He is right! Content marketing is not new, it is what we have been doing for our clients for years - identifying a story that bridges what clients want to say or sell, and what their audiences want to hear or buy, and packaging it as content.
That still applies today, it is about having decent conversations with your audiences. The difference is that today there are so many channels at your disposal to tell your story.
And that is why a whole 'industry' has arisen around content marketing. Whereas twenty years ago it was brochures or maybe video, today we have the whole digital world at our fingertips to disseminate our 'content'. And that does complicate it. Is it a paid, earned, owned or shared channel? Because they all need different treatments if they are to be effective.
I wonder if Mark Higginson (referenced in the article) asked B-to-B marketers his challenge for successful examples. In fact I can think of a few campaigns that I might bring to his attention!!
That cold, empty feeling I had on my Chopper in 1982 cycling down School Brow is exactly how I feel about content marketing. I know there is an institute, lots of online guides on best practice and even grown-ups who do this for a living but I just can’t quite see the need for it. It’s not that I don’t see the value of what content marketing does. I just don’t see how it’s any different from what we were already doing. Even content marketers cite examples from 1895 (John Deer’s customer magazine) and P&G inventing the soap opera in the 1930s as examples of early content marketing innovations. Both are amazing marketing tactics but I see them as examples of direct mail and nascent advertising respectively, not something in need of a new name.