Joe Pulizzi Calls Marketers to Embrace Outside-the-Box Thinking

Joe Pulizzi Calls Marketers to Embrace Outside-the-Box Thinking

Mark Raffan

In a world where marketing seems to be floundering—partially thanks to COVID-19—Joe Pulizzi notes that now is the best time to pivot and refocus your marketing strategies. He calls for refocusing on one or two content channels—but he also calls businesses to embrace marketing opportunities that others dismiss.

Joe still advocates for print—why?

If Joe was starting CMI right now, he’d still do a print magazine. People in the US and Canada are still getting mail, right? It’s mostly spam mail. But if a magazine comes, people notice. If it’s targeted and helpful, it will be noticed. Is it hard to measure? Yes. But Joe points out that so is anything in marketing.

Secondly—if you do it right—you’ll get more data than anything else you do. When they did the Chief Content Officer Magazine for CMI, people had to fill out about 30 different things—where they work, their title, their revenue, address, email, and more. They filled out all of it. Why? Everyone wants a free magazine.

Lastly, people have discretionary budgets because they aren’t going to events. They will support your print initiative, so they don’t lose their budget for 2021 or 2022. It’s more powerful right now because people want to get off their phones.

Think outside the box with billboards

You have to think out of the box—which can include billboards. They are an underpriced place of attention. The cost of a billboard has continued to spiral downward over the last few years. If there was a good deal on billboards, Joe would certainly do that. Why not? The more non-traditional, the better.

Will marketing agency buyouts start trending?

Established older brands buy media agencies because they don’t know what they’re doing. They’re losing attraction and attention. So instead of rebuilding themselves, they start to ask, “Why not buy someone to do this for us?” Joe points out that it’s happening now and will continue to be a trend. He believes huge mergers/acquisitions will happen in the next 12-18 months.

It seems like the media industry is falling apart. So It’s a huge opportunity to look and see where your customers are at. The media model is not broken, other than revenue. There might be an opportunity to buy something. Joe predicts that in the next six months to a year, there will be a lot of movement in the space.

The event industry is on hold—so where should that budget go?

Joe predicts that in 2020–2021 there will be no in-person event budgets. He doesn’t think there will be much in 2022 either. He thinks we will be back to 80% in 2023. He believes we will see 2023 and 2024 become boom years for the event business.

The bottom line is that event budgets have been moved elsewhere for the time being. Marketers are smart enough to know that their budget has to be reallocated quickly or it will go away. So many budgets moved to content creation, social ads, PPC, and heavily into online events. The in-person event budget was so large that it was scattershot over everything else.

Kill it with content creation

The bottom that Joe emphasizes wholeheartedly is that you have to start killing the content creation activities that you’re doing. He notes that you don’t have to be in every channel—and likely shouldn’t be. Instead, create one or two things that you can do better than anyone else in the industry. Then follow his six-step model for content creation success. What is that? Listen to episode #32 of the Content Callout podcast to learn more!

Mark Raffan

Mark Raffan

Mark is a serial entrepreneur and lover of marketing and influence. Mark built the #1 negotiation podcast in the world and is an expert negotiation, influence, and persuasion coach that has coached executives and their teams in some of the largest companies in the world.