So we now all get it. Become a newsroom, not a marketing department. Think like publishers not marketers.
The sage and the wise have been hammering this message home for many moons:

“You need editors, not brand managers”
Seth Godin

And the world looks up to the uber-budgeted who saw the light early and stopped selling products to publish stories.

‘Red Bull is a publishing empire that also happens to sell a beverage.’
James O’Brien

Dead easy. We can all get 360 million YouTube views. We just need to lean on the FD to persuade them to fund a stratos jump from the edge of space.

Meanwhile in the real world…

B2b marketers are gradually redefining their structures and reallocating resources along the publishing industry model.
This is all valid, sensible and ultimately very profitable. But there is an industry that gets completely overlooked and ignored in all this.

The information marketing industry

It even has its own association

If you’ve ever bought a $97 eBook from Clickbank you will have first-hand experience of being an information marketing punter.

So why should b2b content marketers pay attention to the information marketing industry?

To be brutal about the economics, as b2b marketers we rarely charge beyond the price of an email address for our content. These guys make a living from persuading you to part with money to access their content.

They have a fairly vested interest in understanding what actually works. It’s not about personal ego, corporate brand or earning career points.

It’s about paying the mortgage.

And they have been doing it for many years.

You think it’s difficult to persuade someone to convert on a landing page? You are only asking them to scan read, enter their name and email address and then press download.

Pre-internet you paid for a print advert and then had to craft a sales message so compelling that people had to physically pick up the phone, or walk to their post box, to order your content. It makes just getting them to download look like child’s play.

The information marketing industry has been developing systems and persuasion strategies so powerful that they would make your average 20 year old Hootsuite guru cry to mummy.

So why do we ignore this industry?

Personally I think it’s all down to snobbery.

The godfather of the Information Marketing Industry is Dan Kennedy. Not everyone’s cup of tea.

But if you read the first copy of his Magnetic Marketing system first created 22 years ago, you’ll see that it is pretty much the blueprint for what’s happening now in b2b marketing departments.

OK, so the headlines are little less in your face and the language toned down, but the core principles are at play.

Clate Mask read Magnetic Marketing and then built Infusionsoft. Infusionsoft being a defining case study on how effective content marketing can actually be.

Jay Baer’s Youtility is about marketing so useful, people would pay for it. Heralded as the marketing manifesto for our times.

No one would disagree, it’s a brilliant book.

But the information marketing industry has been living a variation of this manifesto since the 1980s.

The point

Perhaps b2b marketers need to look at a broader church. Yes let’s learn and borrow from the publishing industry, but let’s also keep tabs on the ‘off piste’ industries that can also play a transformative role in how our marketing performs in the future.

B2B Marketing Game Changers