Insights on Marketing & Technology

Think like a publisher

- I think we are seeing a revolution in marketing, where marketing departments are starting to look like publishing organizations. There is really only one difference between a publisher and traditional business and that is how the money comes in, says the content marketing evangelist Joe Pulizzi in this interview with MarketMagazine

  • By: Karsten Bengtsson interviews
  • Published: 09-01-2014
It is the maybe-last-day-of-summer in Denmark and I’m waiting in a café for the digital clock on the laptop to turn 11:00 am. That’s when it is time to connect to Joe Pulizzi in Cleveland on Skype.
Joe Pulizzi is the man to talk to when it comes to “content marketing”. He is the founder of The Content Marketing Institute, based in Ohio, and some people even called Joe Pulizzi for a “content marketing evangelist” - what ever that means…
One thing I already know about Joe Pulizzi is, that he likes the color orange. In an interview on the Web, he explains why:
- Well, orange is our company color, so that’s where it started. When I first began speaking in public, I wore orange for the first four or five speeches. Then at one event I decided to wear black. Multiple people came up to me and asked me where the orange was… From that point on, I knew I branded myself to the orange … so now I always wear some piece of orange, while I’m out in public. People look for me in orange, and although I can’t prove it, I believe it has helped our business.
There is even a picture on the Web, where Joe Pulizzi is opening the Content Marketing Conference 2011 dressed in an orange spacesuit - looking like something out of a Red Bull YouTube clip. That is another thing, Joe likes. Red Bull. In Joe Pulizzi’s world the energy drink company is the master of the universe, when it comes to understanding and executing the concept of content marketing.
So that’s what we know for now. Joe Pulizzi likes the color orange and Red Bull.
But that is not enough for a whole article. We need more. More content. Journalism is a content-driven business, if any. But so is every other business is seems…

Print is a great channel
Exactly at 11 am the Skype-connection lights up and Joe Pulizzi’s face is on my laptop screen. Not wearing any orange, as far as I can tell.
But Joe is a man full of surprises. He starts off with a long advocate speech in favor of print marketing - even in these digital times.
- Print marketing is a great channel, says Joe. - According to Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs’ research, about 30 to 33 percent of marketers are still actively using print as a content-marketing tool. I’m not talking about print advertising, but actually print magazines, print newsletters and that kind of stuff. I think there’s a huge opportunity in print, especially on the B2B side, because it is not as clotted as much of the digital channels are. You just don’t get as much mail anymore; therefore you get more share of mind in that channel. And if you can come up with something very, I’m not going to say creative, but informative, utilitarian, something that’s really going to solve the pain points of your customers, and you do it in the print channel; why not? I mean, print drives social. It drives interaction. It drives behavior, drives awareness. And I think, historically, we’ve had a tough time measuring it, but that doesn’t mean we should give up on print media.

We are seeing a revolution
- What is your advice to companies that really want to understand the content marketing idea?
- Think like a publisher. That says it all. Content marketing is the creation of valuable, relevant and compelling content on a consistent basis to your customers or to your target customer, to do something, to attract or retain that customer, to create some type of profitable customer action.
An easier way to think about it is, instead of telling my customers I’m great, I’m going to show them I’m great, because I’m going to teach them something or I’m going to entertain them.
Even simpler to understand would be to think about your self as a media company and less as a product or service company. What do media companies do? They satisfy the informational needs of their readers. That’s where we’re heading. And I think because the consumer is so much in control, and they’re so bombarded with messages of any kind, if we don’t create something that’s interesting to them, they’re going to forget all about us, they’re going to go somewhere else.
It’s basically acting like a publisher, but instead of selling more ads or paid content - at the end of the day you are selling products and services.
I think right now we are seeing a revolution in all marketing departments, big and small, where marketing departments are starting to look a heck of a lot like publishing organizations and if you really think about it, there is only one difference between a publisher or a media company - and a marketing organization or a brand and it’s basically how the money comes in with the content you create.
Other than that they are almost a spitting imagine of each other.

Passionate subscribers
- How should businesses decide what types of content to focus on, and what subject areas to cover?
Content marketing is not the...
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