Marketers are Today’s Journalists

Sam Slaughter

Late in 2011, Coca-Cola’s CEO tasked his team with turning Coke’s stodgy corporate website into a magazine. He was trying to hitch a ride on the ongoing trend of marketers using editorial content to transform their conversations with customers. Whether it’s called brand journalism, native advertising or content marketing, the goal is the same: engaging customers without interrupting them.

For marketing departments and corporate communications pros long accustomed to producing TV spots, banners and spin, developing the skills to be content publishers can be a bumpy process. The best-in-class, like Red Bull, have built entire media companies within their brand, going so far as to mimic the church/state separation of advertising and editorial that exists in newsrooms. And as the Web has opened up new opportunities for brands to tell their stories on their own terms, it’s also presented new challenges. Chief among these: ...

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