This Week in Podcasts: The Disruption Edition

This Week in Podcasts: The Disruption Edition

Welcome to another edition of This Week in Podcasts! Every week, we bring you the best, most interesting podcasts from the week, so that you can stay up on the news, dig deeper into the issues, and maybe even find a few more podcasts to listen to. This week, we're all about disruption - from ad-blockers (and what they mean for native advertising) to holacracy to sites going out of business. 

If you have a favorite podcast you'd love to see in the roundup, leave a comment or hit me up on Twitter at @_chelleshock and I'll add it to the list. Without further ado, here's this week's takeaways: 

This Old Marketing, Episode 97 (The Coming Crisis in #NativeAdvertising) 

Get their show notes here.

The first two links discussed together: 

With the release of iOS 9, ad blocking has become a new hot topic. One side-effect of the rise of ad-blockers is that analytics programs will be blocked too. In the first article, the writer showers that programs like ChartBeat, Google Analytics, AddThis, CompeteXL, and so on are often blocked by ad blockers. This can potentially impact your marketing and advertising efforts indirectly, by making it impossible to use retargeting effectively or to 

Their consensus is that the advertising-based business model is in trouble. One really interesting comment from Robert was that, effectively, the current state of online advertising is that we've taken print advertising and transitioned it almost wholesale into online advertising. Banners, half-page ads, etc. - these are all magazine advertisements slapped on a website. Instead of using digital advertising like that, we need to think about how it can evolve as a medium. 

How can you look at advertising as a way to deliver stories, instead of just sticking a print ad on a digital page? - @Robert_Rose

Takeaways and Additional Reading: 

The next two links: 

The gist is that consumers feel very negatively about "sponsored content," with 62% saying they think sponsored content diminishes the credibility of a publisher and 48% saying they've felt deceived by sponsored content. On the other hand, they also can't seem to identify sponsored content accurately, with 65-80% of readers surveyed incorrectly identifying sponsored content as an article/editorial. 

"You can dabble in native advertising all you want, but the real thing to do is to create your own platform." - @JoePulizzi

Their take? Native advertising is, or should be, a side-step into creating your own media platform and audience. 

What's the difference between media companies and brands that are doing content marketing? From a business model standpoint, they're doing the exact same things. But if you have the buy-in of your organization, it's much easier to say that you can show a difference in behavior between people who subscribe to your content and everyone else, than monetizing it through advertising and sponsorship on the brand side. - Joe Pulizzi 


For more on how e-commerce brands can use content marketing and what types of e-commerce brands can benefit most from content marketing, check out Tommy's comments on episode 90 of Ecommerce Influence, summarized in last week's podcast roundup.

The last links they discussed were about Twitter's deal with Bloomberg & the value of social data, and Facebook's announced "dislike" button (which really isn't much of a dislike button at all, but will be a way for users to show empathy). 

Robert's rant: The Pros and Cons of an Era of Measurement

Joe's rave: Content Marketing Slides Into the Trough of Disillusionment 

This week's This Old Marketing: Burger Chef, an Ohio fast-food chain that was later acquired by Hardee's. They offered toys to go with their children's meals, like so many fast-food restaurants do...but they also had miniature vinyl records that told stories of the Burger Chef characters. Joe particularly remembers not even caring what the toy was, but wanting to hear more of the stories. Your food for thought: 

How do you create value outside of the products and services that you offer? - @JoePulizzi & @Robert_Rose 

The Slack Variety Pack, Episode 10 (Pack to the Future) 

Get their show notes and transcript here

Topics discussed in this episode include: 

  • Tech and agriculture - a seemingly unlikely but very happy pairing
  • Workplaces without bosses
  • Toddler playdating apps
  • A former lawyer fighting dirty water...with an app
  • A field guide to the common office habitants

The most interesting story as far as I'm concerned was the topic of holacracy:  

In case you haven't heard of it, "holacracy" is the idea that a workplace can function without bosses. It might sound radical, but Brian Robertson (the author interviewed here) likens it how neighborhoods function: 

We live in neighborhoods where there is no boss neighbor telling the other neighbors what to do. We  each have autonomy and we know the boundaries of our autonomy. I know that I control my house and my car and my property and my computer, and my neighbor doesn't. And, I know if I want to take his car I better ask his permission.

Still sound like an airy-fairy hippie idea? Well, it's being implemented by the likes of Zappos, Medium, and even David Allen of Getting Things Done fame: 

I was the CEO and I was getting buried. It was insane. I teach stress free productivity, so that's a little embarrassing. I had this question: does the company need a CEO? Maybe it can just run itself. It turned out, I shared the stage with Brian Robertson. I heard Brian start to talk about holacracy, and it just hit me like a lightening bolt. I said, "this guy is talking about exactly what I was looking for." We had them give us a taster program and it blew us away.  - David Allen

The more I listened to it, the more it sounds reminiscent of how things function in early-stage startups (I was strongly reminded of Andreas's description of Hawkers in its early days, where employees were given autonomy and expected to pick up slack where needed to). Particularly interesting is the switch in what's organized: 

If you look at a typical management hierarchy, what's organized are the people. Who can direct whom, who can tell whom what to do. Where Holacracy differs from that significantly is we're not organizing people, we're organizing the work. Then people might fill many roles and we might fill roles in many parts of the organization.
I can shop around, I can fill a few roles from this part of the company and a few roles from that. What's the best intersection between the company's needs and the individual's passions and goals?


Given that millennials are especially concerned with finding fulfillment in their work, this type of "create your own job role" management could become more popular as time goes on. 

Inc. Uncensored, Episode 30 (The Saga of the Multimillion-Dollar Spa Empire)

For their show notes, head here

Topics discussed in this episode include: 

  • The death of Quirky, which was once lauded as a way for innovative products to get made
  • The trials and tribulations of Spa Castle
  • Icon Air and how it's shaking up air travel

Their main commentary on Quirky's death is that validating ideas is important, especially when you're taking on the risk for creating those ideas as a business owner. They compared the Quirky business model to Etsy, but with Etsy, all of the risk with producing a new idea is on the sellers - not Etsy as a company. Voting on an idea with a click isn't enough, and doesn't always translate into actual sales. (That, and some ideas had hundreds of thousands of dollars poured into production but never even made it to the shelves.) For more on validating ideas, check out these two posts: 

The other takeaway is that there's a big difference between being the "idea person" or the inventor and actually managing and scaling a successful business. This is why it's so important to hire and delegate well in the areas you're weakest at. For Christine's post-mortem on Quirky, head here

That’s it for this week — if you liked the feature, post your favorite takeaway in the comments or share it on Twitter. See you next Saturday with another round of tips & takeaways!


About the Author

Michelle Nickolaisen is a freelance writer and business owner based in Austin, TX.