Editorial vs. Marketing – Has Fate Brought These Two Together?

– By Nicole Freeston


We often think of Editorial and Marketing as two separate entities. One produces the content, and the other figures out the best ways to share this content and who to share it with. However, we’re beginning to see an inevitable marriage of the two. As the digital marketing industry continues to boom, we’ll see even more that these two “departments” are not all that different.

This brings us back to the old publishing house structure, where editorial and marketing departments tend to be separated from one another. Marketers research their demographic and audience while editors manage the content, look and feel of their publication. However, when editorial teams are overseeing or writing content, they are thinking about their demographic. On the other hand, while marketers are figuring out their audience, they are thinking about the content and appearance in order to effectively reach that audience. The two sides often need to work together and are involved in one another’s work.

But it has become more than that. PRNewswire’s video, Content: Marketing ‘Morphing Into’ Editorial, provides insight on the situation of growing media fragmentation, suggesting that through the desire and necessity to build compelling content, marketing departments are morphing into editorial ones. Marketers have realized that social media gives users the ability to generate content themselves, in some cases more influential content than that of online or print publications. This enforces the need for good story telling, especially in the online world. It will be interesting to see how this plays out as the role of digital media increases even more as users generate their own content. For example, it’s been said that it is almost essential for any company involved in media or communications to have a blog. Therefore individuals who sign up as marketers may find themselves in a more diverse role as a content creator as well.

The argument here is that marketing is content. However I believe that it works both ways and that content is also marketing. Editorial and creative teams are also marketers. Writers and designers need to have a marketing mindset when they are telling stories or creating visuals. To quote Marshall McLuhan, sometimes the medium is the message. For example, an eye-catching poster itself can be the message, excluding the words on the poster. Not only are designers becoming increasingly responsible for how the content is presented, but also the content itself. With the increasing number of small media agencies out there, marketing and editorial cross paths even more. At Magnolia, I’ve learned that well. Being able to work on a project’s messaging and design has shown me that the two cannot live without each other; they are one and the same.

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One thought on “Editorial vs. Marketing – Has Fate Brought These Two Together?

  1. wanless says:

    Completely agree. Engaging storytelling has always beaten message blasting: It’s just now being recognized. With the rise of social media, and the demand shift from blatant “buy my stuff” marketing to storytelling and useful content, marketing and communications began the inevitable transformation to publishing.

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