “the end of content marketing.” But just because it’s hard to do well doesn’t mean it’s time to give up on it. Robert disagrees with Livingston’s prediction that programmatic and account-based marketing will take its place.
- New ways to find and stream app content (31:00): When Google got started, search was focused on finding the best information on websites. Today, you’re more likely to be searching on your mobile device, and the best answers may be buried in an app. Google has announced it can now find and display data within the app’s interface, even if you don’t have that app loaded on your device. Robert believes this has big implications for brands that may have considered creating an app, but decided not to because the data it contained would have been hidden from Google.
- Meet the new Google Plus (36:21): Google+ continues to evolve, TechCrunch reports. Most recently, it rolled out a complete redesign, which provides a more cohesive experience between desktop and mobile devices. Google+ is focused on the parts of the service that have been working well: Communities and Collections. The former replaces discussion groups, while the latter enables users to build content collections based on topics and interests. I think its greatest potential is creating a community for your niche where you can build relationships with your audience. Robert doesn’t think it’s worth investing any time or effort there, because its fate is still uncertain.
2. Sponsor (41:17)
- Widen: You can’t have effective content marketing without efficient content management, especially when it comes to the rich media assets that require another layer of planning and investment. So, end 2015 with a bang (or get 2016 started out right) and get a handle on your marketing assets. Our sponsor, Widen, has created and made available a one-page “DAM Decision Guide” to help you put in place the right-fit digital asset management system for your business. This piece is straight up utility, offering a proven, repeatable process for making some good DAM (or DAM good) decisions. You can get it at http://bit.ly/widen-dam-guide.
3. Rants and raves (44:25)
- Joe’s rave: Alibaba is a multibillion dollar Chinese conglomerate that manages many businesses in many industries. Recently, Bloomberg reported that Alibaba may purchase the South China Morning Post newspaper. I think this is a great example of an organization purchasing an audience by acquiring a large, traditional print media company, rather than trying to build an audience itself.
Why Brands Need to Acquire a Media Company [Here’s How]
- Robert’s rave: Robert loves Seth Godin’s article titled A reason persuasion is surprisingly difficult. It explains how we tend to push our line of reasoning on the people we’re trying to persuade. It’s rare that we ever take their worldview into consideration. Robert explains that this is the foundation of creating a great customer experience – to start with what the customer needs and wants rather than what we want to say. As Godin puts it, “Marketing is the empathetic act of telling a story that works.”
4. This Old Marketing example of the week (54:58)
- The Chicken Whisperer: Andy Schneider decided to raise chickens in his backyard. When he searched online for information about this subject, he discovered that little was available. So he started collecting research on best practices for raising chickens. He learned so much that he started to share his knowledge with other backyard farmers. In 2009, Andy had his own show on a small AM radio station in his local Georgia town, which he eventually moved to a podcast format online. He now has 30,000 weekly downloads to his Backyard Poultry show. In 2007, he published his first book, The Chicken Whisperer’s Guide to Keeping Chickens, and recently launched a quarterly publication, The Chicken Whisperer magazine. He also has a Chicken Whisperer calendar. I love Andy’s passion for his topic, which was what drove him to become the best-known expert on this niche topic, and helped him build a multimillion dollar business around it. The Chicken Whisperer is an awesome example of #ThisOldMarketing.
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