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Our exclusive interview with Joe Pulizzi on content marketing

Our exclusive interview with Joe Pulizzi on content marketing

Content Marketing World 2014 recently wrapped up for another year in Cleveland, Ohio. Seeing the news coming out of this global conference of content marketers got us thinking back to March 2013 when the Content Marketing Institute brought the event down under to Sydney.

Back in February 2013, our title Marketing Magazine caught up with Content Marketing Institute founder Joe Pulizzi to talk about all things content. Here are some of the highlights.


On content marketing in Australia

“Honestly, we were surprised by the amount of reactions from Australia, and we had a number of Australian attendees at Content Marketing World in the States. We actually have our third highest traffic on the website coming from Australia and New Zealand, and it was as big a surprise to me as anyone else.

“I think if you look at, traditionally, content marketing, especially in print, there has always been a good uptake on the Australian side, but now we’re seeing a real clear move over to digital.


On quality over quantity

“I think a lot of marketers were like, ‘We need content for Facebook, we need content for Twitter, we need content for a blog, we need content for our white papers,’ and we’re starting to think of it more like filling holes rather than looking at the customer experience I think the way we’re supposed to do. So I’m always like you can always use more great content. I just see a lot of mediocre content out there, and I think that’s a problem.”


On marketers’ mindsets

“We’re not used to thinking this way about our marketing. We’re used to thinking about it in these silos of PR and newer silos of search engine optimisation and social media. We’re not looking at our customers and what their informational pain points are, which I think is really important. I see that because I’ve grown up in publishing. But when we talk to marketing executives, they don’t see that. They’re thinking first about the sale, and if we’re going to be successful online, you can’t think first about the sale, you absolutely can’t do that.”


On the fact that content marketing isn’t new

“This industry is over 100 years old. The Furrow Magazine started in 1895, which is the largest circulated farming magazine in the world, and it’s done by a company called John Deere. So that’s kind of the famous start to the industry, and then you can use Procter & Gamble as examples down the road, you can use Lego down the road, all some really good examples. Some events, but mostly in print.

“Now, what’s happened since 2000, 2007, 8, 9, what you have is you have brands that are saying, ‘Now we can communicate directly with our audiences because basically there is no barrier to entry. There is no consumer barrier, there is no business barrier. What are we going to tell them?’

“Your customers have hundreds of different channels they can go through to get information. The best story wins, and if we’re not telling a good story, they’re not going to like us on Facebook or check out anything we have to say on Twitter, or look at our whitepaper or anything. It’s got to be really helpful to them.”


Advice to marketers

“Think about yourself as a media company and less about a product and 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 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.”

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