GREAT IDEAS: Killing Marketing by Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose

In the future, more companies will look like media companies, so marketers should learn now how to be publishers. So says Joe Pulizzi, the founder of the Content Marketing Institute and the co-author of Killing Marketing.

Here, his lessons on the future of marketing and why we should kill our current marketing structure.

Marketing is no longer instantaneous. We can’t say “Oh my God, you started that podcast, why aren’t we generating revenue?” Now we ask “What are we really trying to build here?” “What are we trying to deliver to the audience?” “How are we delivering value today?”

Build a relationship and some substantial revenue opportunities can result.

Red Bull [energy drinks] is a poster child of this. They started with a little magazine called the Red Bulletin for Indy car racing.

Today, it has over 2 million subscribers. They are a media company that just happens to serve soft drinks.

It just took somebody having a vision, and saying, “Well, let’s think about the audience differently, and maybe we’re not going to sell them a Red Bull today. Maybe we can create somebody who’s loyal to the brand and will buy whatever we put in front of them a year or, two years down the road”.

If you have a corporate mission that’s, “We’re going to be financially prudent and we’re going to make our stockholders happy and we’re going to create XYZ product”, it’s very difficult for people to want to engage in that content.

Ironically, the more [overt] marketing messages you have in your content, the harder it is to monetize. You want to do more like what media companies have been doing since the dawn … focusing on the needs of the audience, getting that connection, and getting them to subscribe.

An example is John Deere, manufacturing tractors. They’ve been creating the Furrow magazine since 1895, but less than 20 times in the content have they talked about John Deere products.

The number one and number two best types of content right now, even though we’re living in a social media society, is email subscription and print subscription. You don’t control the audience, but you have the most control over their data.

An ideal email has two things. 1. Differentiated content. You have to look at your core content and say, “This is truly valuable and needed by the audience and it’s rare. Nobody else is talking this way.” 2. Consistency. Send out the email at the same time on the same day every week. A daily podcast should be sent out at the same time every day.

Three future trends in marketing: 1. More advertising and promotion of content, not product. 2. Still huge opportunities in podcasting to plug gaps. 3. Marketers will look like publishers; so study the past, present, and future of publishing.

Joe’s GREAT EIGHT, answers to our eight getting to know you questions:

Recommended book: Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein.

If you could co-author a book with anyone in the world who would it be, and what’s the book title? Warren Buffett, or my favourite thriller writer Lee Child who writes all the Jack Reacher books.

Best piece of advice you can share? Write down your goals, review them every day and then in order to achieve those goals, get rid of all the clutter in front of you.

What’s been your lowest moment, and how did you recover from it? In 2009 I fell in love with… this online digital product [my business] created, and I tried to sell it, sell it, sell it, but it wasn’t the right time. They didn’t want my product. I almost had to fold the business. I hit my lowest of lows just by basically being selfish…not focusing on the needs of the customers. What they wanted was training. We started Content Marketing Institute and Content Marketing World a year later and…it was a big success.

How do you relax? I go running. I run. I run two half marathons a year. I run two or three times a week and it’s my time. I listen to James Altucher and Conan O’Brien podcasts.

What’s a fun fact that’s not widely known about you? I’m writing a thriller, it’s nearly finished.

What do you think is the secret of success? A patient wife probably. Finding somebody in your life who truly supports you no matter what. There were a lot of times that I was very worried, very difficult to get through to, especially as an entrepreneur. She helped me through a lot of that.

What is your prediction for 2025? The majority of media companies….are going to be [companies like] Cisco systems and Microsoft and the John Deeres of the world … companies that never did media before.

This is a snapshot of the interview with Joe Pulizzi, co-author of Killing Marketing. Members of The Growth Faculty can hear or listen to the full interview with Pulizzi as he describes some of the techniques of, and his observations around, the new type of content marketing. Simply log in to On Demand and click here.

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